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A Handbook on Law of Torts : Material and Cases
By Birendra Mohan Thakur , Tarun Mishra

First Published : 2016
ISBN : 9788177084269
Pages : 228
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 47

Tort means a civil wrong. Tort cases include injury in road accidents, injury or death due to spurious foodstuffs, negligent treatment in hospitals, excesses by police authorities etc. Tort is breach of some duty independent of the contract which has caused damage to the plaintiff giving rise to civil cause of action and for which remedy is available. If there is no remedy, it cannot be called a tort because the essence of tort is to give remedy to the person who has suffered injury.

In India, tort law is a relatively new area based on common law, supplemented by codifying statutes including statutes governing damages. While India generally follows the English law, there are certain differences which may indicate judicial activism, hence creating controversy. 

There is little tort litigation in India due to: (a) lack of awareness about one’s rights, (b) spirit of tolerance among Indians, (c) high cost of litigation which is beyond the means of poor people, (d) undue delay—particularly in civil cases—in the final disposal of cases and (e) discouraging attitude of the courts in tort cases. The law of torts has a social relevance in India where illiteracy and ignorance are widespread. The marginalized and vulnerable sections of the society, particularly in rural areas, do not understand their rights and privileges under the Constitution of India and the laws enacted thereunder. The law of tort needs to be understood by one and all.

The present Handbook explains the law of tort in simple and easily comprehensible language. It will be of immense help to students and practitioners of law. 

1. Meaning and Definitions
1.1 Meaning of Tort
1.2 Definitions
1.3 Distinction between Tort and Crime
1.4 Distinction between Tort and Breach of Contract
1.5 Distinction between Tort and Quasi-Contract
1.6 Distinction between Tort and Breach of Trust
2. Liability in Tort: Conditions
2.1 Act or Omission
2.2 Intention
2.2.1 Negligence
2.2.2 Breach of Strict Duty
2.3 Damages
2.3.1 Injuria Sine Damno
2.3.2 Two Kinds of Torts
2.3.3 Damnum Sine Injuria
3. General Defences in Tort
3.1 Volenti Non Fit Injuria
3.2 Exception to the Defence of Volenti Non Fit Injuria
3.3 Act of God
3.4 Statutory Authority
3.5 Inevitable Accident
4. Vicarious Liability
4.1 Vicarious Liability: Meaning and Examples
4.2 Vicarious Liability of the State and the Question of Sovereign Immunity
4.3 Liability of the Master for the Tort of His Servant
4.3.1 Distinction between a Servant and an Independent Contractor
4.4 Liability of the Principle for the Tort of His Agent
4.5 Liability of Partner for Each-Other’s Tort
5. Remoteness of Damages
5.1 Test of Reasonable Foresight
5.2 Test of Directness
6. Classes of Torts
6.1 Types of Torts
6.1.1 Class A: Personal Wrongs
6.1.2 Class B: Wrongs to Property
6.1.3 Class C: Wrongs to Person, Estate and Property Generally
6.2 Classification of Torts as Given by Professor Winfield
6.2.1 Wrongs to Person
6.2.2 Wrongs to Reputation
6.2.3 Wrongs to Property
6.2.4 Wrongs to Person or to Property
6.2.5 Wrongs of Interference with Freedom of Contract or of Business
6.2.6 Abuse of Procedure
6.3 Capacity to Sue and be Sued
6.3.1 Every Person May Maintain an Action in Tort Except
6.3.2 Every Person who Commits a Tort is Liable to be Sued Except
7. Doctrine of Strict Liability
7.1 Strict Liability: Meaning and Examples
7.2 Ingredients of the Rule of Strict Liability
7.3 Recognized Defences of the Doctrine of Strict Liability
8. Absolute Liability
8.1 Meaning and Exceptions
8.2 Supreme Court’s Rule of Absolute Liability
9. Public Liability, Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
9.1 Public Liability
9.1.1 Invitees
9.1.2 Licensees
9.1.3 Trespassers
9.1.4 Types of Claim
9.2 Liability Insurance
9.3 Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
10. Trespass
10.1 Tort against Person
10.2 Battery
10.3 Assault
10.4 Distinction between Assault and Battery
10.5 False Imprisonment
10.5.1 Essential Elements of False Imprisonment
10.5.2 Total Restraint
10.5.3 Bird vs. Jones Case (1845)
10.5.4 Means of Escape
10.5.5 Knowledge of the Plaintiff
10.5.6 Unlawful Detention
10.5.7 Lawful Detention
10.5.8 Arrest by Private Person
10.5.9 Remedies
11. Nuisance
11.1 Meaning and Types of Nuisance
11.2 Essentials of Nuisance
11.2.1 Interference
11.2.2 The Thing Affected
11.3 Nuisance and Trespass Distinguished
11.3.1 Defence to the Liability for Nuisance
12. Negligence
12.1 Essential Ingredients of Negligence
12.2 Contributory Negligence
12.3 Rules to Determine Contributory Negligence
12.3.1 The Last Opportunity Rule
12.3.2 Position in India
12.3.3 Theories of Contributory Negligence
12.4 Res Ipsa Loquitur
13. Defamation
13.1 Defamation: Meaning and Types
13.1.1 Slander
13.1.2 Libel
13.2 Important Elements of Defamation
14. Malicious Prosecution
14.1 Meaning Malicious Prosecution
14.2 Cases
15. Pleadings Related to Law of Torts
Annexure 1: Important Facts about Torts
Annexure 2: Important Questions for UPSC and Other PCS Examinations
Annexure 3: Model Questions and Answers
Annexure 4: Format of Writ Petition
Annexure 5: Specimen Form of a Writ Petition
Annexure 6: Model Forms
Annexure 7: Indian Easement Act, 1882
Annexure 8: Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988
Annexure 9: Fatal Accidents Act, 1855
Annexure 10: Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923
Annexure 11: A Brief Case Analysis: Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster
Annexure 12: Law of Torts: Syllabus for University Examination and Recommended Readings


Birendra Mohan Thakur is presently Dean of Law, B.N.M.U. Madhepura. He is also secretary, B.M.T. Law College, Purnia (Bihar). He established the Braja Mohan Thakur Law College, Kamla Bhawan, Purnia in the year 1982. During his tenure as founder principal of the college, the college got autonomous status from the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi and accreditation (Grade B) by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore.

Tarun Mishra did his LL.B. from the University of Delhi, Delhi. He has done his LL.M. from the ICFAI, Hyderabad. He is presently academic adviser of the B.M.T. Law College, Purnia (Bihar). He has also been director of TMEC, Darbhanga (a government approved institution working in the field of skill development since 2000). He is also associate editor of Ankur—an environmental awareness journal.

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