Indian Penal Code (IPC)
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 or 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.
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—The same as for the offence—According as offence is cognizable or non-cognizable—According as offence is bailable or non-bailable—Triable by court by which the offence is triable—Non-compoundable.
Scope and applicability
(i) When the charge is under section 149, the presence of the accused as part of unlawful assembly is sufficient for conviction even if no overt act is imputed to him; Yunis alias Kariya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2003 SC 539.
(ii) Conviction by taking recourse to section 149 cannot be made out unless five specified objects enumerated in section 141 are not proved; Ramashish v. State of Bihar, 1999 (6) JT 560: 1999 (2) JCC (SC) 471.
(iii) Even if no overt act is imputed to a particular person, when the charge is under section 149, the presence of the accused as part of unlawful assembly is sufficient for conviction; Yunis alias Kariya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2003 SC 539.
Joint liability of members of unlawful assembly
(i) It is well settled that once a membership of an unlawful assembly is established, it is not incumbent on the prosecution to establish whether any specific overt act has been assigned to any accused. Mere membership of the unlawful assembly is sufficient; State of Maharashtra v. Joseph Mingel Koli, (1997) 2 Crimes 228 (Bom).
(ii) Every member of an unlawful assembly is vicariously liable for the acts done by others either in the prosecution of the common object of the unlawful assembly or such which the members of the unlawful assembly knew were likely to be committed; State of Maharashtra v. Joseph Mingel Koli, (1997) 2 Crimes 228 (Bom).