NUISANCE AS A TORT

The term nuisance comes from the French word “nuire,” which meaning “to injure or irritate.” The word nuisance literally means “disturbance,” but it can also be defined as “unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land” in tort law. Nuisance is a result of improper usage or enjoyment of land by an individual other than the owner or the person having the possession of the property.


Nuisance is defined differently by different thinkers ,

According to Stepen , nuisance is anything done to the hurt or annoyance of the tenements of another, or of the lands, one which doesn’t amount to trespass. [1]
According to almond, 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. [1]
For example an individual plants a tree in his own land but the branches of the tree are spreading to the other’s property this would amount to the act of nuisance.


There are certain essentials which need to be fulfilled to call an act nuisance firstly the act should be a wrongful act which is any action taken with the goal of violating on another’s legal rights secondly damage, loss, or irritation must be of such magnitude to be considered substantial material for the claim by the law.

There are two types of nuisance which are Public Nuisance and Private Nuisance [2]

Public Nuisance is an unreasonably, unjustifiably, or unlawful interference with a right that is shared by all members of the public. Simply put, a public nuisance is an act that affects the general public or a significant section of it, and it must infringe on rights that members of the community might otherwise have. Thus acts which seriously interfere with the health, safety, comfort or convenience of the public generally or which tend to degrade public morals have always been considered a public nuisance. For example , obstructing a public way by digging a trench. Carrying on trade which causes an offensive smell. [3]


Private Nuisance occurs when another person interferes with a person’s use or enjoyment of his property. It may also cause harm to the property owner by physically harming his property or interfering with his enjoyment of it. In contrast to public nuisance, private nuisance jeopardises an individual’s use or enjoyment of property, as opposed to the public or society.

There are two kinds of private nuisance i.e. Damage to the property and Physical discomfort.
Damage to the property – Any reasonable injury to the property shall suffice to support a claim for damages in the case of a nuisance with respect to the property. In the instance of property damage, any reasonable hurt will suffice to justify action. Manufacturing plants, chains, and other sources of this class of annoyances may be to blame.
Physical Discomfort- There are two requirements that must be met in a nuisance suit deriving from physical distress. First, the third party’s use should be outside of the natural course of one party’s enjoyment, and second, the discomfort should be severe enough to affect a person in the community, and individuals should not be able to put up with or endure the delight.

There are following defenses for action of nuisance first is , Prescription , Prescription is a particular defense accessible in the case of nuisance if it has been peacefully and openly enjoyed as an easement and as of right for twenty years without interruption. After twenty years of continuous existence, a nuisance is granted a prescriptive right to continue as an easement attached to the ground on which it exists. When this term expires, the nuisance becomes legalized from the start, as if it had been authorized by a grant from the owner of servient land.
The next defense is statutory authority , All remedies, whether by means of indictment or action, are taken away where a legislation has authorized the performance of a certain conduct or the use of land in a particular way, provided that all reasonable precautions consistent with the execution of the statutory powers have been taken. Statutory authority might be absolute or conditional.

Remedies available for nuisance are as follows ,
Injunction- A temporary injunction is one that is granted on an interim basis and can be revoked or affirmed at any time. It takes the shape of a permanent injunction if it is confirmed. The Court, however, has the last say on whether or not to grant an injunction.
Damages- Damages may be offered to the offended person in the form of compensation, which could be small. The statute determines the amount of damages to be given to the aggrieved party, and the goal of the damages is not only to compensate the individual who has suffered, but also to make the defendant realise his mistakes and stop him from repeating the same wrong.
Abatement – refers to the immediate remedy or removal of a nuisance by the party who has been harmed without resorting to legal action. It is not a legal remedy, and it is not normally recommended. For example, the plaintiff cuts down a branch of the defendant’s tree that hangs over his property and causes him inconvenience.

To sum up , The concept of nuisance is prevalent in everyone’s daily lives; in reality, Indian courts have borrowed heavily from English principles as well as common law judgements, while also setting their own precedents which has resulted in the development of a competent legal system that ensures the justice and well-being of all parties involved, as well as society at large.

References- [1] https://blog.ipleaders.in/the-tort-of-nuisance/

[2] https://www.toppr.com/guides/legal-aptitude/law-of-torts/nuisance-as-a-tort/

[3] http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/825/Nuisance:-A-Tort.html

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