1. The appcts. have been convicted of an offence Under Section 143, I. P.C. & sentenced to pay fines of Rs. 30 each.
2. It is common ground that on 20-5-1948, which was a bazar day at mouza Nohta, there was a quarrel between one Lotania Chamar, a labourer engaged by one Bhaiyalal for collecting tendu leaves, & Bhaiyalal's servant Ramprasad. The quarrel culminated in Ramprasad assaulting Lotania. On account of this the chamara of the village became enraged & went in a body to the house of Bhaiyalal & actually committed a riot. According to the prosecution the appcts. were standing on the chabutra of a neem tree situate at a distance of 65 feet from Bhaiyalal's house & encouraged the rioters by their shouts to beat Bhaiyalal. The appcts. deny their presence on the chabutra at the relevant time & say that each of them has been falsely implicated in the case by Bhaiyalal on account of enmity.
3. The prosecution evidence is discrepant on the questions as to what words were actually used in order to encourage the rioters & as to who used them. On the other hand it is clear from the prosecution evidence that the appcts. did not accompany the rioters, that the rioters went straight to the house of Bhaiyalal, & that it was after that that the appcts. shouted words of encouragement to them. The question, therefore, is whether by shouting such, words the appcts. became 'members of an unlawful assembly.'
4. In an unreported case cited at p. 334 of Ratanlal's Law of Crimes (Edn, 16) it has been held that if any person encourages, or promotes, or takes part in, riots whether by words, signs, or gestures or by wearing the badge or ensign of the rioters, he is himself consd. a rioter. With this general proposition I agree, but it seems to me that in order to prove common object it is necessary to establish a connexion between those who take active part in a riot & those who merely utter some words intended to provide encouragement. This can only be done by showing that the former became aware of what the latter said. In this case the active participants in the riot had jumped over the compound wall of the house before the appcts, are said to have shouted words of encouragement. It cannot, therefore, be presumed, that the rioters ever became aware of what the appcts, are alleged to have shouted.
5. Even assuming that the object which the rioters had in mind was the same as the one which the appcts. had, it cannot be said that the two groups had a 'common object' as contemplated by Section 141, I. P.C. The same object is not necessarily a common object, but it becomes so only when it is known to & shared by all having it (i. e.) the same object. In the circumstances, I must hold that no common object has been proved as between the appcts. on the one hand & the rioters on the other. It follows, therefore, that the appcts. cannot be regarded as members of an unlawful assembly. Their conviction is wrong in law. Accordingly, I set aside the conviction & sentence passed against each of the appcts. & direct that the fines, if paid, be refunded.