The rule of absolute liability, in basic words, can be characterized as the rule of strict liability short the exceptions. In India, the rule of absolute liability advanced within the case of MC Mehta v Union of India. Usually, one of the foremost points of interest judgment which relates to the concept of absolute liability. The truths of the case are that a few oleum gas spilled in a specific range in Delhi from industry. Due to the spillage, numerous individuals were influenced. The Apex Court at that point advanced the rule of outright obligation on the rule of strict obligation and expressed that the respondent would be at risk for the harm caused without considering the special cases to the strict risk rule. 

Concurring to the rule of absolute obligation, in the event that any individual is locked in in an inalienably unsafe or perilous action, and in case any hurt is caused to any individual due to any mishap which happened amid carrying out such intrinsically unsafe and dangerous movement, at that point the individual who is carrying out such movement will be held completely obligated. The exemption to the strict obligation rule moreover wouldn’t be considered. The rule laid down within the case of MC Mehta v Union of India was moreover taken after by the Supreme Court whereas choosing the case of Bhopal Gas Tragedy case. To guarantee that casualties of such mishaps get fast alleviation through protections, the Indian Governing body passed the Public Liability Insurance Act within the year 1991. 


The taking after adjustments within the existing Doctrine of Rylands vs. Fletcher driven to the taking after Doctrine of Absolute Liability that avoided the litigants from taking up any guard against payment of compensation: – 

In the event that an industry or endeavour is included in any intrinsically unsafe activity, at that point for any harm emerging out of the conduction of that activity, the respondents (the proprietors of the industry) will have no access to any guard or exemption and will be completely obligated to pay recompense to the aggrieved parties. The endeavour will be held mindful for all conceivable harms or results coming about from the action. This will make such businesses give security equipment’s to its workers to avoid any disaster. Subsequently, this will protect the interface of the workers and will allow them a refined, secure working environment. 

The component of escape which is a basic in strict risk may be overlooked here as this limit the application of this Doctrine of Absolute Liability as frequently occurrences may emerge  where escape of the perilous thing like harmful vapor may not take place outside the industry premises but may harm the specialist’s interior. In this case, the workers’ right to compensation will not be disregarded. In this manner, the degree of this guideline is to be connected in a more extensive setting administering out the component of escape.  In cases where strict obligation applies, compensation paid is concurring to the nature and quantum of harms caused but in cases of absolute liability, compensation or harm to be paid is excellent in nature. The sum chosen upon ought to be more than the harm caused as industrial dangerous mischances by and large causes mass passing and pulverization of property and environment. 


M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India, A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 1086: – The S.C. of India was managing with claims of spillage of oleum gas on the 4th and 6th December,1985 from one of the units of Shriram Foods and Fertilizers Industries, Delhi. Due to this spillage, one advocate and a few others had died. An activity was brought against the industry through a writ petition beneath Article 32 of the Indian Constitution by way of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The judges in this case denied to take after the Strict Liability Rule set by the English Laws and came up with the Convention of Absolute Liability. The court at that point coordinated the organizations who had recorded the petitions to record suits against the industry in fitting courts inside a span of 2 months to request recompense on sake of the wronged victims. 

Bhopal Gas Tragedy / Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India, (1991) 4 SCC 548:- This convention was maintained within the notorious Bhopal Gas Tragedy which took place between the mediating night of 2nd and 3rd December, 1984. Spillage of methyl-iso-cyanide (MIC) harmful gas from the Union Carbide Company in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh driven to a major calamity and over three thousand individuals misplaced their lives. There was overwhelming misfortune to property, vegetation and fauna. The impacts were so grave that children in those regions are born with deformations indeed nowadays. A case was recorded within the American New York District Court as the Union Carbide Company in Bhopal was a department of the U.S. based Union Carbide Company. The case was rejected there owing to no purview. The Government of India sanctioned the Bhopal Gas Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985 and sued the company for harms on sake of the casualties. 


Klaus Mittelbachert vs. East India Lodgings Ltd., A.I.R 1997 Delhi 201 (single judge): In this case, the offended party, a German co-pilot endured grave wounds after jumping into the swimming pool of the five-star restaurant. Upon examination, it was seen that the pool was defectively outlined and had inadequately sum of water as well. The pilot’s wounds cleared out him paralyzed driving to passing after 13 a long time of the accident. The court held that five-star hotels that charge strong sums owe a high degree of care to its visitors. This was abused by Inn Oberoi Inter-continental, New Delhi when the defectively planned swimming pool cleared out a man dead. This made the hotel completely obligated for payment of harms. 

The strong sums taken from the visitors by the lodging proprietors ensured them to pay commendable harms to the perished or in any such encourage cases. It was chosen that the offended party would get Rs. 50 lakhs for the mishap caused. 


In the event that an industry or endeavor is locked in in a few intrinsically perilous actions from which it is inferring commercial gain which action is competent of causing disastrous harm at that point the industry authorities are completely obligated to pay recompense to the abused parties. The industry cannot argue that all security measures were taken care of by them which there was carelessness on their part. They will not be permitted any special cases neither can they take up any guard like that of ‘Act of God’ or ‘Act of Stranger’. 


  1. A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 1086 
  1. (1991) 4 SCC 548 
  1. A.I.R 1997 Delhi 201 
  1. http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/2155/Strict-and-Absolute-Liability.html 
  1. https://legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-7666-strict-liability-and-absolute-liability.html 
  1. https://blog.ipleaders.in/evolution-of-absolute-liability-in-india/ 
  1. https://wwjmrd.com/archive/2018/1/713/strict-absolute-liability-with-special-reference-to-india 
  1. https://www.ijlmh.com/paper/the-rule-of-strict-liability-and-absolute-liability-in-indian-perspective/ 
  1. https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-strict-liability-and-absolute-liability.html 
  1. https://www.legalservicesindia.com/law/article/1236/5/Absolute-Liability-In-Indian-Context 

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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