Raja Manikyala Rao and Anr Vs. State of A.P
 Insc 523 (15
Raju & Arijit Pasayat.Arijit Pasayat, J.
persons including present appellants, who were accused nos.2 and 3 faced trial
by learned Sessions Judge, Krishna Division at Machilipatnam for allegedly
having caused homicidal death of one Parasachinna Ramababu (hereinafter
referred to as 'the deceased'). All the accused persons and the deceased who
were closely related were in hostile terms on account of property dispute. The
prosecution claimed that the appellants snuffed at deceased's life.
while led to trial of the accused persons are as follows:
was enmity between the accused and the deceased. Though elder members of the
community tried to settle the dispute there was no permanent solution. On
16.8.1997 accused Parasa Satyanarayana (A-1) removed the stones at the boundary
of the disputed land. Parasa Mohan Rao (PW-1) and his sons visited the place
and chastised the accused and their father for their undesirable behaviour.
This led to further animosity. On 19.8.1997, the fateful day, three accused
persons along with their father came to the house of PW1 and picked up quarrel.
A-1 tried to hack PW1 with a knife. But he warded off the stroke with the
stick. Parasa Ghaneswara Rao and Parasa Venkateswara Rao and O Gitchaiah
protested and questioned the accused persons about their behaviour. Accused
persons left the place. Subsequently, at about 10.45 a.m. deceased was returning to his house. As he reached near a
shopping complex, all the accused persons in furtherance of their common
intention murdered the deceased. Parasa Raja Manikyala Rao-appellant no.1 (A-2)
caught his right hand and Parasa Raja Govind Rajulu–appellant no.2 (A-3) caught
his left hand. The deceased was practically immobilized. Taking advantage of
this, Parasa Satyanarayana (A-1) gave various blows on the neck, back and the
abdomen with the knife in a gruesome manner and even separated his head from
the body. After doing so, A-1 carried the severed head and threw it at some
distance. The ghastly attack was witnessed by Parasa Mohana Rao (PW-1), Parasa Veeramma
(PW-2), Parasa Yesoda Rao (PW-3) and Parasa Ganeswara Rao (PW- 4). Information
was lodged at the police station immediately.
was undertaken and subsequently accused persons were arrested. On completion of
investigation, charge sheet was placed.
A-1 was charged with commission of offence punishable under Section 302 of the
Indian Penal Code 1860 (for short 'the IPC') other accused persons were charged
for commission of offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34
IPC. 13 witnesses were examined to further the prosecution version. Accused
persons pleaded innocence and claimed trial. On consideration of the evidence
of the witnesses the Trial Court found that A-1 was guilty of offence
punishable under Section 302 IPC, but found the present appellants to be not
guilty by giving benefit of doubt. Matter was carried by the State in appeal
before the High Court which by the impugned judgment found them guilty.
High Court held that they were guilty of offence punishable under Section 302
read with Section 34 IPC and each one was to undergo life imprisonment. The
appeal filed by A-1 was dismissed.
submitted that A-1 has not preferred any appeal, but present appellants have
questioned the reversal of their acquittal to conviction by the High Court.
senior counsel appearing for the appellants submitted that there are many
significant improvements made by PWs 1 and 2. Before the police they did not
say to be waiting outside their house, while in court they said so. It is
highly improbable that four persons saw the attack but did not even try to
protect or save the deceased. The High Court has failed to notice that the
witnesses were highly interested.
and 4 are not independent witnesses and PWs 1 to 2 were their supporters in
their public life activities. It is improbable that present PW1 would have
alone gone to the police station, after having seen his son murdered. All this
goes to show that because of the enmity with the accused persons, they were
falsely implicated so that none of the male members could be available to run
or take care of the family.
though A-1 has not questioned his conviction, the totality of evidence shows
that effort was made to frame all the male members of the family. In any event,
Section 34 has no application because it has not been established by evidence
that there was any intention to commit murder.
