ELABORATE SOME OF THE DECIDED CASES ON THE MAXIM, DAMNUM SINE INJURIA?
The Legal maxims with case Laws:- This maxim generally means that damage without injury and it is not actionable. Damnum means damage in the form of money, comfort and health, injuria means a violation of legal rights and sine means without. Thus, it means harm which is caused without (VLR) Violation of Legal Rights, harm caused without violation of legal rights is not actionable in the law of tort.
Where there has been no infringement (violation) of any legal right. The mere fact of harm or loss will not render such act or omission actionable although the loss may be substantial or even irreparable. The mere fact that a man is injured by another’s act gives in itself no cause of action. If the act is deliberated, the injured party will have no claim in law even though the injury is intentional, so long as the other party is exercising a legal right. Hence the implication of the maxim is that loss or detriment is not a ground of action. Unless it is a result of species of the wrong of which the law takes cognizance.
The following classification of the principal cases where damage is mere ‘damnum sine injury’ … SALMOND
- The harm may be caused by some person who is merely exercising his own rights, as in the case of lass inflicted on individual traders by competition in trade; or
- In the case where the defendant is exercising a right of property; or
- Where the damage is done by a man acting under necessary to prevent a greater evil.
- The harm complained of may be too indefinite or too trivial, too difficult of proof for effective legal recognition. Thus, no action, it seems will lie to recover damages for mere mental suffering unaccompanied by physical harm. Though caused by the wilful act or the negligence of the defendant.
- So also, the harm done may be of such a nature that the law considers. It inexpedient to confer any right of pecuniary redress upon the individual, injured but provides. Some other remedy, such as criminal prosecution as exclusively appropriate. Such is the case, for example:- With the harm which an individual suffers in common with the public at large by reason of the existence of the public nuisance.
IN LEADING CASE, GLOUCESTER GRAMMAR SCHOOL (1410) case, the plaintiff suffered a loss of fees because the defendant set up a rival school next door. It was held that no action would lie because there was no violation of any (LRP) Legal Right of the Plaintiff.
IN ACTION VS. REUTER’S TELEGRAPH COMPANY CASE
The defendant carrying on mining operations in his own land drained away from the percolating water from the land of the plaintiff and thus dried up the plaintiff’s well. Held, that no action lays; for the person who owns the surface may dig therein and apply. All that is there found to his own purposes at his free will and if in the exercise of such right the intercepts or drains of the water collected from underground springs in the neighbour’s wall. This inconvenience to his neighbour falls within the description of damnum abseque injuria which cannot become the ground of action.
IN VISHNU DUTT SHARMA VS. BOARD OF HIGH SCHOOL (BHS) AND INTERMEDIATE EDUCATION (IE), U.P. India.
In this case, a student suffered a loss of one year because he was detained for shortage of attendance. But it was found that the college did not maintain a register for attendance. The college acted in violation of a regulation of U.P board. It was held that a suit for compensation for loss of one year was not maintainable. It was a case of damage without legal injury.
ELABORATE SOME OF THE DECIDED CASES ON THE MAXIM, INJURIA SINE DAMNUM.
INJURIA SINE DAMNUM means a violation of legal rights without any damage to the plaintiff. Violation of legal rights if a person is actionable, whether it has caused any real harm or loss to the plaintiff or not.
Injuria means an infringement of a legally protected interest (i.e., right) of the plaintiff. SINE means without or absent. It is the same thing as ‘obseque’. And ‘DAMNUM’ means actual physical loss whether in terms of money, comfort, health, service.
The leading case on the maxim is ASHBY VS. WHITE, the defendant, a reputed officer in a parliamentary election, wrongfully refused to take the vote of the plaintiff. Although the plaintiff did not suffer any loss by this refusal because the candidate for whom he wanted to vote won in spite of that. Holt, C.J. said that – “Every injury imports damage though it does not cost the party one farthing”. So, the defendant was held liable to pay damages to the plaintiff.
IN THE CASE OF BHIKHI OJHA VS. HARAKH KANDU,
The facts were that the Maharaja of Dumraon and his predecessors exercised from time immemorial a right to exclusively weigh. The goods and products sold at a bazar help upon their land and to claim all the weighment fees in respect of such transactions as took place. There, in lieu of charging rent from the traders for the use of the land. The Maharajah leased to the plaintiff the exclusive right to weigh and receive the weighment fees in the bazar.
It was held that a suit brought by the plaintiff for damages for wrongful obstruction of the right of weighing. And making collections obstruction was maintainable. But that proof of actual damage was essential. Straight, j., observed: “It is clearly established that the plaintiff possessed. This right and that such right was infringed by the defendants to his pecuniary detriment (damage). And loss by the action of these defendants, he, in my opinion, is entitled to maintain this suit and could recover such damages as the plaintiff may be shown to have sustained.”
If there is merely an infringement of legal right without actual damage the person whose right has been infringed can bring a suit under the provisions of Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.
Differences in between damnum sine injuria and Injuria sine damnum.
NATURE: In Damnum sine injuria harm is caused without violation of legal right while In Injuria sine damnum is caused with violation of legal rights.
DAMAGES: Damnum sine injuria is not damageable while injuria sine damnum is damageable.
RIGHTS: Damnum sine injuria is concerned with the violation of moral rights while Injuria sine damnum is concerned with the violation of moral rights.