What is Section 34 IPC? Know everything about common intention

What is Section 34 IPC Know everything about common intention


There is a settled principle of criminal law that an offender is liable for a crime that he committed. He may not be liable for a crime that is not committed by him but committed by another one. In contrast to that rule, there is a provision in section 34 of the IPC which deals with intention. According to that section, narrates the number of persons involved in criminal conduct and the intentions behind that act. They are accountable for that crime and punished the same as an individual is liable for that crime.

Suppose five persons have common intentions to harm A when he crosses the road. They take a position at the spot, and another person named B, who also crosses the road at the same time, suddenly decides to join with five people for harm to A. In that situation, B is also liable for the crime committed, and according to the provision of section 34 of the IPC, he is also liable for the punishment of that offense. In this article, we address the elements of a common intention and understand Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code with illustrations.

What is common intention?

Before we begin to know the elements of a common intention, firstly, we have to understand the main contention of the term common intention. A common intention refers to a preplan that acts according to that plan. A common intention in criminal offenses must be proven that a crime committed was a pre-defined plan. There is no need to preplan and decide in advance before the commitment to a crime. In some cases, such a common intention is created on the spot at the time of the offense. The central aspect of a common is a pre-defined strategy to act upon the plan to gain an intended result.

In this way, we can say that a common intention means several people have intentions with the same meaning. To make a common intention, every person must be aware of the object of the others, and they need to be accepted.

What is section 34 IPC?

Section 34 of the IPC deals with common intention while committing an offense. According to that, when two or more people commit an offense, it would be said that the offense is done with the common intention of them. In that situation, every person involved in the offense is equally liable for that criminal act.

The punishment will be counted as per the offense committed by them. For example, an offense of murder is committed with common intention by several people who are equally liable for the offense under section 302 with section 34 of IPC, and everyone is equally guilty of that crime in an individual capacity.

The Important elements of a common intention in IPC:

  • It must be criminal activity
  • The involvement of people is two or more
  • Intention must be shared between them
  • The offense must be committed with the furtherance of common intention.

What is the need for Section 34 IPC?

Section 34 of the IPC is significant because that can be enabled to apply the determination of the role of a group of people when it is difficult to find out the role of determining of an individual. It helps to define the role of an offender who committed an offense with the involvement of several people.

The provision of an offense under section 34 IPC

Section 34 Ipc provides the provisional punishment for an offense committed by an offender in a combined manner. According to that section, it is defined with the role of evidence; thus, it does not mention the separate punishment for the offense.

Let’s understand with an example: suppose five people cover A for the killing purpose; then the charges will be applied to them under section 307 of IPC with section 34 of IPC. Here, the punishment will be accounted as imprisonment of 10 years and a fine, defined under section 307 as a punishment for an attempt to murder, and an additional as per section 34 is also awarded by the court.

A criminal act jointly committed by several people

A significant part of that offense is the criminal activity done by several people. The people may play a different according to the criminal act, but they must be involved in that criminal activity. The main essence of section 34 of the IPC is the involvement in criminal activity by multiple people to gain an illegal achievement or goal with the same mentality.

The common intention and object look like the same thing, but there are some differences between them, and we need to know that to clearly understand the concept of IPC section 34, which is given below;

Common intention Vs. Common object

There are some fundamental differences between common intention and common object that are given below;

Difference Common intention Common object
Meaning The common intention refers to the common intent of the people involved in criminal activity. A common objective means a result achieved by a group of people with illegal contributions.
Section 34 refers to the common intention, Section 149 refers to the common object.
Involvement of persons
The number of people involved, two or more. A common objective is the number of people is five or more.
Nature of offense
A practical liability can be applied without creative, substantive crime. A particular offense is created.
Consensus of crime People make a consensus before committing a crime. Consensus is not mandatory before committing an offense.
Liability  Liability plays an equal role for people involved in the crime. The liability can fall upon all persons or not.
The important factor The participation of people must be required. The active involvement of people must be required.

How does a defense if you are charged in the case of IPC section 34?

If we talk about our legal system, a person may be charged with a criminal offense in India, which is a serious matter. Sometimes, that kind of charge is filed allegedly. In that situation, you should defend yourself against the wrong charge. The prosecution may file that kind of charge under section 34 of the IPC. And if a person is allegedly charged, he may face penalty or punishment if he gets convicted.

It’s also challenging for the prosecution to prove that offense without any evidence against which is laid by them. In this way, the offender must prepare the case well. Here, the person charged under section 34 of the IPC must know their legal right regarding the arrests. For protection purposes, he can approach the lawyer for his appropriate defense.

Sometimes, the police falsely charge a person under section 34 IPC. Then needs to take defense by adducing the proper evidence in court.

The alleged offender can discuss the matter with his lawyer, the whole situation, and he needs to explain how that charge lay against him. In this way, an offender’s party collects all evidence that helps him to protect against allegations. By putting the proper evidence, you can get an appropriate defense against the false charge of section 34 of the IPC, which is imposed by the police incorrectly.

Can the alleged offender get bail under section 34 of the IPC?

To get the answer to that question, we need to know about the ingredients of this offense. According to the definition of this section, it does not state any substantive offense. It narrates a general provision for criminal activity committed with a shared intention. That’s why it varies depending on the crime charged upon the accused. Thus, it is true that bail is the right of the accused, but if the alleged offense has heavy gravity, then the bail matter depends on considering all those criteria.

Let’s understand that with an example, suppose the accused is charged with murder described under section 302 of the IPC,  which is considered a heavy-gravity crime and is not a bailable offense. In contrast, if two or more people are charged with a bailable offense, in that situation, there is a chance for an accused to get bail. However, all these things depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.


Section 34 IPC defines when people are involved with a mindset of commitment to a crime. This section will operate when people aware of the result of their illegal activity are in advance. However, they are involved in that activity to achieve that result. The common intention must be reflected in the aim of the accused’s action.


Section 34 in The Indian Penal Code

Read Also:

What is Summary Trial under the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC)?

What are Criminal Intimidation, insult, and annoyance under IPC 1860?

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