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Jamia Millia
Iram Peerzada

Assignment on Law of Torts

Before I start off on this endeavor that has been given to me as
the torts project in the second semester of this joyful ride that I
have undertaken under the flagship of The Faculty of Law,
Jamia Millia Islamia, I would like to thank everybody who has
been instrumental in my successful completion of my projects.
First, I would like to acknowledge the immense contribution that
my professor of torts has had on this project. By creating the
basic framework of the subject in my mind through his
excellent lectures he also contributed in the creation of the
basic framework and limitations of my topic in my mind.
Next, it would be my duty to thank the excellent library staff in
the Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia for their never ending
readiness to help anyone in finding exact readings for any such
subject that he/she is researching.
Lastly, I would like to thank my classmates who never backed
off when I needed them to clarify any concept that I couldnt
catch during the process of the class.

Introduction to Law of Torts

There has been an urgent need in India to reform various
sectors of law and torts continue to be ignored, mostly for the
reasons of high costs of tort litigation.
Tort is the area of law where in response to a private or civil
wrong or injury the courts provide the remedy of allowing a
lawsuit for (usually monetary) damages. Thus, the goal is to
restore the victim to his or her former condition. It has been
suggested that the law of torts is developed in India in a
scattered manner, but yet it provides for very effective
remedies. Most of Indian tort law was developed after the
British colonization. The continued underdevelopment of Indian
tort law is surprising given the impressive commitment to both
compassion and comprehensiveness embodied in the Indian
constitution ratified in 1950 (three years after independence
from Britain).
Tort law is said to be a development of the old maxim ubi jus
ibi remedium (Every right needs a remedy). Are Indians
simply possessed of fewer rights in this important sphere? What
are we to make of this underdevelopment regarding a
fundamental question in almost all systems of law- how to
make the victim whole, how to provide reparation? The law of
torts as administered in India in modern times is the English law
as found suitable to Indian conditions and as modified by Acts
of the Indian Legislature.
The law of torts or civil wrongs in India is thus almost wholly the
English law, which is administered as rules of justice, equity
and good conscience.
Winfield and Jolowicz- Tortuous liability arises from the
breach of a duty primarily fixed by law; this duty is towards
persons generally and its breach is redressible by an action for
unliquidated damages.
Salmond and Hueston- A tort is a civil wrong for which the
remedy is a common action for unliquidated damages, and

which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach

of a trust or other mere equitable obligation.

Sir Frederick Pollock- Every tort is an act or omission (not

being merely the breach of a duty arising out of a personal
relation, or undertaken by contract) which is related in one of
the following ways to harm (including reference with an
absolute right, whether there be measurable actual damage or
not), suffered by a determinate person:a. It may be an act which, without lawful justification or
excuse, is intended by the agent to cause harm, and does
cause the harm complained of.
b. It may be an act in itself contrary to law, or an omission of
specific legal duty, which causes harm not intended by the
person so acting or omitting.
c. It may be an act violation the absolute right (especially
rights of possession or property), and treated as wrongful
without regard to the actors intention or knowledge. This,
as we have seen is an artificial extension of the general
conceptions which are common to English and Roman law.
d. It may be an act or omission causing harm which the
person so acting or omitting to act did not intend to cause,
but might and should with due diligence have foreseen
and prevented.
e. It may, in special cases, consist merely in not avoiding or
preventing harm which the party was bound absolutely or
within limits, to avoid or prevent.
Torts are civil wrongs for which the injured party may seek
legal redressal for. The injured party in case of torts is entitled
to claim unliquidated damages', the judgment of which is given
by the judge of a court based on the facts, circumstances and
the amount of injury suffered which is actually suffered by the
injured party. Tort law is largely based on common sense and
the understanding prevalent between people in their everyday
interactions with each other. The purpose of tort law is to

