What is Common Intention?

What is Common Intention?


Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention-

When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all; each of such person is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

Section 34 of I.P.C. deals with the doing of separate acts, similar or diverse, by several persons; if all are done in furtherance of common intention; each person is liable for the result of them all as if he had done them himself.


  1. Commission/omission of a criminal act:

According to the composition of this section it is essential that a criminal act must be done. Criminal act is commonly known as that act which is prohibited by law; and is carried out in violation of the limits prescribed by law in a criminal act.

  1. Prior meeting of mind in furtherance of common intention:

Further,  the most important ingredient is a prior meeting of mind of all person involved in the act committed. Above all, it is essential; that the act done by several persons should be in furtherance of common intention of all the person involved. It may be happened even at the single movement or during the commission of an offence.

  1. Offence by several person:

Above all, the criminal act must be done by several persons. Common intention is the prearranged plan f several persons. Section 34 is only applied when accused is more than one.

  1. Principle of joint liability:

Section 34 does not create any distinct offence but nearly lays down principle of joint liability.

 Common intention and similar intention

Common intention does not mean similar intention of several persons.

To constitute common intention it is necessary that the intention of each one of them be known to the rest of them; and shared by them.

Section 34 is only a rule of evidence and does not create a substantive offence.

The Supreme Court in Dukhmochan Pandey vs. State Of Bihar, Air 1998 Sc 40; held that common intention which developed at the spur of the movement is different from the similar intention actuated a number of person at the same time. The distinction between a common intention and similar intuition may be fine; but is nonetheless a real one and if overlooked, may lead to miscarriage of justice.

Mere presence of accused together is not sufficient to hold that they shared the common intention; to commit the offence in question. It is necessary that the intention of each one of ‘several persons’ be known to each other; for constituting common intention.

However, to prove common intention is very tough; because it is the mental thinking of the accused at that point of time. So it has to be culled out from the facts and circumstances of each case.

There is a difference between common intention and similar intention; and section 34 can be invoked only when the accused shares common intention; not a similar intention.

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