Nuisance

INTRODUCTION

Tort can be said to be a civil wrong in its nature but actually it is a residuary law, remaining uncodified in its form.  The term ‘Tort’ has been defined by several jurists naming them:

  • 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.”
  • Winfield: “Tortious liability arises primarily from the breach of the duty fixed by law. This duty is towards persons generally and it’s breach is redressable by an action for unliquidated damages”
  • Pollock: “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”
  • Section 2(m) of the Limitation Act, “ Tort means a civil wrong not exclusively breach of contract or trust”.

Nuisance are of two types:

  1. Public Nuisance
  2. Private nuisance

PUBLIC NUISANCE

Public nuisance is a wrong against public at large and Is punishable as an offence. If a person is suffering from additional damages apart from the one inflicted upon then he can file a civil suit claiming damages but the burden would be upon the person claiming additional damages.

PRIVATE NUISANCE

Private nuisance is a civil wrong against a particular person only. It basically refers to the Unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of land resulting in some injury.

ESSENTIALS OF PRIVATE NUISANCE ARE:

  • Interference must be unreasonable

If interference is reasonable one then the person would not be able to claim any sort of damages if any injury Is inflicted upon him. Thereby to claim damages for the injury caused, the person have to show an unreasonable interference.

  • With peaceful use

The plaintiff has to show that the interference caused is upon the peaceful enjoyment of his land.

  • Damages

The remedy which the person suffering from the nuisance can claim is damages.

 

There are some defences available as well to the defendant:

  1. Prescription:

It is a title acquired by the use of property and the time which is allowed within the law. If a person is enjoying the property for a continuous period of twenty years without any obstruction then his act is legalised.

Prescription is explained in section 26 of the Limitation Act.

  1. Allowed by the statue

Where the act done by the person is justified by any statute.

REMEDIES AVAILABLE

  1. INJUNCTION

The party suffering injury can file a suit for injunction that is to prohibit the defendant from further carrying out the act.

  1. DAMAGES

The party whose rights are injured or there is an unreasonable interference with the right to use land can claim damages from the defendant.

  1. Abatement

Abatement means removal of the nuisance by the party who has made it without any legal proceedings initiated against him.

 

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