ensure that people reasonably coexist with each other. In case

of a tort case there are two parties involved in it i.e. plaintiff
and defendant. Plaintiff is the person whose rights have been
violated, the one who has been injured. He is the one who is
the complainant, who comes to the court seeking remedy. On
the other hand defendant is a person who has violated the
rights of the other person and has injured the other person.
Damages are compensation payable to the injured party for
injuries sustained because of the wrong committed by the
wrongdoer. It is usually the most common remedy of torts. This
is so because in torts it is very rare, and almost impossible, to
undo the damage done and restitute a person as they were
before suffering the damage. The only way of soothing the
injury is by awarding damages, which, though monetary in
nature, are compensation, nevertheless. By this I mean that it
is the most common remedy in torts.
Unliquidated damages are those damages, the amount or
extent of which has not been predetermined or decided before
the wrong has committed. In civil wrongs such as torts there
are no agreements as the parties are mostly unlikely aware of
the fact that something like this will happen, for example when
a person trespasses into land of another by unknowingly or in
case a person plays loud music which causes harm to someone
else, so the damages are not predetermined and are therefore

Law of Torts in India

India has inherited the law of torts from the English legal
system. Barring a few civil laws, there are no written laws that
specifically and comprehensively deal with the law of torts. It is
up to the Indian courts to apply an English tort principle if
justice demands it in a certain situation, either entirely, or with
appropriate modifications, as is the demand of the case or the
facts. But it is of great importance to remember that it is upon

the court to decide that such principals are applicable or not.

Very few tort claim cases comes to the courts, primarily people
are not because people are not aware of their rights, and also
because fighting a court case, in Indian scenario, is often not
worth the time and effort. This is completely different from
countries like America and United Kingdom where the tort
claims are frequent as the people are aware of their rights.
Under the Hindu law and the Muslim law tort had a much
narrower conception than the tort of the English law. The
punishment of crimes in these systems occupied a more
prominent place than compensation for wrongs. The law of torts
in India is mainly the English law of torts which itself is based
on the principles of the common law of England. This was made
suitable to the Indian conditions appeasing to the principles of
justice, equity and good conscience and as amended by the
Acts of the legislature. Its origin is linked with the establishment
of British courts in India.
The expression justice, equity and good conscience was
interpreted by the Privy Council to mean the rules of English
Law if found applicable to Indian society and circumstances.
The Indian courts before applying any rule of English law can
see whether it is suited to the Indian society and
circumstances. The application of the English law in India has
therefore been a selective application. On this the Privy Council
has observed that the ability of the common law to adapt itself
to the differing circumstances of the countries where it has
taken roots is not a weakness but one of its strengths. Further,
in applying the English law on a particular point, the Indian
courts are not restricted to common law. If the new rules of
English statute law replacing or modifying the common law are
more in consonance with justice, equity and good conscience, it
is open to the courts in India to reject the outmoded rules of
common law and to apply the new rules. For example, the
principles of English statute, the Law Reform (Contributory
Negligence) Act, 1945, have been applied in India although

there is still no corresponding Act enacted by Parliament in

The development in Indian law need not be on the same lines
as in England. In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, Justice
Bhagwati said, we have to evolve new principles and lay down
new norms which will adequately deal with new problems which
arise in a highly industrialized economy. We cannot allow our
judicial thinking to be constructed by reference to the law as it
prevails in England or for the matter of that in any foreign
country. We are certainly prepared to receive light from
whatever source it comes but we have to build our own
It has also been held that section 9 of The Code of Civil
Procedure, which enables the civil court to try all suits of a civil
nature, impliedly confers jurisdiction to apply the Law of Torts
as principles of justice, equity and good conscience. Thus the
court can draw upon its inherent powers under section 9 for
developing this field of liability.
Quasi-contract: When a person receives some benefit that was
to be given to other, than the law says that the person is
contractually bound to correct recipient to compensate him for
misplaced benefit. There is no actual contract between wrong
recipient and the right recipient, but law implies contract under
which the wrong recipient has to pay back the compensation to
the right person. This assumed contract is known as quasicontract.

