NUISANCE w.r.t TORTS

The word ‘nuisance’ is derived from the word nuire which means to hurt or annoy. Nuisance basically means hurting anyone or causing injury to a person by the deeds of another person. 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. There are two types of nuisance; public & private.

Public or common nuisance is an act or omission, which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right[1]. A person must show that he has suffered some particular injury more than what the general body of the public so as to have a private right of action in respect of a public nuisance. The injury must be direct and not mere consequential injury. In Soltan vs De, the plaintiff resided in a house next to a Roman Catholic Chapel of which the defendant was the priest and the chapel was rung at all hours of the day and night. It was held that the ringing was a public nuisance and the plaintiff was held entitled 
to an injunction.

On the other hand, private nuisance is the using or authorizing the use of one’s property, or of anything under one’s control, so as to affect injuriously an owner or occupier of property by physically injuring his property by physically injuring his property or by interfering materially with his health, comfort or convenience[2]. The wrongful disturbances of light and air or the wrongful escape of deleterious substance into another’s property, such as smoke, smell, fumes, gas, noise, water, filth , heart,  electricity , animals. Infact, any act which is done with the intention to cause the infringement of the legal rights of another is considered to be a wrongful act. In the case of Rose vs Miles, the defendant had wrongfully obstructed a public navigable creek which obstructed the defendant from transporting his goods through the creek due to which he had to transport his good through land because of which he suffered extra costs in the transportation. It was held that the act of the defendant had caused a public nuisance as the plaintiff successfully proved that he had incurred loss over other members of the society and this he had a right of action against the defendant. In the case of Radhey Shyam vs. Gur Prasad[3],the latter filed a suit against the former and five other individuals for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from installing and running the 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 residential area, the defendant was causing a nuisance to the plaintiff and affecting his health severely.

The remedies against nuisance are as follows. An injunction is a judicial order restraining a person from doing or continuing an act which might be threatening or invading the legal rights of another. It may be in the form of a temporary injunction which is granted on for a limited period of time which may get reversed or confirmed. If it is confirmed, then it takes the form of a permanent injunction.

The damages may be offered in terms of compensation to the aggrieved party, these could be nominal damages. The damages to be paid to the aggrieved party is decided by the statue and the purpose of the damages is not just compensating the individual who has suffered but also making the defendant realise his mistakes and deter him from repeating the same wrong done by him.

Abatement of nuisance means the removal of a nuisance by the party who has suffered, without any legal proceedings. This kind of remedy is not favoured by the law. But is available under certain circumstances. This privilege must be exercised within a reasonable time and usually requires notice to the defendant and his failure to act. Reasonable for may be used to employ the abatement, and the plaintiff will be liable if his actions go beyond reasonable measures.


[1] Rohan Priyam-NUISANCE IN TORTS, Nuisance in Torts – Aishwarya Sandeep, visited on 10-08-2021 at 18:29hrs.

[2] Ibid.

[3] AIR 1978.

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