Vicarious Liability

Every person is liable for the acts committed by him and not for the acts done by others but in some cases or situations a person can be liable for the act committed by someone else. This is known as Vicarious Liability. So, for such acts to happen, there must be a specific kind of relationship between both the people and the act must be connected to that relationship. This is considered as an exception to the general rule that the person is liable for his acts only. Vicarious Liability is based on the principle of ‘qui facit per se per alium facit per se’ which means that he who does an act through another is deemed in law to do it himself.

ESSENTIALS – The essentials of Vicarious Liability are:
There must be a certain type of relation between the parties.
The wrongful act must be committed by another person.
`the wrongful act must happen during the course of employment.

RELATIONS – This liability can only take place when one party is socially superior to another party and therefore superior party shall be considered liable. Some examples of such relationships are:
Master and Servant
Owner and Independent Contractor
Partners in Partnership firm
Principal and Agent
Company and its Directors


The reason behind holding the master liable for the acts of servant are:
A servant is just an agent who is controlled and supervised by his employer. Therefore, it is assumed that servant works according to the direction of the master. So, the liability for the actions of the servant must be of the master.

The master always enjoys the profit derived from the efforts of the servant, so he must also bear the loss which is done by the servant nut only in the course of the employment.
It is a well stated fact that a master is more financial stable than servant. So, the master is more suitable to pay for the damages caused by the servant during the course of his employment.


The actions of the employees related to the term of his employment are considered as the scope of employment. The scope changes through the requirements of the job and the number of employers required. There are many situations where a worker is not considered under the scope of employment. These include:
Independent Contractor – An independent contractor is someone who do work for someone else. They provide goods and services under a written contract or verbal agreement. They do not work regularly but work as required.

Illegal Acts – Any illegal act is not under the scope of employment. Therefore, any harm caused by the illegal act is mostly not considered as the employer’s liability.

Vicarious liability deals with only those cases when one person is liable for the actions of another person. And also, the liable person must be superior to the other person. The course of employment is essential for Vicarious Liability.

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.

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