SECTION 37 IPC : Cooperation through the commission of one of the several offense-generating acts.—Any person who knowingly assists in the commission of an offense by engaging in one of its constituent acts, whether alone or in concert with another person, is guilty of the offense. Illustrations

(A) Z will be poisoned multiple times, at various intervals, by A and B. In accordance with the agreement and with the intention of killing Z, A and B administer the poison. As a result of the multiple poison doses that were given to Z, he passes away. In this case, A and B actively assist in the murder, and even though each of them commits a different act that results in the death, they are both responsible for the crime.

(b) A and B are joint jailors, and as such, they alternately hold custody of Z, a prisoner, for six hours at a time. Z dies of hunger as a result of A and B’s illegal failure to provide him with the food that was provided to them for that purpose during each of Z’s attendance times, which they did with the intent of causing Z’s death. The murder of Z was committed by both A and B.

(c) A, a jailer, is in charge of Z, a prisoner. Z’s strength is significantly diminished as a result of A’s unlawfully withheld food supply, yet this is not enough to cause Z’s death. B replaces A after being fired from his position. Without A’s knowledge or consent, B forcibly withholds nourishment from Z, knowing that by doing so he will likely kill Z. Z passes away from hunger. However, because A refused to work with B, B is not guilty of murder. A is only accountable for trying to murder someone.


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