Mizaji vs State of UP interpreted Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code which is related to common object i.e. where several people with the common intention to commit an offence and every person who at the time of committing that offence who is a member of the same assembly is guilty of that offence. Mizaji v State of UP case deals with the common object, unlawful assembly, and murder.
Criminal Appeal No. 81 of 1958
1959 AIR 572
1959 SCR (1) 940
Hon’ble Justice J.L. Kapur
Hon’ble Justice Syed Imam Jaffer
Hon’ble Justice S.K. Das
DATE OF JUDGEMENT
18th December 1958
Section 149 and 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860
FACTS OF MIZAJI VS STATE OF UP
- That on 27th July 1957 in the early morning, the five accused namely Tej Singh, Mizaji, Subedar, Machal and Maiku went in the Sukhna field with the common object of taking the possession of that land which was in the possession of Rameshwar who was the cultivator of that land.
- That the all five had carried some weapons like Tej Singh carries spear, Mizaji had a pistol hidden in his dhoti and Subedar, Machal, Maiku carried the lathis with them.
- The above stated land was disputed and which was divided into three parts, mainly i.e. one of the part was sugarcane crop, the second one where jowar was sown and the third one was not cultivated.
- In the meantime, Maiku plough the field and damaging the crops of jowar and Mizai, Machal and Subedar cut the sugarcanes and Tej Singh stood there by keeping an eye as guard.
- Therefore, Rameshwar and others come over there to protest against the Tej Singh. Then all the accused gathered over there and keep telling to the Rameshwar to go from there otherwise they will kill him.
- That the Rameshwar standing there and denied going from there. Because of this, Mizaji fired at Rameshwar, which causes his death. Thereafter, all the accused ran away from this incident.
LEGAL ISSUES IN MIZAJI v STATE OF UP
Whether they committed the murder with the common object?
Whether section 149 IPC will be applicable there?
CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES
Petitioner- The prosecution contended that the accused went to take possession in the complainant’s absence and therefore their common object was to take possession of land by any means and they were with armed weapons to take possession of the land on which they must have the knowledge that there would also be opposition and their conduct would wholly depend on how they are prepared to accomplish their object.
Defendant- The opposite counsel argued that in these circumstances, they cannot agree that the offence committed was the common object of the assembly. It was clear from the facts that they had divided themselves into three parts and it was only Mizaji who fired with the pistol and no other person used any weapon.
RATIO OF THE CASE
- That both the courts observed that the accused have gone to take the forceful possession of the land with armed weapons. It was unlikely that others did not know that Mizaji had a pistol with him. Their common object was to take the possession of land. Thus, the Mizaji fired at Rameshwar and he is the person responsible for his murder and also Tej Singh was guilty of the abetment of that offence.
- The court concluded their answer on the applicability of Section 149 IPC, that this was observed from their conduct and weapons carried by them. That the one was carried with the pistol, the second one with spear and all the rest three armed with the lathis.
- From this court conclude that members of unlawful assembly were prepared to take possession of land at any cost and murder was held immediately connected with their common object. Therefore, case falls under section 149 IPC and all were guilty of murder.
- It was the Mizaji who carried the pistol from his house by sharing the common object of unlawful assembly with the other members in order to use it in taking the possession and he uses it.
- The court held that there were no mitigating circumstances would be taken into considerations that it was the son who fired the pistol and causes the death on the instance of his father.
- Therefore, court had the opinion to rightly imposed the death sentence of Mizaji and other accused members being guilty under Section 149 IPC and rightly sentenced.
That the Learned Sessions Judge delivering his judgment by accepting the prosecution evidence of eyewitnesses and found that Ram Sarup was in the possession of that field and held that appellants formed an unlawful assembly with the common object of taking the possession of land forcefully and it was in the prosecution of a common object that Mizaji fired the pistol and therefore all were guilty of the offence of rioting and offence under Section 302 and 149 of IPC.
Hence, Mizaji was sentenced to death, and all others were sentenced to life imprisonment.
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