1. Principle: Section 34 of Indian Penal Code provides that ‘When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the 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.’
Facts: Three vagabonds, Sanju, Dilbag and Sushil decided to commit burglary. In the night, Sushil opened the lock and they broke into a rich man’s house when the entire family was on a pilgrimage. Sanju had gone to that house earlier in connection with some cleaning job. There was only a servant lady in the house. Hearing some sounds from the master bed room, the servant switched on the lights and went up to the room from where she heard the sound. Noticing that the servant was going to cry for help, Sanju grabbed her and covered her mouth with his hands and dragged her into the nearby room. The other two were collecting whatever they could from the room. When they were ready to go out of the house, they looked for Sanju and found him committing rape on the servant. They all left the house and the servant reported the matter to the police and identified Sanju. Subsequently, all three were arrested in connection with the offences of house breaking, burglary and rape. Identify the legal liability of the three.
(a) All three are liable for all the offences as there was common intention to commit the crimes
(b) Only Sanju will be liable for rape as he was the one who actually committed the offence
(c) Sanju will be liable only for housebreaking and rape as he did not participate in the burglary
(d) Only Dilbag and Sushil are liable for burglary in looting the house, and all three will be liable for housebreaking and rape as they did not stop Sanju from committing the offence and hence were accomplice to the offence.
2. Principle: If a party to a contract agrees to it under undue influence of any other party then the party under the undue influence may refuse to perform in accordance with the agreement.
Facts: A, a rich youngster became a member of a religious group and soon he was appointed by P the head of the group as his personal secretary. As per the rules of the group, all officials and staff of the group were supposed to stay in the group’s official premises itself. Some days later, A was asked by P to execute a Gift deed in favour of P, in which it was mentioned that all immovable properties in his name are being gifted to P. A was unwilling to execute the deed, but he was forcefully restrained by P and his body guards in P’s office and made A sign the gift deed. Soon after this A left the group and refused to hand over the property as agreed to in the gift deed. Is A’s action valid?
(a) As Gift is also a contract, the consent of A was not obtained by P while executing the deed
(b) A executed the deed, under compulsion and undue influence, and was right in withdrawing from the contract
(c) It is illegal for religious groups acquire property from its members
(d) As the gift deed was executed by A, he cannot refuse.
3. Principle: A master shall be liable for the fraudulent acts of his servants committed in the course of employment. However, the master and third parties must exercise reasonable care in this regard.
Facts: Rahul was a door to door salesman with United Manufacturing Company (the Company). The Company was manufacturing Water Purifiers. Rahul, along with the Company’s products, used to carry Water Purifiers manufactured by his Cousin in a local Industrial Estate. He used to sell the local product at a lower rate giving the impression to the buyers that he is offering a discount on the Company’s product. The Company Management detected the fraudulent activity of Rahul and dismissed him from service. Rahul still continued to carry on with his activity of selling the local product pretending that he was still a salesman of the Company. Several customers got cheated in this process. The fraud was noticed by the Company when the customers began to complain about the product. The customers demanded the Company to compensate their loss.
(a) The liability rests with the local manufacturer as it was a defective product
(b) The Company is liable to the customers who purchased the local product from Rahul only till he remained as a salesman of the Company
(c) The Company is not liable as Rahul was dismissed by the Company
(d) The Company is liable to compensate all the customers as it did not inform the public about Rahul’s fraudulent conduct and the subsequent dismissal.
4. Principle: It is a case of fraud where a party to a contract knows or believes a fact to be true, but conceals it actively from the other party with a view to induce that person to enter into the contract.
Facts: While taking a life insurance policy, in reply to questions by the insurance company during the inquiry into his proposal, Zameer deliberately concealed the fact of his medical treatment for a serious ailment, which he had undergone only a few weeks ago.
(a) The act of Zameer did not amount to any misrepresentation
(b) The act of Zameer amounted to innocent misrepresentation
(c) The concealment of fact by Zameer amounted to fraud
(d) The act of Zameer did not amount to fraud, as disclosing the fact would have resulted in exposure of his privacy.
Answers: 1(b), 2(b), 3 (d), 4 (c)