learned counsel for the respondent-State submitted that right from the
beginning when the first information report was lodged, the definite roles
played by present appellants was described, the overt acts and the instigations
as well as exhortations done by them were clearly mentioned. The first
information report was lodged immediately and, therefore, case of any false
implication after deliberation as pleaded by the appellants does not arise. The
evidence of eyewitnesses PWs 1 to 4 clearly established the accusations.
of PW1 shows that after the first blow, these accused continued to restrain
movement of the victim and that continued when blows were inflicted on
different parts of his body. Names of all accused persons were also mentioned in
the first information report.
outset, we think it proper to take note of what weighed with the Trial Court to
direct acquittal of present appellants. In para 39 of the judgment it was noted
Though all the other evidence even as against A-2 and A-3 was as nearly cogent
as the one against A-1, the improbability of their participation became one of
the two plausible views in the light of the last mentioned four rulings of the Hon'ble
Supreme Court. This gives rise to a doubt in so far as A-2 and A-3 are
concerned. Naturally the benefit of such a doubt must go to them." This is
a strange way of dealing with the accusations and consideration of the guilt or
otherwise of the accused. How a person reacts in a given case may be the determinative
factor so far as that case is concerned. That cannot be applied as a rule of
universal application to all cases irrespective of the fact situation in that
particular case. There can be no empirical formula as to how one reacts in a
given situation and its effect and impact. It would be almost like trying to
put a square peg on a round hole. To imprint fact situation of one decided case
upon another or observations made in the peculiar facts of a given case to any
or every other case notwithstanding dissimilarity in effect and the distinctive
features is legally impermissible.
to the question whether the evidence is reliable, the High Court has analysed
the evidence in great detail considering the fact that PWs 1 and 2 were parents
of the deceased and there was admitted hostility between the accused and the
deceased's family. It has also analysed the evidence of PWs 3 and 4 to conclude
that the accusations have been established. The so-called omissions which have
been tried to be magnified by learned counsel for the appellant, do not amount
to any contradiction or any improvement and at any rate such variation as to
undermine the chore of the prosecution case or its basic and essential aspects.
case, more particularly a criminal case depends on its own facts and a close
similarity between one case and another is not enough to warrant like treatment
because a significant detail may alter the entire aspect. In deciding such
cases, one should avoid the temptation to decide cases (as said by Cordozo) by
matching the colour of one case against the colour of another. To decide
therefore on which side of the line a case falls, the broad resemblance to
another case is not at all decisive. The vague and cryptic conclusion arrived
at by the trial Court to treat their case differently from the manner it dealt
with that of A- 1, despite its very observation that the evidence was as cogent
against them too as it was against A-1 lack a judicious approach and
determination and therefore rightly interfered with by the High Court after an
objective appreciation of the evidence independently and in the light of the
relevant and guiding principles of law governing such determination.
other point which was emphasized relates to applicability of Section 34 IPC.
Section really means that if two or more persons intentionally do a common
thing jointly, it is just the same as if each of them had done it individually.
It is a well recognized canon of criminal jurisprudence that the Courts cannot
distinguish between co- conspirators, nor can they inquire, even if it were
possible as to the part taken by each in the crime. Where parties go with a
common purpose to execute a common object each and every person becomes
responsible for the act of each and every other in execution and furtherance of
their common purpose; as the purpose is common, so must be the responsibility.
are guilty of the principal offence, not of abetment only. In combination of
this kind a mortal stroke, though given by one of the party, is deemed in the
eye of law to have been given by every individual present and abetting. But a
party not cognizant of the intention of his companion to commit murder is not
liable, though he has joined his companion to do an unlawful act. Leading
feature of this Section is the element of participation in action. The essence
of liability under this Section is the existence of a common intention
animating the offenders and the participation in a criminal act in furtherance
of the common intention. The essence is simultaneous consensus of the minds of
persons participating in the criminal action to bring about a particular result
(See Ramaswami Ayyanagar and Ors. v.State of Tamil Nadu (AIR 1976 SC 2027). The participation need not in all
cases be by physical presence. In offences involving physical violence,
normally presence at the scene of offence may be necessary, but such is not the
case in respect of other offences when the offence consists of diverse acts
which may be done at different times and places. The physical presence at the
scene of offence of the offender sought to be rendered liable under this
Section is not one of the conditions of its applicability in every case. Before
a man can be held liable for acts done by another, under the provisions of this
Section, it must be established that
was common intention in the sense of a pre-arranged plan between the two, and
the person sought to be so held liable had participated in some manner in the
act constituting the offence. Unless common intention and participation are
both present, this Section cannot apply.
