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Opinion

Physical participation in the crime is not essential for a common intent conviction: HC

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Physical participation in the crime is not necessary for a defendant facing “common intent” charges to be convicted in murder cases, the Nagpur court of the Bombay High Court observed Tuesday while sentencing a Bhandara district worker. Virendra Fule, 32, was charged with carrying a sword, which his two accomplices later used to kill a woman in 2008.

“Defendant No. 3 [Fule] he did not commit any overt act during the assault, but the recorded evidence is sufficient to maintain that he shared the common intention with the other two defendants, “said the court of judges ZA Haq and Amit Borkar, leaving aside Fule’s acquittal.

In January 2016, an additional session judge in Bhandara convicted Fule’s accomplices for the murder and sentenced them to life in prison. The trial court acquitted Fule saying that no overt act was attributed to him. He simply waited outside the house of the woman killed with the sword, he added.

The superior court held that the trial court had not justified Fule’s acquittal. He added that Fule was at the crime scene with the other two convicts, carrying a sword.

“It seems that the accused n. 3 was standing on the verandah as a cover for defendants n. 1 and 2, which proves that he shared a common intention with the other defendants [to kill the woman]) ”, Said the higher court. “Therefore, defendant number 3 can also be convicted … as the prosecution has demonstrated the common intention of all defendants.”

The superior court sentenced Fule to life imprisonment and ordered him to surrender to the trial court by January 15.

Hindustan Times

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