Difference between a Tort and Quasi-Contract

In case of tort duty is owed to all members of the public
(though only one may be affected) whereas in a quasi-contract,
a duty is implied as being owed to a specific person i.e., the
rightful recipient. In tort the duty is present at all the times,
whereas in case of a quasi-contract is formed because of a
particular situation i.e., the wrongful recipient of the benefit
etc. also in case of tort the damages are unliquidated, but in

case of a quasi-contract the damages may be liquidated

damages. Conditions which are necessary for a tort are:
There must be an act or an omission on the part of the
defendant or the alleged wrongdoer. In order to be liable for a
tort, a person must have done some act which he was not
supposed to do.
The act or omission should result in a legal damage, which
means that the act or omission must result in the violation of a
legal right of the plaintiff or the complainant. The legal damage
is called injuria which means legal injury'. One can be injured
but he has to be legally injured.
Also there is no general rule in tort law that one must have
intended to the wrongful act in order to be held liable. In some
torts, such as assault, deceit and conspiracy, the mental
condition is relevant, while in most of the other torts the mental
condition of the wrongdoer is irrelevant. The reason for this is
that tort law requires not just that people not attempt to hurt
others, but also that people do their best not to allow their
actions to accidently hurt others. So basically tort law primarily
wants to catch careless people in order to avoid future
There are two terms which are used to determine whether a
party has a valid claim in tort law, i.e. whether the other person
could be held liable in a court of law or not. They are:
Injuria sine damno:
This means the violation of the legal right without the cause of
actual damage. This is a valid claim in a court of law. For
example, if someone trespasses upon the property, he can be
held responsible, even if the trespass did not cause any actual
damage to the person. The person has a right to non-violation
of the bounds of his property and it is this right which has given
rise to a tort claim.
Damnum sine injuria:

This means causing of death without the violation of legal right.

Such a case will not be valid in the court of law. For example,
the fact that a man is injured by another man's act is not
sufficient cause; this might be even if the injury-causing act is
intentional or deliberate. A violation of legal right is necessary
in order for a valid cause of legal action to exist. Now I would
like to clear the meaning of three words, these are:
Damage: actual harm suffered by the plaintiff
Injury: the violation of a legally-recognized and protected right
Damages: it means the compensation payable to the plaintiff
for the harm caused

General Defenses to Tort Claims

If someone sues one person claiming that the other person has
violated the rights of his and has committed a tort, then certain
defenses could be taken. The extent to which they apply
against different torts, may, however, differ. Some of the
defenses which can be used in torts are:

Volenti Non Fit Injuria

This means voluntary taking of a risk'. It's when a person

chooses to be in the situation that causes the injury. For
example, suppose you are a spectator at a cricket match , the
batsman hits a six, and the ball lands on your head, then you
cannot claim for compensation either from the stadium
authorities or the batsman because when you took a seat in the
stadium, you accepted the risks while sitting in the stadium.
Therefore if the defendant can prove that the plaintiff
voluntarily put himself in that situation, he can escape liability.
The most important thing to remember is that the action must
be voluntary i.e. with the informed consent of the relevant
person. There must not be any cheating or use of any type of
force and so the person must put himself in the situation by his
own choice. There are two things which should be established
in order to use this defense.

1. That the plaintiff knew or could have expected the risks

involved in such a situation.
2. That the person agreed by a statement or conduct, to
suffer the consequence of the risk without force or
compulsion or threat.
By this I want to say that it is not enough to defend by saying
that the plaintiff knew the risk; it is also necessary to show that
the plaintiff voluntarily agreed to suffer the harm which might
be possible in the risky situation. But in case of a master
servant relation there might be some sought of pressure on the
servant. I would like to give an example, a master orders his
servant to go and work in a mine, if one shaft is not in a proper
condition, this cannot be assumed that the servant and so in
case if there is an accident than the master cannot claim that
the servant knew and went voluntarily as there is pressure from
the master.
Plaintiff is the wrongdoer: the most important thing in this case
would be that the plaintiff did something wrong which caused
him the injury. Since he plaintiff did something wrong so he
cannot claim damages from someone else for the injury caused
to him. For example, if a person walks into someone's house
and if it is written on the gate that beware of dog', the dog
bites him then the plaintiff entered the house after knowing the
risk, as a result he cannot ask for compensation, also he was
the wrongdoer.

