PPC Assignments on PPC LLB PART 1 Paper VI

Features of the assignments:
Provides dictionary meanings of difficult words; written in simple language; minimizes need of a teacher; best for self study; examples from general life; to the point; 100% learning facilitation; provides references of the old questions asked by the examiner in the paper & is exam oriented. By Rehan Aziz Shervani

(a) Define & explain the following: (i)‘ Common intention’ (ii)’ Common object’ (b) What are the points of difference between ‘common intention’ & ‘common object’? (1999-2000-2001-2003-2004 Annual-2005 Annual-2006 Annual)

Answer: Outline:
(1) What is common intention? (2) Definition of common intention under section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860. (3) Relevant case law (4) Essentials of section 34 (5) Scope of section 34 of PPC (6) Evidence for the existence of common intention (7) What is common object (8) Essentials of common object (9) Scope of the common object (10) Evidence of common object. (11) Difference between common intention and common object.

(1) What is common intention?
Common Intention means a group’s willingness to do some thing. Its important feature is intention to do common action against someone.

(2) Definition of Common Intention under section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 :
‘When a criminal act is done by several persons, in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone’. Criminal act (= a wrong against a society) Several (=some)

Furtherance (=implementing) Common intention (=common willingness) Liable (=responsible) Manner (=way) Thus it means when a wrong against a society is done by some persons in implementing the common willingness of all, it is considered that every member of the group is responsible for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

(3) Relevant case Law:
A person can begin to share the intention of the first attacker if he joins him after the attack is opened. (PLD 1960)

(4) Essentials of section 34:
Following are the essentials:


Criminal wrong:

To implement section 34 requires that there must be criminal wrong done by an accused. Criminal wrong is the act prohibited by criminal law of Pakistan. It is also important that the act must be physical in nature. Prohibited (=disallowed)


Joint action by several persons:

Section 34 of PPC requires that physical action against a person must be done by some persons jointly. The section does not apply on one person.


Action for the implementation of common intention:

Section 34 requires that the physical action must be done by some persons jointly in implementing the common intention. The fundamental condition of this section is that the accused must have common intention and have participated in crime in furtherance of their common intention.


Common action must follow the common intention:

The section requires that the action must be done in following the common intention of the accused. For example presence of an accomplice encourages the person who is actually committing a crime. This section does not at all apply on an individual. It applies on persons who have common intention to do some crime. Accomplice (=a person involved with another in committing the crime)

(5) Scope of Section 34 of PPC:
The scope of this section makes existence of a common intention one test for joint responsibility. In Mehboob shah’s case it was held by the Privy Council that common intention within this section implied a prearranged plan and that before a person can

be convicted of an offence with the aid of section 34, it must be shown that the criminal act was done jointly. Implied (=understood) Prearranged (=preplanned) Convicted (=announced guilty)

(6) Evidence for the existence of common intention:
In order to prove the existence of common intention it is necessary that the accused must be physically present at the place of crime and participated in its happening. Where a person stands on guard outside the room in which the offence is committed he will be considered present in the eye of law.

(7) What is common object?
Section 149 of PPC states that if an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.
Committed (=done) Unlawful assembly (= gathering without the permission of law) Prosecution (= commencing) Guilty (=the fact that someone has committed a crime)

(8) Essentials of common object:
(i) Offence must be committed to achieve common object: This section requires that the offence must be committed to achieve the common object of the unlawful assembly. This section does not apply to offences under a special Acts e.g., an offence under the Railways Act. Unlawful assembly: The term ‘unlawful assembly has been defined in section 141 of the PPC in the following words: “An assembly of five or more persons is called ‘unlawful assembly’ when common object of the persons of that assembly is unlawful. Member of unlawful assembly: This section applies when it is proved that the accused is the member of the unlawful assembly. In prosecution of the common object:





To hold every member of an unlawful assembly responsible for an offence committed by another member, it must be shown that the offence was committed in prosecution of the common object. Members of the unlawful assembly knew that the offence would be committed: This section requires that there must have been an expectation on the part of all the members that an offence of a particular kind would happen.


Scope of the common object:
This provision of common object in substance declares that every member of an unlawful assembly is responsible for an offence. It is an enabling provision not a substantive law.


Evidence of common object:
The common object of unlawful assembly has to be inferred from the membership, the weapons used and the nature of the inquiries as well as their surrounding circumstances.


Difference between ‘common intention’ & ‘common object
Points of Difference Common Intention— Section 34 This section applies where the accused are more than one.

Common Object Section--149 Number of accused This section applies where the accused are at least five in number. Pre- concert of accused This section applies where the This section applies even if accused have meeting of there is no meeting of minds. minds. Active participation The offence of Common The offence of common intention comes in to object comes in to existence existence when the accused even if the accused have not have actively participated in actively participated in the the happening of a crime. crime. Membership of unlawful assembly is sufficient to prove the guilt. Presence of accused at the This section applies only This section does not place of crime where the accused is present consider whether the accused at the place of the crime. was present at the place of crime or not. Time factor Common intention may come Common object cannot come in to existence within a in to existence in a shortest shortest period of time. period of time.

(12) Conclusion:
It may be concluded that common intention and common object make an accused vicariously liable for the acts of one another. The offence cannot be proved through direct evidence but is always proved through surrounding facts.

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