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DAMAGES UNDER THE FATAL ACCIDENTS ACT , 1855

In case of fatal accident, the dependents of the deceased are


entitled to compensation under the indian fatal accidents act ,
1855. Section 1-A of the act provides under :
suit for compensation to the family of a person for loss
occasioned to it by his death actionable wrong- whenever
the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act , neglect or
default , and the act , neglect or default is such as would (if death
has not ensued) have entitled the party injured to maintain an
action and recover damages in respect , thereof, the party who
would have been liable if the death had not ensued shall be liable
for an action or suit for damages, not withstanding the death of
the person injured, and although the death shall have been
caused under such circumstances as amount in law to felony or
other crime.every such action shall be for the benefit of the
wife,husband,parent and child , if any, of the person whose death
shall have been cuased, and shall be brought by and in the name
of the executor, adminintrator or representive of the person
deceased , and in every such action the court may give such
damages as it may think proportioned to the loss resulting from
such death to the parties respectively, for whom and for whose
benefit , such action shall be brought and the amount so
recovered , after deducting all costs and expenses, including the
costs not recovered from the defendant, shall be divided amongst
yhe before mentioned parties or an y of them in such shares as
the court by its judgement or decree shall direct.

THE DEPENDENTS WHO CAN CLAIM COMPENSATION


A claim under the act can be made only for the benefit of certain
heirs, i.e., the wife, husband, parent or child. For the benefit of

only this category of people the claim can be brought by and in


the name of the admininstrator, executor, or the representative of
the person deceased. No action can be brought by the brothers or
sisters of the deceased as they are not legal representatives
under this act. In Budha v. Union of India , an action brought by
the brother to recover compensation under the fatal accidents act
was dismissed.

INJUNCTIONS
An injunction is an order of the court directing the doing of some
act or restraining the commission or continuance of some act. The
court has the discretion to grant or refuse this remedy and when
remedy by way of damages is a sufficient relief , injunction will
not be granted. The injunctions are of various kinds :-

Temporary and perpetual injunctionThese have been defined in section 37, specific relief act, 1963 as
follows(1)
A temporary injunction is such as is to continue until a
specified time ,or until further orders of court
(2)
A perpetual injunction is one by which the defendant is
perpetually enjoined from the assertion of a right, or from
the commission of an act which could be contrary to the
right of the plaintiff.
A temporary or interlocutory injunction is generally granted
before the case has been heard on merits and it is only
provisional and , as such, continues until the case is heard on its
merits or until the further orders of the court. It does not mean
determination in favour of the plaintiff but simply shows that
there is a substantial question requiring consideration. Where it is,
for example, intended that the property should continue to remain
in its existing condition rather than being destroyed or wrongfully
disposed or before the final decision , such an injunction will be
issued. If court, after fully going into the matter, finds that the
plaintiff is entitled to relief, the temporary injunction will be
replaced by perpetual injunction. If however the plaintiffs case is

found to be unjust , the injunction will be dissolved. A perpetual


injunction is a final order and is issued after the full consideration
of the case.

PROHIBITORY AND MANDATORY INJUNCTION


Prohibitory injunction forbids the defendants from doing some act
which will interfere with the plaintiffs lawful rights. The examples
of it are restraining the defendant from commiting or continuing
the acts like trespass or nuisance.
Mandatory injunction is an order which requires the defendant to
do some positive act, for example, an order to pull down a wall
which causes obstruction to the plaintiffs right to light . you
should not construct a wall is a prohibitory injunction and you
should demolish the wall is a mandatory injunction.

SPECIFIC RESTITUTION OF PROPERTY


When the plaintiff has been wrongfully dispossessed his movable
or immovable property, the court may order that the specific
property should be restored back to the plaintiff. Recovery of land
can be made by an action for ejectment and the recovery of
chattels by an action for detinue .
EXTRA JUDICIAL REMEDIES
Apart from the above stated remedies of damages, injunctions,
and specific restitution of property which are also known as
judicial remedies, a person may have recourse to certain
remedies outside the court of law. Such remedies are known as
extra judicial remedies. A person may have these remedies by his
own strength by way of self help. The remedies are re-entry of

land, reception of chattels , distress damages feasant and


abatement of nuisance. In the first two cases, a person, by the
use of reasonable force, has the right to recover back the
property to which he is entitled. Distress damage feasant entitles
a person to seize the goods or cattle which have trespassed on
his land until compensation for trespass has been paid.

ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE
An occupier of land is permitted to abate, i.e., to terminate by his
own act, nuisance which is affecting his land. For example, he
may cut the branches or thr roots of neighbourss trees which
have escaped from his land. Generally, before abatement is
made, notice to the other party is required unless the nuisance is
one which, if allowed to continue, will be a danger to the life or
property. When abatement is possible without going on the
wrongdoers land, i.e., cutting of the brances of a tree hanging on
the land of the abater, the same may be done without any notice.
When there are more than one way of abatement, the less
mischievous one should be followed. When a more mischievous
way of abatement is followed, notice of abatement should be
given.

FELONIOUS TORTS
When the tort was a felony, the rule at common law was that
remedy in case of tort was not available until the defendant was
prosecuted for felony or some reasonable justification for not
prosecuting him was shown. Thus, proceeding in case of tort was
suspended until the defendant was prosecuted or some
reasonable justification for not prosecuting him was shown. This
rule has been abolished in England by the passing of criminal law
act, 1956.For eg., when a person commits a theft, it also amounts

to the tort of conversion. It is now possible to sue the defendants


even though he is not prosecuted for theft.
In India , when the same act amounts to a tort as well as criminal
wrong, an action of tort can lie irrespective of the fact whether
any criminal action for the same has been brought or not. Thus,
under indian law, prosecution of the wrongdoer id not a condition
precedent to an action under law of torts, as in England.