Action personalis moritur cum persona

Death of one of the parties – the common law maxim is action personalis moritur cum persona which means a person’s right of action dies with the person. At common law, if an injury were done either to the person or property of another, for which damages only could be recovered in satisfaction, the action died with the person to whom, or by whom, the wrong was done.

As regards all actions essentially based on tort, the principle was inflexibly applied. It is not known when this principle came into being, for its genesis is hidden in the mists of antiquity. From time to time it has been criticized by judges for it is neither based upon justice nor common sense. The ambit of its application was limited or curtailed by several statutes. Many statutory exceptions were created. But the Law Reform Act, 1934, has abolished it altogether. The act provides for the survival of many actions even after death.

The exceptions to the rule are as follows:

•On the death of a party wronged, the action shall survive even after death except in case of defamation, seduction, etc.

•Workmen’s compensation act provides for certain exceptions which protects actions of a person even after his death.

•Under labour law also certain actions survive even after the death of a party. In India also such laws are protected.

No doubt action survives exceptionally yet law of torts regulates them in different manner. The rules which govern of action are as follows:

The party can claim only ordinary damages not exemplary damages. Thus only unliquidated damages shall be awarded.

The damages awarded shall be computed without reference to special loss or damage. These laws were recognized in England under various enactments which are fatal accident act, law reform act, air act.

In the year 1927 a case was decided by English court in which a husband died on account of motor accident. Consequently wife brought an action on the recovery of damages. In this case court did not take into account other considerations relating to re – marriage etc. while awarding damages. Thus the party on account of death cannot empower his representatives for special damages.

In India the maxim has been worked out in various cases. The various rules which govern the situations are as follows:

• Section 306 of India Succession Act provides that all legal rights to prosecute any action existing in favour of a deceased person survive to his living executors or to administrator. But under this section also following actions shall not survive such as defamation, assault, and such other personal actions which did not result into death.

•The actions relating to malicious prosecution also survive even after the death of the party. Upon this various high courts in India have expressed different opinions.

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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