intention' implies pre-arranged plan and acting in concert pursuant to the
pre-arranged plan. Under this Section a pre-concert in the sense of a distinct
previous plan is not necessary to be proved. The common intention to bring
about a particular result may well develop on the spot as between a number of
persons, with reference to the facts of the case and circumstances of the
situation. Though common intention may develop on the spot, it must, howver, be
anterior in point of time to the commission of offence showing a pre-arranged
plan and prior concert.
(See Krishna Govind Patil v. State of Maharashtra (AIR 1963 SC 1413). In Amrit Singh
and Ors. v. State of Punjab (1972 Crl.L.J. 465 (SC) it has been
held that common intention pre-supposes prior concert. Care must be taken not
to confuse same or similar intention with common intention;the partition which
divides their bonds is often very thin, nevertheless the distinction is real and
substantial, and if overlooked will result in miscarriage of justice. To
constitute common intention, it is necessary that intention of each one of them
be known to the rest of them and shared by them. Undoubtedly, it is a difficult
thing to prove even the intention of an individual and, therefore, it is all
the more difficult to show the common intention of a group of persons. But
however difficult may be the task, the prosecution must lead evidence of facts,
circumstances and conduct of the accused from which their common intention can
be safely gathered.
and Ors. v. State of U.P.(AIR 1988 SC 126) it was observed
that prosecution must lead evidence from which the common intention of the
accused can be safely gathered.
most cases it has to be inferred from the act, conduct or other relevant
circumstances of the case in hand. The totality of the circumstances must be
taken into consideration in arriving at a conclusion whether the accused had a
common intention to commit offence for which they can be convicted. The facts
and circumstances of cases vary and each case has to be decided keeping in view
of the facts involved. Whether an act is in furtherance of the common intention
is an incident of fact and not of law. In Bhaba Nanda Barma and Ors. v. The
State of Assam (AIR 1977 SC 2252) it was observed
that prosecution must prove facts to justify an inference that all participants
of the acts had shared a common intention to commit the criminal act which was
finally committed by one or more of the participants. Mere presence of a person
at the time of commission of an offence by his confederates is not, in itself
sufficient to bring his case within the purview of Section 34, unless community
of designs is proved against him (See Malkhan and Anr. v. State of Uttar
Pradesh (AIR 1975 SC 12). In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word
"furtherance" is defined as 'action of helping forward'. Adopting
this definition, Russel says that "it indicates some kind of aid or
assistance producing an effect in future" and adds that any act may be
regarded as done in furtherance of the ultimate felony if it is a step
intentionally taken, for the purpose of "effecting that felony. (Russel on
Crime 12th Edn. Vol.I pp.487 and 488). In Shankarlal Kacharabhai and Ors. v.
The State of Gujarat (AIR 1963 SC 1260) this Court has interpreted the word
"furtherance" as 'advancement of promotion'.
view of the cogent, credible and trustworthy evidence of PWs 1 to 4 about overt
acts and the instigations, Section 34 has been rightly applied by the High
Court. Having regard to the nature of disputes between the two families of the
accused and victim, the happening of events immediately before the incident in
question, the role found to have been played by them and the utterances said to
have been made during the course of the assault are sufficient to provide a
safe and sound basis for an inevitable inference of the existence of common
intention in this case. Judgment of the High Court consequently does not need
any interference and the appeal is dismissed.