Law of Torts

Law of Torts refers to negligence as breach of a duty caused by omission to do something which a reasonable man can not do.

Hon’ble Apex Court in case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Sushila Devi (Smt.) & Ors., reported in (1999) 4 SCC 317 and made observations referring to the accident caused due to falling of tree. It has bee observed that “the Municipal Corporation has been negligent in discharging such duty as is owed to the road users by the adjoining property owners”.  “when a tree, which had been dying for some years and should have been known to be dangerous by an ordinary landowner, fell and caused damage, the owner was held liable”. The owner cannot escape the liability for the injury caused by such dangerous dilapidated structure or the premises.

 The same position has been taken in Ramesh Kumar Nayak v. Union of India & Ors., reported in AIR 1994 Orissa 279.

Another facet of arguments is that apart from this statutory duty, even under common law liability of duty to take care towards public and failure of which amounts to negligence. Word ‘negligence’ with different objectives like criminal negligence, hazardous negligence, gross negligence has also been defined in the dictionary. Word ‘negligence’ defines in Black’s Law Dictionary (7th Edition) that “The failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation; any conduct that falls below the legal standard established to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm, except for conduct that is intentionally, wantonly, or wilfully disregardful of others’ rights.” The culpable negligence is defined as negligent conduct that, while not intentional, involves a disregard of the consequences likely to result from one’s action.

The Law of Torts refers to the negligence as the breach of a duty caused by the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. This definition provides three standards (1) A legal duty to exercise due care on the part of the party complained of towards the party complaining the formers conduct within the scope of the duty; (2) Breach of the said duty; and (3) consequential damage. The discussion on the aspect of negligence with regard to various constituent whether is it of institution like hospital, professional or other, therefore, has to be considered in background of the facts and while considering the duty and the aspect of negligence, normally the proximate principles is considered. As this principles suggests the relations between the parties as just and reasonable, law of negligence may be imposed.

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Categories: Law of Torts

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