A person in possession of a property is entitled to its undisturbed enjoyment as per law. However, if someone else’s improper use or enjoyment in his property ends up resulting into an unlawful interference with his enjoyment or use of that property or of some of the rights over it, or in connection with it, we can say that the tort of nuisance has occurred. Nuisance is an injury to the right of a person’s possession of his property to undisturbed enjoyment of it and results from an improper usage by another individual.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF NUISANCE:
- Wrongful act- 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.
- Damage or loss or annoyance caused to another individual- Damage or loss or annoyance must be such which the law should consider as a substantial material for the claim.
KINDS OF NUISANCE:
- Public Nuisance:
The Indian Penal code defines nuisance as an act which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance, to the people in general who dwell or occupy the property, in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to the people who may have occasion to use any public right. Public nuisance affects the society and the people living in it at large, or some considerable portion of the society and it affects the rights which the members of the society might enjoy over the property. The acts which seriously affects or interferes with the health, safety or comfort of the general public is a public nuisance.
- Private Nuisance:
Private Nuisance is that kind of nuisance in which a person’s use or enjoyment of his property is ruined by another. It may also injuriously affect the owner of the property by physically injuring his property or by affecting the enjoyment of the property. Unlike public nuisance, in private nuisance, an individual’s usage or enjoyment of property is ruined as distinguished from the public or society at large. The remedy for private nuisance is a civil action for damages or an injunction or both.
In Rose v. Miles (1815) 4M &S. 101, 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.
REMEDIES FOR NUISANCE:
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.
Example: Ace and Beck are neighbours; Beck has a poisonous tree on his land which overtime outgrows and reaches the land of Ace. Now Ace has every right to cut that part of the tree which is affect his enjoyment of his land with prior notice to Beck. But if Ace goes to Beck, land without his permission, and chops off the entire tree which then falls on the land of Beck, then Ace shall be in the wrong here as his action taken would be beyond reasonableness.
The concept of nuisance is one that arises most commonly in a man’s daily life. The decision regarding the same has to be delivered in a case-to-case basis. To ensure that neither the aggrieved plaintiff goes back without compensation nor the defendant is punished unnecessarily.
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