THE TORT OF NUISANCE
According to Salmond
“Nuisance consists in causing or allowing to cause without lawful justification, the escape of any deleterious thing from one’s land or from anywhere into land in possession of the plaintiff, such as water, smoke, gas, heat, electricity, etc.”
Hence, any inappropriate use of property that causes trouble, discomfort, irritation, or any other kind of harm to another person or the general public and interferes with the undisturbed enjoyment of one’s property, but does not constitute trespass, is referred to as nuisance.
ESSENTIALS OF NUISANCE:
- Wrongful act or an omission by the defendant:
Before a nuisance lawsuit may be filed, the defendant must commit a wrongdoing.
This might include any conduct that looks to a wise individual to be unlawful and irrational on the surface.
The lawsuit cannot be carried forward if the plaintiff is highly sensitive and the action launched against the defendant is entirely irrational owing to his or her own sensitivity, but otherwise looked reasonable in the eyes of a prudent man.
In the case of Halsey v. Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd, the defendant’s depot released acid smuts containing high amounts of sulphate, which fell on the plaintiff’s house, causing damage to the plaintiff’s garments and paint. It also emitted nauseating odours and loud sounds from the boiler, disrupting the plaintiff’s sleep and such an emission would definitely be viewed as a nuisance by a prudent man, and therefore the defendant was held responsible for the acid fumes, loud noises, and nauseating stench.
Also, in the case of Radhey Shyam vs Gur Prasad, Mr. Gur Prasad Saxena and another filed a suit against Mr Radhey Shyam and five other individuals for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from installing and running a flour mill in the premises occupied by the defendant. Gur Prasad Saxena filed another suit against Radhey Shyam and five other individuals for a permanent injunction from running and continuing to run an oil expeller plant. The plaintiff has alleged that the mill was causing a lot of noise which in turn was affecting the health of the plaintiff. It was held that by running a flour mill in a residential area, the defendant was causing a nuisance to the plaintiff and affecting his health severely.
In the case of Ushaben v. Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir, an injunction was issued to ban the showing of the film “Jai Santoshi maa” because it offended the plaintiff’s religious sensibilities and the goddesses in the film were projected and described as jealous beings. It was decided that injuring religious feelings was not an actionable violation, and that the plaintiff may simply refuse to view the video.
- Damages/ Loss caused to the plaintiff:
For the claim to be legitimate, the plaintiff must suffer considerable harm or annoyance, which is regarded a substantial material since it impairs the plaintiff’s legal rights.
In the case of Sanders Clark v. Grosvenor Mansions Co, an injunction was issued prohibiting a person from converting a level below a residential flat into a restaurant because it produced a nuisance of noise and odour, causing injury to the flat owner above.
The injunction barring the gas company from manufacturing gas was issued in the case of Broadbent v. Imperial Gas Co because the gas company’s noxious substance was harming the plaintiff’s garden produce owing to its proximity to the market gardener.
Also, in the case of St. Helen Smelting Co. v. Tipping, the fumes from the defendant’s manufacturing work damaged plaintiff’s trees and shrubs. The Court held that such damages being an injury to property gave rise to a cause of action.
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