Author:-Sonia Yadav


Tort law has several objectives. Some of the important objectives are mentioned here-
1. The purpose of tort law is to restore someone who has been injured as a result of the wrong of another to the condition they were prior to the injury by awarding them monetary damages which will pay for medical expenses, lost wages and compensate for physical and mental pain and suffering as a result of their injuries.
 2. To restore the victim to the place they were at before the injury occurred.
 3. To create a system where victims can get redress without resorting to vigilante justice.
 4. Allow victims to seek redress outside of the criminal system.
 5. To deter others from committing tort.

Essential Elements of Tort

There are basically three main elements, which together constitute a tort:
1. There must be a "wrongful act" or "omission" on the part of defendant.
 2. The wrongful act of defendant must result in "legal damage" to the Plaintiff.
3 The wrongful act must be of such a Nature that it gives rise to a "legal remedy" in the form of "Unliquidated damages".
All these three essential things together give rise to a taste. Let us study each essential in more detail.
1. Wrongful act or omission: Wrongful act means any act of defendant which is wrong in the eye of law or contrary to the provisions of law. Therefore causing legal injury to another person. Similarly when there is a legal duty to do some act and a person fails to perform that duty, he can be made liable for such omission.
Note: The wrongful act must be a legal wrong; merely a social or moral right didn't not give rise to tort.
                                                              For example- if a child is drowning in a water body and if a passer-by sees this, then to save him might be his moral duty but it is not his legal duty of that person passing from there. It is very important to note that one can be made liable under tort only when the other person has a duty to take care of another person. To understand this supposed that in the above case if the passer-by was a person who was responsible for taking care of that water body if he saw that the child is drowning and still he didn’t try to save him, then he could be made liable. Because it was his duty as he was assigned to take care of that place. To make it clearer, let us discuss an important case.
Case: Glasgow coronary v. Taylor,1992: In this case the defendant failed to put proper fencing around the poisonous tree due to which a 7 year child pluck and eats the fruit orchestra and dies. The defendant was held liable in this case as it was legal duty of defendant to take due care of such foreseeable damage.
2. Legal damage: It simply means infringement of legal right or breach of legal duty. Unless there has been a violation of legal rights there can be no action under the law of torts. If there is violation of legal right the same will be actionable whether, as a consequence of that particular act, the plaintiff has suffered any actual loss or not. To understand this, we have to deal with two very important maxims:

• Injuria sine damno and
• Damnum Sine Injuria.
Here, Injuria means LEGAL INJURY, (infringement of legal right/duty),
Sine means WITHOUT,
Damno means DAMAGE (may be in the form of money, comfort, health, reputation or the like.

Injuria Sine Damno

Injuria sine Damno means legal injury without any damage to the plaintiff. It is actionable per se I. e actionable without proof of loss. In such cases plaintiff does not need to prove that he suffered harm due to the act of defendant. In such cases, the only thing that the plaintiff has to prove is that his legal right has been violated. Every person has an absolute right to his property, to the immunity of his person, and to his liberty & infringement of this right is actionable per se
Case: I. Bhim singh v. State of J & k: In this case petitioner was an M.L.A. Of Jammu and Kashmir. While he was going to attend the assembly session he was retained by some police officer and they did not allow him to go. He was going to attend an assembly session which was organized at 11th September, 1985. There was also a voting session at the assembly and he was not able to vote. As a result, he was deprived of his constitutional right.
Mr. Bhim Singh was arrested and was not presented before the magistrate for four days. He was not able to vote but the person to whom he wanted to give his vote won but his right to vote was infringed.
After he was not satisfied with the judgement of the high court, he went to the Supreme Court by filing the writ petition under article 32 of the Indian constitution. The court awarded him 50,000 rupees compensation because his fundamental rights were infringed by the state. As he was deprived to attend assembly session and his right to vote, right to live with dignity etc. were infringed.
Case: Ashby vs. White: In this case the plaintiff was a qualified voter at a parliamentary election, while the defendant who was a returning officer in election wrongfully refused to take a vote of the plaintiff. Although the plaintiff didn’t suffer any loss by such wrongful act as the candidate he wants to vote won the election, the legal rights of the plaintiff were infringed and therefore the defendant was held liable.

Damnum sine Injuria

It means damage which is not coupled with an unauthorized interference with the plaintiff’s lawful right. Causing of damage, however substantial, to another person is not actionable in law unless there is also the violation of a legal right of the plaintiff.
Case: Gloucester Grammar School:   in which a schoolmaster, set-up a rival school to that of the plaintiff and since because of the competition the plaintiff had to reduce their fees from 40 pence to 12 pence per quarter. Thus claimed for compensation from the defendants for the losses suffered.
It was held that the plaintiff had no remedy for the losses suffered, since the act though morally wrong has not violated any legal right of the plaintiff. The court presumes in cases where the legal right has been infringed that damages have to be awarded, but in cases where no legal right has been infringed, the maxim Damnum sine Injuria applies & no remedies are available for the same.
So, it can be rightly said that an act which is lawfully or legally done, without negligence, & in the exercise of a legal right, such damages as comes to another thereby is damage without injury.
Case: Ushaben vs. Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir: In this case, the plaintiff pleaded before the court to issue a permanent injunction order on the film named, Jai Santoshi Maa. According to her, the film hurt the religious feelings of the plaintiff.
It was observed that hurting of religious sentiments did not result in any legal injury, and also that other than the plaintiff no one’s feelings were hurt. Therefore it was held that the defendant was not liable.
Case: Vishnu Dutt Sharma vs. Board of High School and Intermediate Examination: In this case the plaintiff was a student who was wrongfully detained by the Principal, on the basis of misconstruction of the relevant regulations, on the account of shortage of attendance. The plaintiff filed a suit and argued that he was entitled to damages as he had suffered loss of one year. But, the court ruled that the plaintiff cannot claim compensation as misconstruction of regulations does not amount to a tort.
3. Legal Remedies: It is the last essential of torts. To be successful in taking action in law of torts it is necessary that the act or the omission must fall under the category for which the remedy is available. The essential remedy for torts is an action. Law of torts is a development of ubi jus ebi remedium, which means that where there is a wrong there is a remedy. Thus where there is no legal remedy there is no legal wrong. And to award legal damages for the civil wrong is the basic purpose of law of tort.

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