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Case Comment( Law of Torts Project)

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It is a case comment on the case Rylands vs. Fletcher and how the principle of Strict liability developed and got further extended into Principle of Absolute Liability.
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    1 | Page   NALSAR    UNIVERSITY   OF   LAW CASE COMMENTERY ON RYLANDS V. FLETCHER LAW OF TORTS PROJECT SUBMITTED BY VEDANT DIKSHIT ROLL NO.:- 2014-71 COURSE: - B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) I  St  SEMESTER SUBMITTED TO Dr. ARUNA B. VENKAT    2 | Page   CONTENTS INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 3   OVERVIEW OF THE CASE.......................................................................................................... 4   F ACT SUMMARY OF THE CASE : ....................................................................................................... 4   H ISTORY OF THE CASE : .................................................................................................................. 5   Court of Liverpool Assizes ..................................................................................................... 5   Court of Exchequer ................................................................................................................. 5   Court of Appeal ....................................................................................................................... 5   House of Lords ........................................................................................................................ 5   J UDGEMENT : ................................................................................................................................. 6   P RIOR TO RYLANDS V .   F LETCHER CASE : ........................................................................................ 7   ANALYSIS ..................................................................................................................................... 8   ESSENTIALS A  ND E LEMENTS DERIVED FROM THE CASE  ................................................................. 8   I. There Should Be a Dangerous Thing (on escape which can cause mischief) ..................... 8   II. The Dangerous Thing Must Escape ................................................................................... 8   III. It Must Be A Non-Natural Use Of Land ........................................................................... 9   IV. There Should Be Damage ................................................................................................. 9   E VOLUTION OF THE ESSENTIALS DERIVED FROM CASE  ................................................................ 10   E VOLUTION OF STRICT LIABILITY IN INDIA :  A FURTHER STEP  ....................................................... 12   CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................. 14      3 | Page   INTRODUCTION Law of Torts is an un-codified civil law; it develops through cases that come before of the court. The new principles of torts are generally developed by the judges in the court while dealing with cases. For example, principle of negligence has been developed from  Donoghue v. Stevenson 1 ,  principle of nuisance from Sturges v. Bridgman 2 . This process is keep on going since the very  beginning of common law system in C.E 1200 to the very latest time in 1987 when Supreme Court of India derived the principle of absolute liability from the case called as Oleum Gas Leak case 3 . Thus, it is evident from this that law of tort is continuously evolving and principles are derived by the judges from the cases that require different kinds of principle. One such same thing happened in the case called as  Ryland v. Fletcher. 4  Ryland v. Fletcher [1868] UKHL 1   opened the way for strict liability. Principle of strict liability state that it is the legal responsibility of defendant to pay damages if he found strictly liable even though he was not at the fault or in simple word, liability without fault. 5  In other words , If a person brings a  potentially harmful thing on his land and makes non natural use of it and the thing is of such nature that on escape it may cause nuisance or damage, then he will be held liable for the damage caused due to the escape even if, he has no fault in the escape. 6   1 Donoghue v Stevenson, UKHL 100 (1932). 2 Sturges v Bridgman, LR 852 (11 1879). 3 M.C. Mehta v. Union of India and Ors,1 SCR 819 (1987).   4 John Rylands and Jehu Horrocks v Thomas Fletcher, 1 UKHL 330 (1868).   5 Henry Campbell Black, Black‟s Law Dictionary . 4th ed. West Publishing Co. 1891.    4 | Page   OVERVIEW OF THE CASE F ACT SUMMARY OF THE CASE : 1)   John Rylands constructed a reservoir on land rented from Lord Wilton to supply water to his steam-powered textile mill. 2)   Thomas Fletcher uses to operate mines on nearby land which was also rented from Lord Wilton, Fletcher excavated up to old disused mines which were under the land where Rylands reservoir was constructed.   3)   Rylands hired independent contractors to construct the reservoir which was finished in December 1860. 4)   While working on the construction site, the contractors came across some old mine shafts which were loosely filled with gravels and soil. They did not seal these shafts. These shafts were internally interconnected to tunnels and tunnels finally into the Fletcher's mines. 5)   Water from Rylands' reservoir flooded the Fletcher's mines on 11 December 1860, after completion of the reservoir and after it had been partially filled. There had been no excessive rains or local floods. 6)   Fletcher sued Rylands.  

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Jul 23, 2017
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