difference between 34 IPC and 149 IPC

pls let me know the difference between 34 IPC and 149 IPC and it's punishments.

Hello, Greetings of the day!

Section 34 of the indian penal code deals with common intention of several persons in furtherance of a pre-planned criminal act.Each of those persons are liable for the said act as it was done by a person alone. However for prosecution under this section,there must be more than 2 persons and less than 5 commiting the criminal act.

Section 149 deals with the offence committed by an unlawful assembly in prosecution of a common object. Every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence. Section 149 deals with the 5 or more people as that would account for unlawful assembly here section 34 is not applicable.

Section 34 talks about common intention whereas section 149 talks about common object such as the common object has a wider scope. 

Please refer to this link for more clarification:


Hope it helps


Sneha Jaiswal


Section 34. Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention – When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

Section 149. Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object —If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.

Distinction between section 34 and section 149

  • The offence under Section 149 is replaced by Section 34 of the IPC, if few of the accused are acquitted and the number of the accused drops below 5. In this instance, the court would have to scrutinize the proof carefully to see if there are some facets of common intention for which it can be held liable under Section 34.
  • Section 34 does not comprise of a particular offence but sets out only the notion of joint criminal culpability. Whereas Section 149 creates a particular offense and being a member of an illegal assembly is itself a criminal offense punishable under Section 143.
  • Common intent’ used in S.34 has not been defined anywhere in the IPC, on the other hand, ‘common object’ is one of the five ingredients mentioned in Section 141 of the IPC.
  • Common intention needs a initial meeting of mind and agreement of purpose, and open action has been taken to encourage the common intention of all the people involved. If the common object of the members of the unlawful assembly is one but the participants’ intention is different, a common object can be created without a prior meeting of mind. It only needs a criminal act to encourage a common purpose.
  • For invoking section 34 it is adequate that two or more individuals were involved in the act. However, to enforce section149 there must be at least 5 people.
  • Participation’ is a key factor for sec 34, whereas active involvement in sec 149 of the IPC is not required.
  • Section 34 requires common intention of any kind. One of the items listed in Section 141 must be a common object under Section 149.

Important Cases –

  • Barendra Kumar Ghosh v. King Emperor
  • Rangaswami v. State of Tamil Nadu
  • Mahboob Shah v. Emperor

For more details, have a look at this article - https://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/differences-between-section-34-and-section-149-ipc-4591.asp


Well prepared and delivered lecture. I agree and appreciate.

However, as per rules of this site it is meant to help needy litigants and not for academic purpose(s).




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