Vicarious liability in criminal matters

According to the concept of vicaruous liability, one is responsible for the wrong of the other. The doctrine of vicarious liability is also referred to as joint liability. Vicarious liability can be exercised under both civil and criminal law. This liability only arises if there is a legal relationship between the parties or if the parties are linked in some way.

Contract of Service – In this contract, one person is already under the contract of the other and the service is of a certain type. This is a type of general contract and there are not many restrictions on the power to control the other, for example master servant relationship.
Contract for service – This is a contract for a specific reason and there is a limitation on the authority to exercise control over the actions of the other, such as the relationship between employer and employee.

Although the doctrine of vicarious liability is generally applicable in civil law, it is also applicable in criminal cases in certain exceptional cases. If a member of an illegal congregation commits a crime to further a common goal, under section 149 of the IPC, each member of that illegal congregation will be held responsible for that crime. Section 154 of the IPC concerns users or owners of property. If such a user or owner or a person who has an interest in the property does not inform the competent authority of the illegal gathering on that property or does not take the necessary measures on the property, they will also be held responsible for activities. Liability was established on the assumption that it is the owner or owner of the property; the person will be able to control the activities that take place on their property. Section 155 also makes a person liable for the failure of their representative or administrator on behalf of the owner or owner of the property if there is activity on the property and the agent or administrator does not prevent illegal activities from their property. Section 156 regulates the personal liability of the agent or administrator if illegal activities occur on the designated property. Sections 268 and 269 deal with public harassment and hold the captain personally responsible if the servant causes public harassment. IPC Section 499 also makes the captain personally liable if the servant defames anyone (provided that he falls under the definition of defamation in that section).

The license holder is responsible for the actions of this employee in the context of the employment relationship. Even if the acts committed contradict the instructions of the licensee, his liability remains. Emperor v. Magadevappa Hanmantappa has clarified this legislative proposal. The defendant was licensed under the Indian Explosives Act of 1884. The law stipulated that the manufacture of explosives should take place outside of a residential area. It may only be carried out in a building that is exclusively intended for production purposes. One day the servant was pulling supplies from the building to perform a manufacturing process. Then there was an explosion. For this, the defendant was held responsible by the court.

The concept of vicarious liability can be described as a civil law concept, but as the law evolves, the courts have begun to apply the doctrine to criminal matters as well. Sometimes it is very important to establish the liability of a client in order to protect the interests of the injured party and also to avoid a blame game between the parties, which in turn can delay justice.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.