Date: 19 November, 2020
by Anmol Kaur Sidhu, UILS, Panjab University
Nuisance as a tort can be defined as unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land or some right over it or in connection to it. The interference can be in any form e.g. noise, vibrations, heat smoke, smell etc.
1. There should be a wrongful act with the intention to infringe the legal right of another.
2. There should be damage or loss or annoyance caused to the other person.
KINDS OF NUISANCE:
Public Nuisance: Public Nuisance is interference with the right of the public in general. .e.g. digging a trench in the middle of the road. It is defined under Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code,1860.
Also, there’s a special provision given under section 91 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which states that the following:
(1) In the case of a public nuisance or other wrongful act affecting, or likely to affect, the public, a suit for a declaration and injunction or for such other relief as may be appropriate in the circumstances of the case, may be instituted,—
(a) by the Advocate-General, or
(b) with the leave of the Court, by two or more persons, even though no special damage has been
caused to such persons by reason of such public nuisance or other wrongful act.]
(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect any right of suit which may
exist independently of its provisions.
2. Private Nuisance: Private Nuisance is interference with the use or enjoyment of one’s personal land or property. Nuisance can be either concerning property or physical discomfort.
In Radhey Shyam v. Gur Prasad AIR 1978 All 86 a suit was filed against Radhey Shyam for permanent injunction restraining him from installing and running a flour mill. Gur Parsad filed another suit against Radhey Sham for permanent injunction on running an oil expeller plant. The plaintiff alleged that it was causing a lot of noise and affecting his health. The Court held that by running a flour mill in a residential area caused nuisance and affected the physical comfort.
Prescription: A right to do an act which would otherwise be a nuisance may be acquired by prescription. When a person is using or working on another’s property for 20 years or more then he has acquired a right to continue the activity in future as well. The essence of prescription is explained in Section 26 of the Limitation Act,1963 and Section 15 of the Easements Act,1882.
Statutory Authority: An act under the authority of a statute is a complete defence. If an act is done under the authority of a statute then there is no liability for that under law of torts. The statutory authority can be either absolute or conditional.
Injunction: It is a judicial order which restrains a person from doing or continuing something which is against the legal rights of another. It can be either temporary or permanent. It can be given for a limited period of time or can continue forever.
Damages: Damages may be allowed to the aggrieved party to compensate for the harm suffered by them.