Author: Shraddha Jindal
AIR 1959 SC 572
Justice J.L. Kapur
Justice Syed Jafar Imam
Justice S.K. Das
Unlawful Assembly is a group of people with the common object to commit an offence by use of criminal force including taking possession of any property. An assembly which was not unlawful when it assembled may become an unlawful assembly. Murder is a crime of killing someone illegally. Common object is different from Common intention. Common object needs at least 5 members and merely being a member of that group is sufficient while for the Common intention 2 or more persons are required and each member should participate in the act. The present case deals with Common Object, unlawful assembly and murder. It shows how Common object is important in any offence.
Appellants Tej Singh and Mizaji were father and son. Subedar was the nephew of Tej Singh, Machal was Tej Singh’s cousin and Maiku was the servant of Tej Singh. On 27th July, 1957 all of them went with a Common object to take forcibly possession of a land which was in cultivator possession of Rameshwar. They all were armed with some weapon. Tej singh had a spear, Mizaji had a pistol, which he had hidden in the creases of his dhoti, and the left three Subedar, Machal, Maiku were carrying lathies with them. The disputed land was divided into three parts, in one part sugarcane crop was growing, in second part Jowar was sown and the third part was not cultivated. Maiku started ploughing the land and overturning the Jowar, Tej Singh was keeping an eye while others (Mizaji, Machal, Subedar) started cutting the sugarcanes. Rameshwar and others came there and protested to Tej Singh. After seeing this all the Appellants gathered near Tej Singh and asked Rameshwar and other to go. They warned them that if they do not go they will be killed. Rameshwar and other denied going, as a result Mizaji fired at Rameshwar and killed him. All the accused fled from the place. The High Court found all of them guilty under section 149 and 302 of IPC so the Accused appealed in Supreme Court.
ISSUES AND FACTS OF LAW
- Whether the common object of forcible possession was there.
- Whether the offence of murder was committed.
- Whether the common object of murder was there.
- Whether section 149 is applicable.
- They all went with a common object of forcible possession of the land. Section 149 of IPC is applicable here. So they all are liable for common object of forcible possession under section 149 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- They all did not conspire for murder and they did not have any common intention of murder. It was the Mizaji who murdered Rameshwar.
- Mizaji was liable for unlawful assembly, common object to take forcible possession and murder of Rameshwar under section 149 and section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. He was sentenced to death.
- All other than Mizaji (Tej Singh, Subedar, Machal, Maiku) were held liable of unlawful assembly, common object to take forcible possession of land under section 149 of IPC, 1860. They were sentenced with life imprisonment.