WHAT IS TORT ?
The word tort has been derived from Latin term tortum which means twist. Tort means a conduct which is not straight or lawful but on other hand twisted, crooked or unlawful. It is a breach of duty recognized under the law of torts.
According to section 2(m), The Limitation Act ,1963 tort means a civil wrong which is not exclusively a breach of contract or a breach of trust. Thus, we can say that tort is a civil wrong but every civil wrong is not a tort.
OBJECTIVE OF TORT
- It determines the rights between the parties to a dispute.
- To restore one’s property to its rightful owner i.e where the wrongfully taken away from its rightful owner.
- Tort protect certain rights of every individual recognized by the law.
- It prevents the continuation or repetition of harm that is by giving orders of injuction.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A TORT
- Act of omission – in order to make a person liable for a tort there must be some wrongful act or omission on the part of the defendant. When there is a legal duty to do some act and the person fails to perform that duty then the person is made liable for omission.
For example, Navya was invited by Saumya for a dinner and when she enters Saumya’s house then Saumya could not sue her for trespass.
- Legal damages – in order to make a person liable for tort, there must be a wrongful act or omission which should result in legal damage (injuria) that is violation of legal rights vested in plaintiff. In other words, the plaintiff has to prove that there has been a legal damage caused to him.
For eg, A was a teacher in B’s school. After 5 months A opened his school next to the B due to which B has to face heavy losses in the business. Here B has suffered no legal damages so he cannot sue A for this.
The legal damage is illustrated by two maxims
- Injuria sine damno – this means injury without damage. In this a person suffers a legal damage without the actual loss, such damages are actionable under the law of tort.
- Damnum sin injuria – this means damages without injuries. In this a person suffer actual loss and not legal damages, such losses are not actionable under the law of tort.
LIQUIDATED AND UNLIQUIDATED DAMAGES
In liquidated damages have their amount of compensation fixed. In this the amount of compensation is predetermined.
In unliquidated damages there have no prior fixed amount and they change with the intensity of the offence committed the defendant.
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