When people play with knives and lives, the circumstances that one man’s stab falls on a less or a more vulnerable part of the person of the victim is of no consequence to fix the guilt for murder. Conjoint complicity is the inevitable inference when gory group animated by lethal intent accomplish their purpose cumulatively. Section 34, I.P.C. fixing constructive liability conclusively silences such a refined plea of extrication. Lord Summer’s classic legal shorthand for constructive criminal liability expressed in the Miltonic verse.
They also serve who only stand and wait, embraces cases of common intent instantly formed, triggering a plurality of persons into an adventure in criminality, some hitting, some missing, some splitting hostile heads, some spilling drops of blood. Guilt goes with community of intent coupled with participatory pretence or operation. The fact that the appellant caused only two simple injuries on the arm and did not give any blow on any vital part of the body goes against the view that he had shared the common intention of causing death. Intention and Knowledge: Intention to do a certain act is different from the knowledge that a certain act is likely to be done.
Where it was proved that it was the common intention of the two accused to assault and use criminal force on the victim by calling him out of the house, the mere fact that one of the accused had a deadly knife in his pocket does not mean that the other accused also had the common intention to kill or cause grievous hurt to the victim. If one of the two persons uses a knife or other deadly weapon without the knowledge or consent of the other, he who strikes the blow with the weapon for the death resulting from the blow, shall be responsible for the murder. Two or more persons enter a house with the common intention of committing theft and one of them finds a man waking up and hits him and he dies as a result of that injury. His companions would not be liable for this offence. If, however, the persons went out to commit theft and one of them openly carried a loaded gun every one of them shall be liable for murder if one of them committed murder.
Where one member carries a gun, others in the company shall not be liable unless it is proved that the carrying was in furtherance of the common intention.