DAMNUM SINE INJURIA and; INJURIA SINE DAMNO

The first thing that came to my mind after reading both the words was that it is same but written in opposite way just like active & passive voice in English language paper. In Latin ‘Injuria’ means injury, ‘Sine’ means without and ‘Damnum’ means damage. So, basically, Injuria sine damno means injury without damage or an infringement of an absolute private right without any actual loss or damage. Whenever there is an infringement of legal right, the person whose legal right was violated can approach the court so as to recover his damage although he may not have suffered actual harm. Injuria sine damno is a type of tort which is actionable per se- actionable; there is no requirement to prove any damage or loss. On the other hand, Damnum sine injuria means a damage which is not attached to an unauthorized interference with the plaintiff’s legal right. It is a type of tort in which the plaintiff suffers a physical harm but there is no infringement of legal right. The concept of damnum sine injuria & injuria sine damno can be better explained with the help of few case laws.

In the case of Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu & Kashmir[1], the plaintiff was an M.L.A of Jammu & Kashmir and when he was going to attend the assembly session, police arrested him wrongfully. He was then taken to the Magistrate within 24 hours. According to the plaintiff, his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution was violated and the defendant was held liable and was ordered to pay INR 50,000 as compensation. The court in the case provided exemplary damages for the same.

In the famous case of Ashby v. White[2], the plaintiff was a qualified voter at a parliament election. The defendant refused the plaintiff to cast the vote. The plaintiff did not suffer any loss because the candidate in whose favour he wanted to vote won the election but his legal right was violated. The court held that the defendant is liable to pay compensation to the plaintiff.

In the case of Gloucester Grammar School[3], the defendant was a teacher in the plaintiff’s school and after a while he started his own school. The defendant was very much liked by his students, so, when the defendant started his own school due to some dispute with the plaintiff, the students started to join the defendant’s school. Plaintiff sued the defendant for monetary loss but the latter was held to be not liable.

In the case of Ushaben v. Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir[4], the plaintiff pleaded before the court to issue a permanent injunction order against the movie “Jai Santoshi Maa” as she thought that the movie hurt the religious sentiments of her. It was held by the court that only the plaintiff’s religious sentiments were hurt and therefore, it did not qualify for any legal injury. Therefore it was held that the defendant was not liable.

In the case of Vishnu Datt v. Board of H.S. & Intermediate Education[5], the plaintiff was an intermediate student who was detained for shortage of attendance. His detention was found by the court to be illegal as the attendance registers of the college were not maintained according to the regulations of the Board. As a consequence of the detention, he lost one year. His action to claim compensation for the loss was not allowed as the plaintiff’s claim did not fall under any of the heads recognised in common law and moreover the statutory provision did not provide for any compensation in the circumstances mentioned above.


[1] A.I.R 1986 S.C. 494.

[2] 1703) 2 Lord Raym, 938.

[3] 1440.

[4] AIR 1978 Guj. 13.

[5] A.I.R. 1981 All. 46.

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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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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