Injuria Sine Damnum

If there is a right, there is a remedy. If the legal right is violated, there is a remedy for the violation. It is not necessary that this violation cause any damage or loss. In order to be successful in an action for tort, the plaintiff has only need to prove that there has been legal damage caused to him. 

 Torts fall into two categories. The first category of torts are those which are actionable per se, i.e. without providing any damage or loss. The second category talks about  the torts which  are only actionable if some damage has been proved.

 Injuria sine damno means injury without causing damage to the plaintiff. To prove a successful action, there is no need to prove that the plaintiff suffered damage as a result of an act; the only thing that must be proved is that there has been a violation of the plaintiff’s right, so there has been injury. Shortly, injuria refers to an infringement of the plaintiff’s legally protected interest. The word sine means not present or absent. In college, the term damnum refers to physical losses, whether monetary, psychological, or medical in nature.

 Two landmark cases of injuria sine damnum 

Ashby v white

Ashby was a qualified voter at an election for a parliamentary seat.  the defendant,  a returning officer  wrongfully prevented the plaintiff from casting a vote. The candidate to whom he wanted to vote won the election, so he did not cause any damage. However, the court found the defendant liable. 

Holt, C.J. said : “if the plaintiff has a right, he must of necessity have a means to vindicate and maintain it, and a remedy, if he is injured in the exercise of enjoyment of it; and indeed, it is a vain thing to imagine  a right without a remedy; for want of right and want of remedy are reciprocal.”

“Every injury imports a damage, though it does not cost the party one farthing. For a damage not merely pecuniary but an injury imports a damage, when a person is thereby hindered of his right. As in an action for slanderous words, though a man does  not lose a penny by reason of speaking them, yet he shall have an action. So, if  a man gives another a cuff on the ear, though it cost him nothing, no, not so much as a little diachylon  (plaster), yet he shall have his action, for it is a personal injury. So, a man shall have an action against another for riding over his ground, though it does him no damage; for it is an invasion of his property, and the other has no right to comne there”.

Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu & Kashmir

The police arrested the petitioner for making an inflammatory speech in public and unlawfully detained him from attending and to vote in the legislative assembly session of jammu and kashmir and also he was not produced before a magistrate within the requisite time frame. 

The Petitioner claimed that he was not brought before the Magistrate and his medical examination was not performed and Police approached  him  very brutally. They prevented him from attending the session and to vote in the session. His legal right was violated even if he had not faced any damage. 

The first issue raised is whether the detention was illegal or not? It was the second and third issue in this case is whether any constitutional right of the petitioner was infringed? And whether the petitioner can claim ideal compensation for it?

After hearing both sides, the Apex court finalised that the wrongful detention occured and petitioner was falsely imprisoned. it was the violation of legal right as per Article 21 and 22(2) that he was not produced before the magistrate within the prescribed time frame. The honourable Supreme Court spotted that “if the personal liberty of a member of the Legislative Assembly is to be played within this fashion, one can only wonder what may happen to lesser mortals.” The Apex court held the petitioner’s constitutional right was infringed and he had the right to claim compensation.

In this case, the Ratio Decidendi is injuria sine damnum which means injury without damage. Here there is no need to prove damage or any loss to the petitioner. If there is any violation of legal rights, he can claim the compensation . It is not important whether the petitioner/plaintiff causes any damage because it is actionable per se.

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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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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