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Avanashi Goundan and ors. Vs. Palani Madari - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939Mad406; (1939)1MLJ259
AppellantAvanashi Goundan and ors.
RespondentPalani Madari
Excerpt:
- .....all of them were liable by virtue of section 149, indian penal code, in respect of all the acts committed by the various individuals. it is thus clear that the head and front of the offences charged against them was the rioting or rather the forming of an unlawful assembly with an unlawful common object and the doing of various acts in prosecution of that common object. the trial court itself found that the common object had not been established and therefore the petitioners were acquitted of the offence punishable under section 148, indian penal code and they have been convicted only in respect of individual acts said to have been committed by them which are alleged to constitute offences under various sections of the penal code such as sections 352, 323, 324 and 325. once it is.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Pandrang Row, J.

1. This is a petition to revise the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge of Coimbatore dated the 14th day of March, 1938, dismissing the appeal preferred by the petitioners from their convictions and sentences under various sections of the Penal Code. The charges framed against the petitioners who are nine in number and two others were briefly as follows: - that they were members of an unlawful assembly on the 14th September, 1937, at Chinna Puthur and did, in prosecution of the common object of such assembly, namely, to assault and cause hurt to the chucklers of the village, commit the offence of rioting and that in prosecution of the common object certain individual members of that assembly committed certain individual acts and finally that all the accused eleven in number have thus under Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code committed offences punishable under Sections 148, 352, 323, 324 and 325 of the Indian Penal Code. It is clear that the charge which the petitioners were called upon to meet in the trial Court was that they were members of an unlawful assembly which had a common unlawful object and that as in the prosecution of that common object, various acts were committed by different individuals among the members of that assembly, all of them were liable by virtue of Section 149, Indian Penal Code, in respect of all the acts committed by the various individuals. It is thus clear that the head and front of the offences charged against them was the rioting or rather the forming of an unlawful assembly with an unlawful common object and the doing of various acts in prosecution of that common object. The trial Court itself found that the common object had not been established and therefore the petitioners were acquitted of the offence punishable under Section 148, Indian Penal Code and they have been convicted only in respect of individual acts said to have been committed by them which are alleged to constitute offences under various sections of the Penal Code such as Sections 352, 323, 324 and 325. Once it is found' that a common object has not been established, it must be held that the acts which were alleged to constitute these offences had nothing in common between them, and there would be no justification for a joint trial being held in respect of such acts as against different accused. The acts were committed not only by different accused but against different persons, and it would appear, in different places - in all probability in the houses of the various persons who were injured. There was thus no justification for the joint trial once it was found that the common unlawful object had not been established, and I have no doubt that apart from the improper character of the joint trial, the petitioners must have been really prejudiced in their defence by the joint trial; they must throughout have been concentrating their efforts on meeting the prosecution case that there was an unlawful assembly with an unlawful common object and they could not have anticipated that even if they succeeded in showing that the prosecution had not established the substance of their case, namely, that there was an unlawful assembly with an unlawful common object, nevertheless they would be convicted in respect of individual acts in the same trial. I am therefore of opinion that the convictions and sentences passed on the petitioners after a trial which was not held in accordance with law cannot be sustained. They are therefore set aside and there must be separate retrials of the petitioners in respect of their alleged individual acts before a competent Magistrate to be selected by the District Magistrate. The fines, if paid, should be refunded to the petitioners from whom they have been collected.


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