Vicarious Liability

Generally, a man is liable for the wrong committed by him. But there are certain cases where a person is held liable for a tort committed by another. The word ‘vicarious liability’ means delegated; the word ‘vicarious liability’ means the liability of a person for the tort of another. For the present purpose the law divides persons working for others into two groups, servants and independent contractors. 

Old view

Qui facit Per alium facit per se, this means that “a person who does an act through another is deemed in law to do it himself”. A master is liable for the torts of his servants on the basis of this doctrine. A person who gets work done through another is liable for all the consequence from that act. 

Respondent Superior

This Maxim means that the superior must be liable. The master is liable for all such acts of his servants which he does in the course of his employment, as the master is capable of meeting the liability. 

Modern View, 

According to the new view, the doctrine of vicarious liability is practically based on the principle of social security, Justice Fredrick Pollock has said, 

“I am responsible for the wrongful acts of my servant or agent because he does my act keeping in view the security of others” 

Respondent Superior is a Latin word which means “let the master answer” 

It is also referred to as the Master- Servant Rule, this rule is recognized in Civil Law jurisdictions as well as Common Law. 

Action taken by the third party will be based on the direct responsibility of the servant or the master. Third party move to take action against the master or employer will be based on vicarious liability theory whereby you can be held liable for the action of another. 

Respondent Superior is mostly applied when it comes to employee/employer relationship, it is however not limited only to employee/employer relationship it also extends to agency whereby the principle becomes liable for acts done by the agent despite the fact he was not directly involved in such acts. 

Liability by ratification 

An act done by a person for another without any authority, may become the act of the principle if subsequently it is ratified by him. In that case the act of the agent is deemed to be the act of the principle, whether it may be to his detriment or advantage, and whether it be founded on a tort or a contract to the same extent as by, and with all the consequences which follows from the same act done by his previous authority 

In Gregory v. Piper (1829) 9 B & C 591, the defendant and plaintiff had some disputes between them and the defendant, therefore, ordered his servant to place rubbish across a pathway to prevent the plaintiff from proceeding on that way and the servant took all care to ensure that no part of it was touching the part of the plaintiff’s property but with the passage of some time. The rubbish slid down and touched the walls of the plaintiff and thus he sued for trespass. The defendant was held liable despite his servant taking all due care. 

In Pushpabai Purshottam Udeshi & Ors. v. Ranjit Ginning & Pressing Co. (P), deceased was travelling in a car driven by the manager of the respondent company and it met with an accident as a result of which he died. The dependents of the deceased filed a claim and the tribunal allowed damages but on appeal to the High Court, it was set aside on the grounds that the accident does not make the respondent company liable. But the Supreme Court in its judgement overruled the judgement of the High Court and held that from the facts of the case it was clear that the accident had occurred due to the negligence of the manager who was driving the vehicle in the course of his employment and therefore, the respondent company was liable for his negligent act. 


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.

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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.

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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.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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