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Chapter 1 Introduction

Why do we have laws? From the notion of right and duties. The very idea of not violating somebodys right gives rise to a duty i.e. to respect the rights of others. Law provides us with a tool, a method of protecting ourselves as well as others from causing harm. DEFINITION: The word tort has been derived from the Latin term tortum to twist which is not straight or lawful. Torts are acts by which on e person violates the right of another person. However, Tort may rise not only from action as well as.

Chapter 2 Fundamental of Tort


1. Law to Tort is a civil wrong: Different from a criminal wrong. A civil wrong the injured party, i.e., the plaintiff, can file a suit against the wrongdoer and claim compensation, which in the legal contract will be called damages. PLAINTIFF DEFENDANT Is the sufferer, who is injured who files the complaint. Stands as the opposite party who is accused of the wrong who does not accept the allegation of the plaintiff. TORT AS A CIVIL WRONG Wrongs, which are less serious, are considered to be private wrongs and have been called civil wrongs. More serious wrongs are considered to be public wrongs and are called crimes, Blackstone. Wrongs are divisible into sorts of species; private wrongs and public wrongs are breach and violation of public rights and duties which affect the whole community considered as a community. CIVIL WRONG CRIMINAL WRONG Civil wrongs are not acted upon by the State. States takes action against the criminal to protect State does not take action against a person A civil wrong is a violation of private rights. the interests of the public. State is always the prosecutor in a criminal case. However, such violation shocks the conscience of

the society, and affects the general public. Certain actions may fulfill the requirement of both a civil wrong and a criminal wrong. Some examples of such wrongs are Assault, Negligence and Nuisance. In a criminal case, a lawyer has to prove allegations beyond any reasonable doubt while in civil law the requirement is not so strict. The same act can result in civil liability and criminal liability at the same time. The state will punish for the criminal liability, while the individual who was affected can claim compensation under civil law. While answering a question, if the principle is based on tort law, apply tort law and if it is criminal law then apply the principles of criminal law. II. c. Tort is other then a mere breach of contract or breach of trust: It is possible for an act to fall under two or more civil wrongs, one of which may be a tort. However in such a situation, the plaintiff has to choose the head under which he can claim damages. One cannot claim damages twice for a particular wrong. Remember that the purpose of civil law is to provide damages to the injured party. Tort Breach of Contract When there is a breach of such duties which are not Violation or breach of a duty undertaken by the undertaken by the parties by agreement between parties themselves. Entered into by the parties themselves, but which are imposed by law voluntarily. There is a duty not to assault or defamed anyone, or If there is violation of a duty that otherwise does not to commit nuisance or trespass into someone land, exist but came into existence between two parties not because of a contractual obligation undertaken because they entered into a contract, then there but because these are duties imposed by law. III. would be breach of contract.

Tort is rederisible by an action for unliqulidated damages: The compensation payable to the plaintiff most common remedy for torts.

Unliqulidated and liquidated damages: Damages in the case of a tort are unliqulidated. As breach of contract or breach of trust, where the damages may be liquidated. Why do we have unliqulidated damages is Tort Law? Putting in the previous position is called restitution. For instance, if I commit a negligent act, later on I cannot undo such an act. There is no point crying over split milk, but in such a situation, a way of remedying the situation somewhat is by awarding damages. Liquidated damages previously determined or agreed compensation has not been determined but determination of the same is left to the discretion of the court, the damages are said to be unliqulidated damage.

Q.

Identify torts from among the following? a. Harsh agrees to meet his girlfriend at the cinema for a movie but does not turn up His girlfriend having bought tickets and having waited for him for long decides to break up with him. She also wants to recover the amount she spent on the tickets. Can she do so under tort law? b. Dheeraj has not cleaned his room in ages and its given out a stink that makes his neighbors fall sick. His neighbors want to recover their medical bills from him. Can they do so under tort law? c. d. Someone steals five hundred bucks from Ankits wallet. Ankit suspects his servant of doing this. Can he recover the money form his servant by bringing a tort suit against him? Vikas a lawyer lets out confidential information about his client to the press. Can his client use his under tort law?

Chapter 3 Essentials of Tort


The defendant should make an act or omission: Done some act, which he was not expected to de (trespassing) he must have omitted to do something, which he was supposed (omitted to take care to keep his ferocious dog within his premises) TRY BEING A JUDGE: A municipal corporation has a public park with no proper fencing. The park has a tree with poisonous berries. A child entered the garden and plucked a berry and ale it, and subsequently suffered acute food poisoning. In such a situation can the corporation be made liable for any omission? If yes, what was the omission on their part? 2. The damages should be caused by an act or omission: The legal damage is also called injured which srgnities legal mjury. Following are the two maxims, which are required to check the validity of the claim. In simple term these parameters. Injuria sine damno

