THE POWER OF VOLITIONAL ACTS AFTER A FATAL INJURY was murdered, It was held that though there was no evidence as to who actually committed the murder, the four persons having taken the woman out with the knowledge and with the purpose that one of them should murder her, the murder was committed in furtherance of the common intention of all, and all the four accused were guilty of murder. On the other hand, four persons attacked another with lathis with the result that the latter received a single blow on his head which caused his death due to fracture of the skull. There was no other grievous hurt on his body, and there was no evidence as to which of the assailants had struck the fatal blow. It was held (1) that it was impossible to hold that the assailants had any common intention to cause death, nor could it be said that each one* of them knew that death was likely to be caused; (2) that the common intention of the assailants was to give the deceased a good thrashing and they must have known that grievous hurt was likely to be caused; (3) that as it was not known which of the assailants had struck the fatal blow, they could only be convicted of causing grievous hurt.-0 In a case2l where a sudden altercation took place between the complainant and one of the three accused, all the accused beat the complainant in a fit of anger and without any prearranged plan with the result that one of them caused grievous hurt to the complainant. There was no evidence on record as to which of them caused the grievous hurt. It was therefore held that section 34 of the Indian Penal Code being inapplicable to the case none of the accused could be convicted under section 325, I.P.C., but each one of them could be con- victed under section 323, I.P.C. THE POWER OF VOIJTIONAL ACTS IN A VICTIM AFTER RECEIVING A FATAL INJURY Sometimes the prosecution sets up a theory that the victim, after receiving mortal injuries involving a vital organ, such as the brain, was able to speak and mentioned or wrote down the name or names of his assailant or assailants. Similarly, the defence may try to prove an alibi if the accused was seen with the victim a moment before his death at a particular spot and the victim had afterwards moved to some other place on the ground that he could not have walked after having received the fatal injury. In both these cases the medical witness is required to state whether a person is capable of speaking, walking or performing any other volitional act, which would involve bodily and mental power for some time after receiving a fatal injury. A very guarded reply should be given, seeing that a few cases have been recorded in which the victims were able to perform some act as that of walking or climbing requiring some exertion, and survived for some hours or days after receiving very grave injuries, which would ordinarily have proved rapidly fatal. , Cases.—1. One evening, while walking in Bow Bazar in Calcutta, a young Hindu, aged about 18 years, was struck on the head with a piece of wood and knocked down by the violence of the blow. He got Tip and, after some delay, proceeded to the police- station in. Lower Circular Road and laid a charge against his assailant, whose name was not known, but who was arrested and identified by some of the eye-witnesses. From the police-station he walked to the Medical College Hospital, and was then found to have sustained a lacerated wound on the scalp, situated on the left side of the vertex in the frontal reaion. The wound was dressed, and the injured person went to a friend's house, where he spent the night. Next morning he got into a hackney carriage to go to his uncle ; during the drive he began to show signs of compression, and becomiiig unconscious, was removed to the Campbell Hospital, where he died. Post-mortewt examination revealed, besides the external wound of the scalp, a fracture which extend- ing vertically through the temporal region and through the middle fossa ol tihe terminated at the posterior part of the sphenoid.—Iitd. Med. Gaz., Jan. 1894, p. 32* 20. 26 Criminal Law Jour,, 1925, p. 381. 21. Gorey and Bhagwwn and three others v. Rex, Allah. High Crt Cr. &$®ml Ho, of 1947 ; 50 Cr. Laze JM 1949, p. 250.