nuisance in tort law

According to the law, a person in possession of a property has the right to enjoy it without interruption. However, we can say that the tort of nuisance has occurred when someone else’s improper use or enjoyment of his property results in an unlawful interference with his enjoyment or use of that property, or some of his rights over it, or in connection with it.

The word “nuisance” comes from the Old French word “nuire,” which means “to harm, or to hurt, or to annoy.” Nuisance is derived from the Latin word “nocere,” which means “to harm.” Nuisance is an affront to a person’s right to unrestricted enjoyment of his property that occurs as a result of another person’s improper use.

Definitions by Various thinkers

According to Stephen, a nuisance is anything done to the detriment or annoyance of another’s tenements or lands that does not constitute trespass.

According to Salmond, nuisance is defined as causing or allowing the escape of any deleterious thing from one’s land or from anywhere into the plaintiff’s land without lawful justification, such as water, smoke, or gas.

Essentials of nuisance

  1. Wrongful act

An act must be prima facie wrongful or an unlawful interference with a person or his property to be considered a nuisance.

  1. Actual damage

Inconvenience or annoyance caused to another, as opposed to sensitivity or delicacy, which the law considers substantial or material.

In Ushaben v. Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir, the plaintiffs-appellants sought a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants-respondents from showing the film “Jai Santoshi Maa.” The plaintiff’s religious feelings were hurt when Goddesses Saraswati, Laxmi, and Parvati were defined as jealous and ridiculed, according to the plaintiff. The court dismissed the claim, ruling that religious feelings were not an actionable wrong and that the Plaintiff was free to refuse to watch the film. As a result, in order to recover damages for Nuisance, the Interference must be in a state of continuous wrongdoing.

Kinds of Nuisance

1. Public Nuisance

A nuisance, according to the Indian Penal Code, is an act that causes any common injury, danger, or annoyance to the people in general who live or occupy the property in the vicinity, or that must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to the people who may have occasion to use any public right.

Public nuisance affects the society and the people who live in it as a whole, or a significant portion of it, as well as the rights that members of the society may have over their property. A public nuisance is an act that adversely affects or interferes with the health, safety, or comfort of the general public.

In order for an individual to have a private right of action in relation to a public nuisance, he must show that he has suffered a personal injury that is greater than that of the general public, and that the injury must be direct rather than consequential. The injury must be demonstrated to have a significant impact.

2. Private Nuisance

A private nuisance occurs when another person interferes with a person’s use or enjoyment of his property. It may also cause harm to the property owner by physically harming his property or interfering with his enjoyment of it.

Elements which constitute a private nuisance

  • The interference must be arbitrary or illegal. It is intended that the act should not be legal justifiable and should be done in a way that no reasonable person would do. Such interference must be in connection with the property or physical discomfort, or it must be with the use or enjoyment of land, or with some rights over the property.


The concept of nuisance is prevalent in everyone’s daily lives; in fact, Indian courts have borrowed heavily from English principles as well as common law decisions, while also setting their own precedents. This has aided the development of the concept of nuisance in the field of law and ensures the fairness and well-being of all parties who may be involved, such as the party who is affected in the case of private nuisance, as well as the society at large in the case of public nuisance.


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