Law of Tort
Law of tort is a legal entity that covers many civil cases. Generally, any claim from a civil court, with the exception of contractual disputes, falls under the Tort of Law. A person is liable for an action that is wrong, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The injured or aggrieved party are responsible for damages. Damage may include compensation for loss of property, medical expenses, mental or physical incapacity, pain and suffering, and punitive damages to punish the offender.
Most of the claims arising from civil cases, and are govern by the law of Tort. The purpose of the tort is to provide relief from the misconduct of others through financial compensation. Compensation in the form of damages is issue by the Court. The victim claims compensation through the Court process. Legal liability under tort may arise as a result of negligence, intentional failure to act when a person is responsible for committing or violating the law.
Therefore, the three categories under the tort are negligent tort, intentional tort, and strict liability.
Categories of Law of Tort
Also read: what are different types of law
In daily life, the word ‘negligence’ means something other than carelessness. Under the legal sense, it highlights the inability to perform the basic care that a performer should have as a reasonable person in all situation. Often, there is a legal issue to be consider where it can be seen in that failure to do so could result injury. Negligence is the way in which many types of injuries can occur by ignoring safety precautions.
Intentional law are wrongful acts which can done on intention. Actually One does not mean to harm, but the other person ends up being harmed. It can be making a prank, or one can definitely mean to harm, such as cases of domestic violence. For example : if you surprise someone with a chronic heart condition, and the fear causes that person to have a heart attack, you deliberately make a mistake, even if you did not mean to scare that person.
A strict liability is a legal doctrine which holds a responsible party accountable for its actions or products, unless the other party proves negligence or mistake. If a person keeps wild animals, using explosives, or making defective products. Then he will be liable if someone another is being harm.
Essential Elements of Tort
Generally, tort can be distinguish from any action or omission commit by the defended against the plaintiff. For which there is no valid reason or excuse and as a result of this conduct, the plaintiff is has to suffer from legal damage or injury.
Wrongful Act/ Omission perform by the defendant
What it means, is that there must be work done by someone who violates another person’s legal rights. Certain movements like, touching of articles, entry into the land, where there is a legal right of another person, or violation of obligation, fall under this category. It means that a person did something that he was not want to do, or that he refuse to doing something that he should not have to do. These violations are enforce by law. When he does not act as a prudent and intelligent person, he is liable to prosecution for wrongdoing or omission. But a serious trial of a wrongful act or omission is the result of prejudice against another person’s legal rights.
As in the case of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs. Subhagwati, where parts of the clock tower fell on certain people. The Apex Court conclude that the local Municipal Corporation is responsible for the maintenance of the tower and for its maintenance, which was omitted. Thus, the deaths cause due to the corporation’s failure to maintain and repair the tower. Therefore, the corporation is guilty.
Violation of Legal Rights
Austin define “legal right” as an organization that resides in a specific party or parties by law given and acting against a party (or parties or responses to work lying in a party or parties) or the groups in which it resides.
In Roger v. Rajendra Dutt case, “The alleged complaint must under the circumstances. It should be legally wrongful in relation to the complaining party. That means, it must infringe on him in certain legal rights, but directly, if it will harm him in his own interest is not enough.”
Legal Damage /Injury
The Law of Torts operates on two maxims, namely “injuria sine damno” and “damnum sine injuria.” Injuria sine damno means a violation of a legal right that may or may not result in injury, loss or damage to the complainant. For example, the right to a healthy environment. On the other hand, Damnum sine injuria means injury or damage done but without infringement of a legal right. For example, expelling competitors from the market without resorting to anti-competitive practices.
The legal remedy is one of the important element of Tort. This element is based on the maxim “ubi jus ibi remedium”. Which means that there is no wrong if there is no remedy. In simple word, tort is actionable only when there is a legal remedy for that wrong.
However, if there is no remedy against the wrongful act, the claim is not justifiable. For example, Indemnity can be sought if property is destroyed ,but not by immoral wrong. Let put in better maxim “ex turpi causa non oritur action”. It means the action does not arise because of immorality or the base cause.
Evolution of Tort in India
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The Supreme Court of India, through its many landmark judgments, has help to shape the law of Torts in India. It is noted many times, that there is a need to integrate tort law to facilitate its greater implementation. The rules of Torts have also apply to several new laws. Laws such as, the Environmental Protection Act 1986, The Consumer Protection Act 1986, The Human Rights Protection Act 1988, The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. However, the branch of tort is still growing and developing in India. Compare to the development of torts in other countries such as the UK and the USA, India is better than those.
Definitions of Tort by different Jurists
According to Salmond Public misconduct in which a remedy is a common law, act in respect of unliquidated damages and which is not specifically a breach of contract or breach of trust or other equivalent obligation.”
Winfield conclude that “Tortious liability arises from breach of duty which is primarily fix by law; this duty is usually address to the people and whose violations are redressable by action for unliquidated damages.”