At the post office, the sub-postmaster was sitting at his desk and counting the money. While he was doing this, several men appeared and asked him to give the money. Almost immediately, they fired at him which hit him at two places due to which he died. After this, without taking the money, the men ran away but one person, the appellant was caught along with the pistol. There were three men who fired at the postmaster and there was one man waiting outside who did not fire but was armed. The man waiting outside admitted to robbery but did not admit to murder as he claimed that he was just waiting outside and did not commit any wrongful act.
Whether an omission to do an act can come under ‘act done’ under Section 34 IPC?
Section 34 IPC.
The Court observed that an Act under Section 34 IPC will also include an omission and gives the example of not doing something, which if done, could prevent murder. The Court pointed that, “they also serve who only stand and wait”, and the prisoner, by waiting near the door did exactly that. The Court said that several persons may do several different or similar acts, in pursuit of one common intention. When there is one common intention, the Court explains that even if one person did not commit the fatal act done by another, he will be responsible for it as it will be presumed that he was the one who did it.
The Privy Council agreed with Trial Court and High Court and the accused was held to be guilty of murder.