November 26, 2020

How to Study ‘Law of Torts’ for Competitive and College Exams

Law of Torts

This article analyses the syllabus of Law of torts required for UPSC CSE Mains Examination (Law Optional), Judicial Exams and College Exams. This blog analysis primarily aims to provide detailed guide to study various topics. LawBhoomi has a separate section providing notes for Law of Torts. To access, Click Here.

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Topic-1. Nature and definition 

Read it’s meaning and remember in totality the definition given like of Winfield, Pollock and Denning and its criticism as well. There is very little legislation in the area of tort in India. So mostly English Case Laws have to be referred. 

Also read different theories of tort like pigeon hole theories and distinction of tort with crime.

Topic-2. Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability

Understand the meaning of liability in tort and then study its types. Generally speaking, liability based on ‘fault’ implies that the defendant is liable because of harms caused with an intention or negligence on his part. 

A ‘strict’ liability makes the defendant liable for accidental harms caused without any intention and negligence on his part. In other words, sometimes the law recognizes ‘no fault’ liability.

 Absolute liability principle was innovation of Indian courts in case of hazardous substance and have no exceptions what so ever. Read Bhopal Gas Tragedy case.

Topic-3. Vicarious liability including State Liability 

This topic’s preparation can be clubbed with topic 2 as Vicarious liability is a kind of ‘strict liability’. However, in vicarious liability the liability arises because of the relationship between the principal and the wrongdoer, while in the case of strict liability the liability arises out of the wrong itself. 

State liability topic is best illustrated in Kasturi Lai Ralia Ram Jaiv State of U.P case. However, the concept explained has been diluted by various other judgments. Read the meaning of state liability in different context. 

Topic-4. General defences 

It’s a vast topic and here is the list of general defences in tort which can be studied.

(1) Volenti non fit injuria(Defence of Consent).

(2) Plaintiff, the Wrongdoer.

(3) Inevitable Accident.

(4) Act of God.

(5) Private Defence.

(6) Mistake.

(7) Necessity.

(8) Statutory Authority.

(9) Judicial/Quasi-Judicial Acts; Executive Acts.

(10) Acts Done Under Parental Authority.

Topic – 5. Joint tort-fessors 

This topic is relatively small and only few things needs to be studied. In depth focus is not required. All persons who aid, or counsel, or direct or join in the committal of a wrongful act, are joint tortfeasors. And what is the Liability of joint Tortfeasors, whether they can be help severally liable or only jointly. 2-3 case laws will suffice the purpose.

Topic- 6. Remedies 

There are only two things that need to be studied in for this topic. 

Remedies for torts are of two kinds: Judicial and Extra judicial. Judicial remedies are those which are afforded by the act of law, viz. (1) awarding of damages; (2) granting of injunction; and (3) restitution of property. 

Read 2-3 case laws for each. 

Topic- 7. Negligence

In this topic study, component and its meaning. 

Component of negligence needs to be studied as well. Like what is the judicial ration in order the tort of negligence to be applied. 

Topic- 8. Defamation

Club this topic with study of defamation with criminal law topic. Read case laws on basis of which the amount of damage awarded will be calculated and how it is different in this aspect from criminal defamation. 

Topic- 9. Nuisance 

This topic is very specific although the term ‘nuisance’ has exhaustive and diverse definitions. Nuisance as a tort means an unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land, or some right over, or in connection with it. Acts interfering with the comfort, health or safety are the examples of it. 

Study only case laws related to nuisance with respect of property, health and comfort. 2-3 cases for each will suffice. Also, study types of nuisance. 

 Topic- 10. Conspiracy 

Very Short Topic. Study its meaning and difference between ‘conspiracy in tort’ and ‘conspiracy in crime’. 

Topic – 11. Assault, Battery and False Imprisonment 

The three chief forms of trespass to person are: Assault, Battery and False Imprisonment. Read all.

 Also, read relation between false imprisonment and unlawful detention. How one is legal other is illegal. 

Topic – 12. Malicious prosecution 

Study meaning of malicious prosecution and what the ingredients. Read distinction between False Imprisonment and Malicious Prosecution. 

Topic – 13. Consumer Protection Act  

Read jurisprudential aspect of having such act like- a social measure, designed to safeguard the interest of consumers as against the trading segment of the society.

Read the important definitions like ”deficiency’‘, ”consumer” and specifically case laws related to it.

 Ex: Whether medical negligence case comes within the meaning of service under consumer laws.

 Go through the 2019 amendment as well. 

All the best! Happy Studying!

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