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Mehboob Shah v. Emperor (AIR 1945 PC)

Parties Involved

PetitionersMehboob Shah
Citation: AIR 1945 PC

Facts of the case

On 25th August 1943, at sunrise, Allah Dad, deceased, with a few others left their village by boat for cutting reeds growing on the bank of Indus River. About a mile downstream, they saw Mehboob Shah, father of Wali Shah, who warned them against collecting reeds from the land belonging to them. Ignoring which they collected reeds from their land. While returning, Ghulam Quasim Shah, nephew of Mehboob Hussain Shah, stopped them and pulled the boat with a rope and asked to return the reeds. Allah dad picked up the lari from the boat and struck Quasim Shah. Quasim Shah then shouted out for help to which Wali Shah and Mehboob Shah arrived. When Allah dad and Hamidullah tried to run away, Wali Shah and Mehboob Shah came in front of them, and Wali Sha fired at Allah dad, who fell dead and Mehboob Shah fired at Hamidullah, causing injuries to hurt.


The appellant Mahboob Shah was of age 19 and was convicted by Session Judge of the charge s.302 with s.34 for the murder of Allah Dad. The Session court sentenced him for death. The High Court of Judicature also confirmed the death sentence.


  1. Where did the Apple it has been rightly convicted of murder upon the true construction of section 34 of the Indian penal code, 1860?
  2. Whether a common intention to commit the crime, which was eventually committed by Mehboob Shah and Wali Shah, came into being the Ghulam Quasim Shah shouted to his companions to come to his rescue?


There was no evidence, and there were no circumstances from which it might be inferred that the appellant must have been acting in concert with Wali Shah in purse wins of a concerted plan when he, along with him, rushed to the rescue of Ghulam Quasim. The sole point which requires consideration now is whether a common intention to commit the crime came into being when Ghulam shouted to his companions to come to his rescue. Both of them emerged from behind the bushes and fired their respective guns. The appellant and Wali Shah had the same intention, which is the intention to rescue Quasim if need, be by using the weapons, the evidence falls far short of showing that the appellant and Wali Shah ever entered into a pre-mediated consult to bring about the murder of a Ladakh. Care must be taken not to confuse the same or similar intention with common intention.

Common intention implies a pre-arranged plan and acting in concert according to the plan. Common intention comes into being prior to the commission of the act, which need not be a long gap. To bring this section into effect, a pre-concert is not necessarily be proved, but it may well develop on the spot as between several persons and could be inferred from facts and circumstances of each case.


  • The court hurriedly ordered the Union Carbide Company on February 14, 1989 to pay a one-time settlement sum of US $470 Million as compensation before March 31, 1989. However, in May 4, 1989 the court passed an order giving reasons for this judgement.

    The Supreme Court ordered Union Carbide to pay US $470 million against all the destruction that the leak of MIC gas from the industrial premise. In the reasoned order Justice Pathak said that it was the duty of the court to secure immediate relief to the victims and that the court did not enter into any virgin territory. The compensation of $470 million was calculated by applying the polluters pay principle.

    Analysis showed the at an amount less than INR 50,000 was to be delivered to each victim, which was much less than the amount promised by the government.

    Therefore, the validity of the settlement done was challenged in Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India. The petitioners in this case argued that the drop of criminal proceeding against Union Carbide was illegal and the amount of Compensation was inappropriate to the injury the disaster caused. On the point that whether such compensation is adequate or not the majority bench held that the said compensation is adequate, reasonable and fair and in case any deficiency arises in money for rehabilitation, such money shall be tendered by the Union & State government. On this point Ahmadi J. dissented with the majority that when Union of India is not even remotely connected to the MIC leak in UCIL then how it could be made liable to pay the damages. In his opinion any deficiency that may arise in rehabilitation of victims must be tendered by Union Carbide as applying the formula of Rylands v. Fletcher.

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