Tort Cases in India: A Rapid Growth.

Author: Ms. Saloni Ratra, Amity Law School, Noida.

 Introduction

Tort is defined as An area of law that deals with the wrongful actions of an individual or entity, which causes injury to another individual’s or entity’s person, property, or reputation, and which entitles the injured party to compensation.

Tort law is the body of laws that enables people to seek compensation for wrongs committed against them. When someone’s actions cause some type of harm to another, whether it be physical harm to another person, or harm to someone’s property or reputation, the harmed or injured person or entity may seek damages through the court.

Damages are a monetary award ordered by the court to be paid to an injured party, by the party at fault. Damages may be awarded in compensation for loss of, or damage to, personal or real property, for an injury, or a financial loss.

The types of damages that may be awarded by the court for civil wrongs, called “tortious conduct,” of an individual or entity include:

§  Reimbursement for property loss or property damage

§  Medical expenses

§  Pain and suffering

§  Loss of earning capacity

 Tort Liability

The legal term tort refers to an action in which one person or entity causes injury, harm, or damage to another person or entity. Tort liability may occur as a result of intentional acts, a negligent act, a failure to act when the individual had a duty to act, or a violation of statutes or laws. The individual who commits the tortious act (the act leading to the tort liability claim) is called the “tortfeasor,” and is the defendant in this type of civil lawsuit. Such a defendant is generally held liable for damages or harm suffered by the plaintiff, as a result of the defendant’s acts.

In many tort cases, the damages or injuries suffered by the plaintiff does not have to be a physical injury. A defendant in a tort liability case, who is found to be liable for his or her tortious acts, may be ordered to pay damages for harm, such as violation of personal rights, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Types of Tort

Several specific types of tort form the basis of the majority of civil lawsuits in the United States. These include, among others:

§  Negligence

§  Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

§  Assault

§  Battery

§  Trespass

English Tort Law

Following Roman law, the English system has long been based on a closed system[clarification needed] of nominate torts, such as trespass, battery, and conversion. This is in contrast to continental legal systems, which have since adopted more open systems of tortious liability. There are various categories of a tort, which lead back to the system of separate causes of action. The tort of negligence is, however, increasing in importance over other types of tort, providing a wide scope of protection, especially since Donoghue v Stevenson. For liability under negligence, a duty of care must be established owed to a group of persons to which the victim belongs, a nebulous concept into which many other categories are being pulled.

Cases of Torts in India

1.  MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE

The case of Pravat Kumar Mukherjee Vs. Ruby General Hospital and ors 2005 CPJ 35 (NC). In this case, National Commission of India delivered a landmark judgment for treating of accident victim, what happened, the complainant was the parents of a deceased boy named Samanate Mukherjee the 2nd year B.tech boy who studied in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Engineering College , the complaint was filed in National Commission of India. The boy was hit by a Calcutta transport bus and rushed to the hospital which was 1 km from the accident spot. The boy was conscious when he was taken to hospital and he showed his medical insurance card, which clearly says that the boy will be given Rs.65,000 by the Insurance company in case of accident, relying on it hospital started treating boy but after giving some initial treatment hospital demanded Rs15,000 and on the non- payment of the demanded money hospital discontinued treatment of the boy and the boy was rushed to another hospital in the way the boy died. This was the case and in this case, the National Commission held Ruby hospital liable and provided Rs. 10 lakhs as compensation to the parents. So, in this case, the court looked on a humanitarian basis and compensation was awarded to the complainant.

2.  DEFAMATION

 In ARNAB GOSWAMI CASE OF SHASHI THAROOR, The Congress parliamentarian has accused the journalist Arnab Goswami of making baseless statements in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The Congress leader, who represents Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha, filed the case in June, accusing Goswami of making baseless statements in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. A chief judicial magistrate’s court in Thiruvananthapuram had issued summons to Goswami, contending that there was enough material for a prima facie case against him.

3.      False Imprisonment

 In D.K.BASU v. STATE OF WEST-BENGAL In this case, the petitioners raised important issues concerning the police powers and if monetary compensation should be awarded for established infringement of Fundamental Rights, as under Article 21 and 22 of the Constitution. The court held that Custodial violence, including torture and death in the lock-ups, strikes a blow at the Rule of Law, which demands that the powers of the executive should not only be derived from law but also that the same should be limited by law. To check the abuse of police power, transparency of action and accountability were the two safeguards laid down by the court. The Court issued 11 directives where it spelled out the rights of an arrestee or a detainee and how the arresting or detaining authority is expected to behave, including the written record of arrest, informing of arrestee’s family of his arrest, a medical examination on request, among others.

4.      Trespass

In Alka Lamba Trespass case  AAP legislator Alka Lamba was today granted bail by a Delhi court after she appeared before it in a case of alleged trespassing and vandalizing a shop here and obstructing police from performing their duty last year. Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra gave the relief to Lamba on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and surety of like amount. The court fixed June 3 for further proceedings in the case. Lamba was earlier summoned as accused in the case by the court which had taken cognizance of a charge sheet filed by police against her. She was charge-sheeted for alleged offenses under sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (mischief causing damage to property), 451 (house-trespass) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

5.      Ushabti vsBhagya Laxhmi Chitra Mandir

The plaintiff sued the defendant for a permanent injunction to restrain them from showing the film Jai Santoshi. It was said that the content of the film was a nuisance because the plaintiff’s religious sentiments were hurt as goddess Saraswati, Laxhmi and Parwati were shown as jealous and were ridiculed .it was held that the hurt to religious feeling was not an actionable wrong.

Conclusion

It is concluded that tort is a civil wrong, which works on the maxim ubi jus ibi remedium and in India also tort laws are practiced in a huge amount. hence there should be a specific act of tort in the Indian legal system. 

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