Author : Simran Singh

Definitions of law of tort

Section (2) (M) of limitation act 1963, “tort means a civil wrong which is not exclusively the breach of contract and breach of trust.”
According to Salmond, “Tort is a civil wrong for which the remedy is a common law action for unliquidated damages, and which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of a trust, or other merely equitable obligation
Sir Percy Winfield defines torts as, “Tortious liability arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by law. This duty is towards persons generally and its breach is redressable by an action for unliquidated damages”
According to Pollock’s, “tort is an act or omission (not merely the breach of a duty arising out of personal relations, or undertaken by a contract which is related to harm suffered by a determinate person, giving rise to a civil remedy which is not an action of contract”
According to Ratanlal and Dhirajlal, “tort is civil wrong independent of breach of contract for which the appropriate remedy is an action for unliquidated damages.”

With these definitions one can draw a common notion:
I.                    Tort is a civil wrong,
II.                  Tortious liability arises from the breach of the duty which is fixed by law or any statutory body,
III.                Damages are provided on the infringement of legal rights.

        ORIGIN of LAW OF Torts:

Before the triumph of William the conqueror (who led the Norman Conquest) in England the whole legal system was sloppy and indefinite. It varied from case to case. So to engulf those regional laws which had been developed in past 2 centuries, some distinguished judges were appointed to travel those areas. They implemented the statutes which were most appropriate in court cases.
These court cases later became legal precedents. Later on these legal precedents achieved the term common law. Hence, law of torts was first originated in common law of England.
French speaking judges and advocates of Court of Normandy in England first used the term tort in Common English law.


Development of law of torts in India

Formally, In India law of torts came through the British legal system and developing till now. It is based on the principles of equity, justice, and good conscience. Unlike the other branches of law, law of tort is not codified. And is most popularly known as judge made law. Although, in deciding these type of cases, our courts also follow the British approach of law, but as the time changes, our judiciary also evolved new principles. In the MC Mehta case, by introducing concepts of absolute liability, Justice Bhagvati positively commented that we are certainly prepared to receive light from whatever source it comes but we have to build our own jurisprudence.”


Post a Comment