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Not easy to prove guilt

Sixty-three persons have been accused of bludgeoning Lalit Kumar Chaudhury to death. To secure the conviction of all of them for murder, proving the “common intention” holds the key, reports Harish V Nair.

delhi Updated: Sep 24, 2008 00:31 IST
Harish V Nair

Sixty-three persons have been accused of bludgeoning Lalit Kumar Chaudhury to death. To secure the conviction of all of them for murder, proving the “common intention” (section 34 of Indian Penal Code) holds the key.

As per it “when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such person is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone”. “If the common intention is proved then even if only three or four persons dealt the deadly blow, all 63 can be convicted of murder. It will be deemed as if they were acting in concert”, says criminal lawyer Ashok Sethi.

“It is risky for the prosecution to paint everybody with one brush. They should have made extra efforts to zero in on who actually dealt the blows”, says Sodhi, who had convicted accused in Jessica Lall and Priyadarshini Mattoo cases.