17 September 2014

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Supreme Court orders develop Codify Law of Torts in India to Law Commission

Supreme Court orders develop Codify Law of Torts in India to Law Commission

The word Tort comes from the Latin expression ‘Tortum’, which means to twist. It includes such conducts, which are not straight or lawful, but are twisted or unlawful. In the broader sense, tort can be said to be equivalent to the English term ‘wrong’.

In simple terms Tort can be defined as a Civil wrong, public wrong and private wrong

Damages awarded in tort are 'liquidated' in nature, which means that such amount is not determined previously, but the determination of the same is left to the discretion of the court.

The law of torts in India is mainly the English law of torts which is based on the principles of the ‘common law’.

Whatever people say but the reality is that Law of torts is not developed in India, rarely will we see the use of law of torts in India

USA, UK and Australia have codified law on torts recognizing civil wrongs as ground for a lawsuit, India does not have one.

We need to shift from England based laws to American based laws.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) held Vadodara Municipal Corporation, Oriental Insurance Company and the proprietor of Ripple Aqua Sports guilty of malfeasance.

The NCDRC held the corporation and Aqua Sports to be jointly and severely liable and determined the quantum of compensation ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 11lakh in respect of claims for the 22 deaths who drowned in Vadodara’s Sursagar Lake in 1992 during a boat ride.

The corporation sought to wriggle out of the responsibility, saying it was not a service provider and had no contract with the victims.
The Supreme Court bench said that “mere appointment of a contractor or employee did not absolve the corporation of its liability to supervise the boating activities”.
It held that the corporation was not only discharging its statutory duties but was also acting as service provider to the passengers through its agent.
“The corporation had a duty of care, when the activity of plying boats is inherently dangerous and there is clear foreseeability of such occurrence unless precautions are taken like providing lifesaving jackets,”

Supreme Court of India in its judgement said following –

Duty was cast on the statutory authorities and local bodies regarding a degree of care, and hence a person must be compensated by them against losses.

“Where activity of a public body is hazardous, highest degree of care is expected and breach of such duty is actionable.
This obligation is also referable to Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution.
We reiterate the need for a comprehensive legislation dealing with tortious liability of the State

We request the Law Commission to look into the matter and take such steps as may be found necessary,” –

The bench said due to lack of legislation, courts dealing with cases of tort claims against the State and its officials were not following a uniform pattern, and it resulted in certain undesirable orders and arbitrary compensation

Reality views by sm –

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tags – Law of Torts India Codify Supreme Court India