Tort of Trespass

Tort signifies conduct which is crooked or twisted. This branch of law has received different definitions by different writers though the basis of the definition lays emphasis on the same features which are a) Act or omission in violation of law b) Legal Injury or legal damage and c) legal remedy by way of unliquidated damages. Tort law does not contain a documented substantive law but instead is evolved through judicial decisions which are based on English common law principles of justice equity and good conscience and their origin was from the royal writs issued by the chancery.

The tort of trespass is one of the oldest and widest writs; it covers both criminal and civil aspects within its ambit. The Idea of security of person, i.e., freedom from every kind of violence and bodily injury stands at the root of trespass to person. A person is said to have committed criminal trespass to a person when he is found to be guilty of direct coupled with forcible bodily interference without any consent and a suit is actionable even if no bodily injury has been sustained, as long as a legal right has been violated such action by way of a law suit can be taken. Therefore in case of criminal trespass there are essentially three ingredients namely a) Direct and forcible bodily intervention b) Without any consent and c) Legal Injury was suffered. The interference is considered to be direct even if a third part intervened in the middle, if the act of such party was involuntary and in apprehension of danger by the defendant. Criminal trespass includes 

1) Assault – Assault has been defined as “An attempt or offer to apply force to the person of another directly or indirectly, if the persons making the attempt or offer causes the other to believe on reasonable grounds that he has present ability to execute his purpose. It is the overt act indicating an immediate intention to commit a battery coupled with the capacity of carrying with that intention. Therefore a person can be guilty of assault under the offence of battery but not vice versa. Assault also comes under the purview of the Indian Penal Code i.e. under section 351. 

2) Battery – Battery consist of touching another person hostilely or against his will, the aim of battery is to cause grievous hurt to another person. The landmark case of Cole V. Turner laid down the principles of battery being 

(i) The least touching of another in anger is battery

(ii) If two or more meet in a narrow passage and without any violence or design of harm, the one touches the other, gently, it will be no battery

(iii) If any of them use violence against the other, to force his way in a rude ordinate manner, it will be a battery ; or any struggle about the passage to that degree as may do hurt, will be a battery. Further it had said that intention must necessarily be considered in case of battery

3) False Imprisonment – This means total restraint on a persons liberty without any legal justification for imprisonment. This is in direct contravention with not only common law principles but also with the constitution. It is not necessary that the plaintiff be ware of the situation he is in for example if he is in a room and asleep, if the door is locked there will be still imprisonment. The most important part of this being that there should be total restraint.

As mentioned earlier there is also civil trespass which essentially consists of trespass of property. It is the wrongful interference with land which is in the possession of the plaintiff. This tort consists of three major ingredients (i) Entering upon land which is in possession of the plaintiff (ii) standing or walking upon such land or (3) Placing or projecting any object upon it without any legal justification. If the defendant even places a foot on the plaintiff’s property unlawfully, it is in law as much a trespass as if he had walked half a mile on it.

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.

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