Inevitable accident

When an injury is caused to a person by an event that could not

be foreseen and avoided despite reasonable care on the part of
the defendant, the defense of inevitable accident can be used.
For instance, by inevitable' it is not meant that the accident
was bound to happen, but rather, that the accident could not
have been avoided despite reasonable care. After all, how can a
person are blamed for something that he had no control
whatsoever over or could not prevent? For example, a situation
where the defense could not be used is that of a person who,

while trying to separate two people fighting, hits another

person accidentally. Here the injury is negligence and no
negligence is involved.

Act of God

This defense is similar to the defense of inevitable accident

according to me. The only difference is that in the defense of
Act of God the accident happens to occur because of
unforeseen natural event. The requirements which are to be
satisfied are:
1. the injury most be caused by the effect of natural forces,
2. the natural forces must be unforeseen, or the effects must
be unavoidable. So even if a natural event like a storm is
taking place, if one can take precautions and avoid the
damage, the defense cannot be used.
3. Private defense
If one injures someone, or something that belongs to someone
else, while defending self or own property, then one can be
excused if the force used to protect self was reasonable. For
instance, if someone punches you on stomach and you shoot
him that would be an excessive use of force which is not
necessary for defending yourself. The following must be
satisfied in order t claim this defense:
1. the defendant must be under threat or under attack,
2. the defense must be for self-defense and not for revenge,
3. the response must be proportional to the attack or threat.
The principle for this is that the law will not hold you
responsible for an action that you performed in order to
save or protect yourself. If, however, it was not necessary
to use force for protection, the law will not protect, and
you can't use this defense.
IV. Mistake
Mistake is not usually a defense in tort law. It's not good
enough to say that you didn't know you were doing something
wrong. This defense can be used in case of malicious

prosecution. In malicious prosecution it must be shown that the

prosecution was acting with malice.


In necessity, you have to show that the act you did was
necessary in the circumstances. For instance, if one enters
someone's private land in order to collect water from his well to
put out a fire in his house, that the person was prompted by
necessity and the defense could be used in tort claim and it
could be used against trespass of property. The level of
necessity should be very high. Basically the wrong done should
be smaller while comparing it to the importance of right done.

Act under Statutory Authority:

If the act done was under the authority of some statute that is
a valid defense. For example, if there is a railway line near your
house and the noises of the train passing disturbs then you
have no remedy because the construction and the use of the
railway is authorized under a statute. However, this does not
give the authorities the license to do what they want
unnecessarily; they must act in a reasonable manner. I have an
example for this from my own life, there was a telephone
exchange in my locality and the generators which were used
were of very high frequency which was permitted in a
residential area, the court asked the exchange to be removed
from that place.
Every person has a right to sue another person and every
person can be sued by another person. In India a minor can sue
just like an adult, the only difference is that the tort action will
have to be put forth and proceeded with, in court, by an adult
acting on behalf of a minor. In case a minor is sued than, his
parents or guardian will have to pay damages to the plaintiff,
also the minor could be held liable. Also companies can be sued
for the actions of its employees committed when acting as
employees of the company i.e. on duty. The judicial authority
cannot be sued if they are acting with their capacity. Also the

government cannot be sued for any tort claim arising while it is

acting within its governmental or sovereign capacity.
Vicarious liability: This deals where a person is liable for the
acts of others. This happens where the person who committed
the act did it on behalf of someone else. In this case of
vicarious liability, both, the person at whose behest the act is
done as well as the person who does the act is liable. Vicarious
liability can arise from the following relationships