Violation of a legal right without causing any harm, loss or damage there is no need to prove that as a result of an act, the plaintiff has suffered actual harm. The only thing that has to be proved is that the plaintiffs legal right. Example: An ideal example is where the plaintiff, a voter at a parliamentary election was not allowed to vote by the returing officer, the defendant. There was no loss suffered by the plaintiff as the candidate for whom he wanted to vote won the election. However the plaintiff has a legal right to vote violation of that right entitled him to make a claim in tort. This is a perfect example where one can file a claim in court even though there has been no actual loss or injury. Damnum sine injuria Damage is caused without violation of any right. Irrespective of the injury suffered, there can be no remedy Unless there has been an mjuria or violation of a legal right. Refresher Problems: Q. Identify the cases in which legal injury has been caused. a. Vasundhara makes some statements regarding inappropriate behavior of a certain girl in a particular party. The girl who was not expressly named takes affront at this and feels ridiculed and insulated. Does she have a remedy under tort law? b. Nagarjun and a few others students decide to start a study group before the exams and exchange each others notes. Owing to this co-operation most of them manage to score higher grades then the earlier class topper Gautam who feels the group has conspired against him and colluded to dethrone him from the top position. Does he have a remedy in tort law? c. Arjun gets lacked inside his room by his forgetful room-mate and hence misses lunch. He wants to see his roommate. For wrong d. Nisha as the reignine beauty queen at National Law School and her popularity was helpful by her in and made friends with all of Nishas admirers, she became the new beauty queen. Nisha feels that Akankshaas actions were deliberate in nature and directed at her and wants to use her under tort law?

Chapter 4 Strict and Absolute Liability

One of the fundamental aspects of all legal principles is that a person can be held responsible only if he has caused the harm. A person can be held even though he is not responsible for the harm, also known as no fault liability. The two rules in respect of no-fault liability are as follows : A. B. Strict Liability Absolute Liability

Came to origin after the English case called Raylands V Fletcher (1868). Even if the defendant was not negligent or rather, even if the defendant did not intentionally cause the harm or he was careful, he could still be made liable for the damage. The defendant in the situation constructed a reservoir on a land to provide water to his mill. He was not aware that there were some disused mineshafts next to the reservoir. The water burst through the reservoir into the disused minehalfts and flooded the plaintiff coalmines on the adjoining land. There was no negligence on the part of the defendant or on the part of the independent contractors. If a person brings a potentially dangerous thing on his land, and if such a thing escapes and does damage, then such person should be held responsible, even if he were not negligent. In this case the huge reservoir was said to be the potentially dangerous thing. For the applications of the rule, the following three essentials are necessary . 1. Some dangerous thing must have been brought by a person on his land. TRY BEING A JUDGE: What is a dangerous thing? Is electric fence a dangerous thing? 2. 3. It must be non-natural use of land. The thing thus brought or kept by a person on his land must escape. I. II. III. IV. V. Plaintiff own default Act of God Consent of plaintiff Act of third party Statutory Authority

Defense to Strict Liability

Rule of Absolute Liability.

Absolute liability is similar to the strict liability, the only difference being that there are no defenses available. This would be applicable only when extremely dangerous activities are involved. This is a principle developed in Indian courts. Case of M.C. Mehta v Union of India (1987). In this case there was a leakage of Oleum gas from one of the units of Sriram Industries in Delhi, this resulting in injury of several people. The Supreme Court of India moved beyond the principle of strict liability and evolved a new rule creating absolute liability for harm caused by nazardous industries. This liability has no defense at all, if ingredients can be proved. The logic used was that a person who carries on a dangerous activity for profit is responsible for any harm that may flow fro such activity, and also that the enterprise alone has the opportunity and resources to discover and guard against such hazards or dangers. This principles was followed in the famous Bhopal Gas Leak case as well as other environmental pollution cases a where general masses suffered adversely.

Chapter 5 Defamation
Introduction Defamation is the harmful act to degrade or hamper ones reputation. If a person does such an act, he does so at his own risk. Reputation of any person is rated to be of high value. You cannot say that a property has value and reputation does not have. 1. 2. Slander Libel SLANDER Is the publication of a defamatory statement in a transient / temporary form. This may be his spoken words or gestures. LIBEL Is the representation made in some permanent form e.g., writing, printing, picture, effigy or staute. A method for distinguishes between libel and slander would be that libel is addressed to the even ile slander is addressed to the ear. Essentials of defamation 1. Statement has to be defamatory 2. The statement should refer to the plaintiff.

3. Statement has to be a published one, 1. Statement has to be defamatory It may be oral, in writing, printed or by the exhibition of a picture, statue or effigy or by some product. It need not be an express statement; it can be implied form the conduct of a person. Example: In the case D.P. Choudhary v Manjulataj There was a publication in a local newspaper that Manjulata, had eloped with a boy named Kamlesh. The girl belonged to a well-educated family and was attending college. The news item was untrue and has been published without basis or justification. The statement was defamatory, and the defendants were held liable. 2. 3. The statement should refer to the plaintiff. In an action for defamation, the plaintiff has to prove that the alleged statement refers to him Statement has to be a published one In the case Mahendra Ram v Hairandan Prasad. The defendant sent a letter to the plaintiff which was defamatory and was written in the language Urdu. Since plaintiff was unable to read Urdu, this letter was read by a third party. It was held that the defendant was not liable it was proved that at the time of writing the letter in Urdu script, the defendant knew that the Urdu script was not known to the plaintiff and it would require reading of the letter by a third person. Defenses The defenses to an action for defamation are: 1. 2. 3. Justification or Truth Fair Comment Privilege, which may be either absolute or qualified. Example:

1. Justification or Truth If the alleged defamatory statement is a truth then according to law of Tort it is a complete defence. 2. Fair Comment 3. Privilege, which may be either absolute or qualified.