Parshuram V State of MP

 The Supreme Court recently held that in order to convict under Sec 149 IPC it is not required to demonstrate that a person committed an illegal overt act or was guilty of an illegal omission to be held a member of an unlawful assembly. The punishment prescribed by Section 149 is , in a sense, vicarious, and does not mandate that every member of the unlawful assembly has personally committed the offense.

The court placed the reliance on the constitution bench judgment in Masalti V State of UP observed that –

“ It could thus clearly be seen that the Constitution Bench has held that it is not necessary that every person constituting an unlawful assembly must play an active role in convicting him with the aid of Section  149 of IPC. What has to be established by the prosecution is that a person has to be a member of an unlawful assembly, i.e he has to be one of the persons constituting the assembly and that he had entertained the common object along with the other member of the assembly, as defined under Section 141 of IPC. As provided under Section 142 of IPC, whoever, being aware of facts that render any assembly an unlawful assembly, intentionally joins that assembly, or continues in it, is said to be a member of an unlawful assembly.”

A 3 judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice BR Gavai, Justice BV Nagarathna, and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra was hearing an appeal against a judgment of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which upheld the sentence of the appellants for life imprisonment under section 302 read with 149 IPC.

In this case, a violent altercation occurred when a dispute involving a buffalo led to a serious confrontation . A group of armed individual suddenly confronted them as a result of this, the complainant was grievously injured and Madan died.

The FIR was registered against 7 accused person and the trial court in 2005 held them guilty under Section 302, 326, 324, 323 read with Section 149 and Section 147 and Section 148 of IPC. An appeal was preferred before the HC which dismissed it in 2018. Aggrieved by the same, 2 accused persons Parshuram and Jalim Singh approached the Supreme Court.

In the case at hand, the court noted that while there was no specific role attributed to the appellants regarding the assault on the deceased Madan, the evidence established that they were members of the unlawful assembly. The Court, citing the principles laid down in the Masalti case, clarified that for conviction, it is not essential for such a person to have physically assaulted the deceased.

Sec 141 IPC– An assembly of five or more people is considered an unlawful assembly if they have a common goal of using criminal force to intimidate the government, resist the law, commit offenses, take property forcefully, or coerce someone to act against their legal rights.

Sec 141 IPC- If someone knows that an assembly is unlawful but still chooses to join or stay in it, they are considered a member of that unlawful assembly.

Sec 149 IPC- If any member of an unlawful assembly commits an offense as part of their common goal, all other members of that assembly at the time of the offense are also considered guilty of that offense.

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.