Damages in Tort Law

The word tort in law means a wrong or injury, which has
certain characters, the most important of which is that is it
redressable in an action for damages at the instance of the
person wronged or injured. We can consider assault, libel,
trespass and nuisance as few examples. A tort, precisely, is the
violation of a right of a person or a breach of duty of another
towards him/her.
In tort law, a remedy in the form of monetary compensation is
given to the aggrieved party. Damages, in a legal sense, is the
sum of money, the law impose for a breach of duty or violation
of some right. More appropriately, damages are money claimed
by, or ordered to be paid to, a person as compensation for loss
or injury. Generally there are two categories of damages:
a. Compensatory
b. Punitive
The term damages typically includes both categories, but the
term actual damages is synonymous with compensatory
damages and excludes punitive damages. Compensatory
damages are intended to relieve the injured party for his loss or
There are other modifying terms placed in front of the word
damages like liquidated damages (contractually established
damages) and nominal damages (where the court awards a
nominal amount).

The aim of tortious damages is to put the claimant back into

the position he/she was in, pre-tort. The claimant will, therefore,
be able to recover reliance loss. Damages in tort are subjected
to the principles of remoteness, causation ad mitigation. The
basic principle is that it should be tried that the claimant be
fully compensated for loss as far as this can be done by an
award of money.
Efficient damages awards are critical to the optimal functioning
of the tort system. Though a number of rules exist for damage
calculation, none are the rule in every situation. Optimal
damage award depends on:

The nature of the injury

The relationship of the parties and the type of risk
The liability rule
Whether liability is individual or vicarious
Any existing imperfections

Damages are the most important remedy which the plaintiff
can avail of after the tort is committed. They are of various
Nominal damages:
Nominal damages awarded to an individual in an action where
the person has not suffered any substantial injury or loss for
which he or she must be compensated.
This kind of damages reflects a legal recognition that a
plaintiff's rights have been violated through a defendant's
breach of duty or wrongful conduct. The amount awarded is
ordinarily a trifling sum, such as a dollar, which varies
according to the circumstances of each case. In certain
jurisdictions, the amount of the award might include the costs
of the lawsuit.
In general, nominal damages may be recovered by a plaintiff
who is successful in establishing that he or she has suffered a

loss or injury as a result of the defendant's wrongful conduct

but is unable to adequately set forth proof of the nature and
extent of the injury.
For example, an injured plaintiff who proves that a defendant's
actions caused the injury but fails to submit medical records to
show the extent of the injury may be awarded only nominal
The amount awarded is generally a small, symbolic sum,
although in some jurisdictions it may equal the costs of bringing
the lawsuit.
The most famous case of nominal damages was when Prime
Minister Winston Churchill was awarded a shilling (about 25
cents) in a libel lawsuit he had brought against author Louis
Adamic for writing that Churchill had been drunk during a
dinner at the White House. The Prime Minister was vindicated,
but the jury could not find that his towering reputation had
been damaged.
In another case of Constantine v. Imperial London Hotels
Ltd., a West Indian cricketer was refused accommodation at a
London hotel because of his nationality. He stayed at another
hotel arranged by the defendants and he suffered no loss. It
was held by Birkett, J. that nominal damages of five guineas are
awarded in respect of defendants breach of their common law
duty as innkeepers to provide accommodation for any traveler.
When a wrong is actionable per se, as for example, in the case
of trespass, damage to the plaintiff is presumed and an action
lies even though in fact the plaintiff may not have suffered any
loss. To justify the concept the nominal damages, Holt, C. J.
said, If a man another cuff on the ear, though it costs him
nothing, not so much as a little diachylon, yet he shall have his
action against another for riding over his ground, though it did
him no damage; for it is an invasion of his property and the
other has no right to come here.
Contemptuous Damages:

Contemptuous damages are awarded when the level of harm

caused to the claimant is low and the court feels that the
claimant was wrong to bring a claim. They are the mirror image
of nominal damages, in that the successful plaintiff is made to
pay damages for bringing the lawsuit.
Let us consider the example: Green and Brown are next-door
neighbors who have never gotten along. Greens dog wanders
onto Browns property one day and relieves himself. Brown
steps in the dogs faces, is disgusted, and sues Green for
trespass and for failing to control his dog. The court finds that
Brown was technically legally correct and thus he must win the
lawsuit, but that the lawsuit was rather ridiculous and wasted
everybodys time. The court will award damages in the amount
of the smallest monetary amount, to make this statement to
Contemptuous damages are a derisory amount awarded to
show disapproval at the bringing of a claim. This is where a
court awards a very small amount of damages to indicate the
courts disapproval of the court action having been brought at
all. This might be relevant in a defamation action, where the
court considers that the person bringing the action already has
a poor reputation, and that the false statement made about the
person is unlikely to damage their reputation much further.
It is to be distinguished from nominal damages because
nominal damages are awarded when the plaintiff has suffered
no loss, whereas contemptuous damages are awarded when
the plaintiff has suffered some loss but he does not deserve to
be fully compensated.

Compensatory Damages:
Compensatory damages are recovered in payment for actual
injury, which does not include punitive damages (to be
discussed later). It is a sum of money awarded in a civil action
by a court to indemnify a person for the particular loss,

detriment or injury suffered as a result of the unlawful conduct

of another. These damages provide a plaintiff with the
monetary amount necessary to replace what was lost and
nothing more.
One of the more heated issues facing the U.S. legal system
during the past quarter century has been the call for reform of
states Tort Laws. Some Health Care providers and other
organizations have sought to limit the amount of damages a
plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering because they claim
that large jury awards in Medical Malpractice cases cause
premiums on medical insurance policies to rise, thus raising the
overall costs of medical services. California took the lead in
addressing concerns with rising medical costs when it enacted
the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, California Civil
Code 3333.2 (1997). The act limits the recoverable amount
for non-economic loss, such as pain and suffering, to $250,000
in actions based on professional Negligence against certain
health care providers. Although the statute has been the
subject of numerous court challenges, it remains the primary
example of a state's efforts to curb medical costs through tort
Other states have sought to follow California's lead, though
efforts to limit compensatory damages have met with
considerable resistance. Opponents claim that because these
limitations greatly restrict the ability of juries and courts to
analyze the true damage that plaintiffs have suffered,
defendants avoid paying an amount equal to the harm inflicted
upon the plaintiffs. Medical organizations, such as the American
Medical Association continue to advocate for limitations on
damages, however, and they have sought to encourage state
legislatures to enact such provisions.
Aggravated Damages:
Damages awarded by a court to reflect the exceptional harm
done to a plaintiff of a tort action. When insult or injury to the
plaintiffs feelings has been caused, the court may take into

account the motive for the wrong and award an increased

amount of damages.
Aggravated damages are an award, or an augmentation of an
award, of compensatory damages for non-pecuniary losses.
They are designed to compensate the plaintiff, and they are
measured by the plaintiff's suffering. Such intangible elements
as pain, anguish, grief, humiliation, wounded pride, damaged
self-confidence or self-esteem, loss of faith in friends or
colleagues, and similar matters that are caused by the conduct
of the defendant; that are of the type that the defendant should
reasonably have foreseen in tort cases or had in contemplation
in contract cases; that cannot be said to be fully compensated
for in an award for pecuniary losses; and that are sufficiently
significant in depth, or duration, or both, that they represent a
significant influence on the plaintiff's life, can properly be the
basis for the making of an award for non-pecuniary losses or for
the augmentation of such an award.
Aggravated damages are an augmentation of general damages
to compensate for aggravated injury.
Punitive Damages:
Punitive damages are triggered by conduct that may be
described by such epithets as high-handed, malicious,
vindictive, and oppressive. They are awarded where the court
feels that the award of compensatory damages will not achieve
sufficient deterrence and that the defendant's actions must be
further punished. Punitive damages bear no relation to what
the plaintiff should receive by way of compensation. Their aim
is not to compensate the plaintiff, but rather to punish the
defendant. ...They are in the nature of a fine which is meant to
act as a deterrent to the defendant and to others from acting in
this manner. It is important to emphasize that punitive
damages should only be awarded in those circumstances where
the combined award of general and aggravated damages would
be insufficient to achieve the goal of punishment and

As explained by McIntyre. J., "Punitive damages, as the name

would indicate, are designed to punish. In this, they constitute
an exception to the general common law rule that damages are
designed to compensate the injured, not to punish the
Rules to Quantify Damages
Damages in case of shortening of expectation of life:
The House of Lords laid down certain rules to determine the
quantum of damages, in situations where a persons normal
span of life is shortened due to the wrongs done by the
The test to determine compensation is not the length of
time of life of which a person has been deprived, but it
should be the prospect of a predominantly happy life.
The test of happiness of life is not to be subjective, i.e.,
how the deceased thought about the chances of his own
happiness, the test is an objective one.
Very moderate damages should be should be allowed for
an action under this head
The economic and social position of a deceased has to be
ignored in assessing such damages as the happiness of
life does not necessarily depend on such things.
Damages in case of death of a person:
Interest Theory: Here the dependants are paid such lump
sum the interest from which would be equivalent to the loss
suffered by them. It has to be seen as to how much interest a
certain amount will bring if invested in a fixed deposit. Thus if
the loss to any dependant is assessed at x, such sum could
be awarded by way of compensation, which will fetch that
much interest every month to such dependant.

We can consider the case of State Farm Mutual Automobile

Insurance Co. v. Campbell2, where the Utah Supreme Court
decided on the quantum of damages to be paid using the
multiplier theory.
Other instances of damage calculation:
a. In some cases, the courts deduct a percentage of the
capitalized amount in view of the fact of uncertainties like
the deceased or dependants chance of dying before the
expiry of the years for which the multiplier has been used.
b. While deciding on the quantum of damage under the
(Indian) Fatal Accidents Act, 1855, factors such as if the
plaintiff was being supported by the deceased or had a
legal claim to be supported or if the plaintiff can claim
damages when the deceased was not an employed
person, needs to be kept in mind.

After reading articles on the law of torts and discussing this
topic with my friends I feel that the law of torts is not much
developed in India. But the tort law has provided physical
security to the people. Tort law evolved through the common
law. Historically, basic common law principles were applied to
solve legal problems. In the nineteenth century, there was a
movement towards systematizing tort law.
Economic analysis has greatly enriched our understanding of
damage rules. It reveals that damages serve a complex and
multi-faceted role: deterring risk takers, helping victims spread
risks and compensating them for their losses. This has also
helped us to design tort liability and design rules, which can
guide legislators and courts as they design tort liability and
damage rules.
It is suggested that at present damage awards for serious
personal injury and death generally are not sufficiently large to
induce potential injurers to take due care and engage in
optimal activity levels. Yet economic analysis also shows that
victims of physical injuries may be receiving too much
compensation. This suggests decoupling of defendants liability
from victims compensation should be considered.
While considering the situation in India, it can be seen that all
the rules for the purpose of damage calculation are not
predominantly utilized. The Multiplier Rule is extensively used
to decide on damages in cases of death due to tort.
The Law of Torts is not well developed in India as in countries
like the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
Hence applicability of its various aspects is also limited in the

Damages form a very integral part of Tort Law. The Legislature

should come up with sufficient and practical rules and theories
for computation of quantum of damages. This will lead to a
decrease in ambiguities that we come across in various cases
regarding the calculation of compensation.

1)Tort Winfield and Jolowitz

Textbook on Torts Salmond and Heuston


The law of Torts Ratanlal and Dhirajlal


Law of Tort P.S.A Pillai


Law of Torts R.K. Bhangia