File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Exceptions To Liabilities

Defence to various kinds of individual and collective liabilities
The common defences of Inevitable Accident, Act of God, Plaintiff as the wrongdoer, statutory authority are available to each and every defendant for a tortuous conduct. However, in the module we shall specifically discuss the defences under the heads of Strict Liability and Vicarious Liability.
  1. Strict Liability

    Defences To Strict Liability

    1. Act of God (vis major):
      A direct violent, sudden, and irresistible act of nature as could not, by any amount of ability, have been foreseen or if foreseen, could not by any amount of human care and skill have been resisted. Thus those acts which are occasioned by the elementary forces of nature, unconnected with the agency of man or other cause will come under the category of act of God, e.g., storm, tempest, lightning, extraordinary fall of rain, extraordinary high tide, extraordinary severe frost, or a tidal bore which sweeps a ship in mid water.

      The mere fact that Vis Major co-existed with or followed on the negligence is no adequate defence.
    2. Wrongful act of a third party:
      A Landlord using his premises in an ordinary and proper manner is bound to exercise all reasonable care, but he is not responsible for damage not due to his own default, whether that damage caused by inevitable accident or wrongful acts of third persons.
    3. Plaintiff's own Fault:
      The faults of plaintiff or his negligence could be used as a defence against strict liability since defendant was not at fault in certain cases and plaintiff still try to get them penalized under the rule of strict liability.
    4. With consent of the plaintiff:
      There are many instances where both plaintiff and defendant have agreed on making use of certain equipment or area for benefit of both but still plaint is filed for damages by plaintiff. Under such circumstances this defence comes into play.
    5. Statutory Authority:
      "No action will lie for doing that which the legislature has authorized, if it be done without negligence, although it does occasion damage to anyone; but an action does lie for doing that which the legislature has authorized, if it be done negligently." The statute must authorize the use of the dangerous thing either expressly or by necessary implication.
  2. Vicarious Liability

    In the cases of Vicarious Liability there are few defenses which could be used by the defendant who is the master or principal of the defaulter:
    1. Negligence:
      In normal circumstances the negligence of servant during the course of employment makes the master/principal liable too. However if the negligent act is proved beyond the course of employment then the master cannot be held liable.
    2. Unauthorized Act:
      If the unauthorized and wrongful act of the servant is not so connected with the authorized act as to be a mode of doing that authorized act, then the master is not liable, for in such a case the servant is not acting in the course of employment, but is going outside it.
    3. Criminal Act:
      The primary exception arises through statutory interpretation where the verb used to define the action in the actus reus is both the physical action of the employee and the legal action of the employer. The holder of rights can grant a license to another or permit another to do something that would otherwise have been unlawful. Since the minds of master and servant would always differ during and considering the criminal act, so master at most times would not be liable.
    4. Sovereign Function:
      The doctrine of 'sovereign immunity' implies that a State can claim immunity from law just because it is sovereign ('the king can do no wrong'). The defence could be made in accordance to the course of employment rule.
 The Law Commission recommended four exceptions to the rule of State Liability (i.e., the following defences should be made available to the:
  • Act of State:
    It mean an act of the sovereign power directed against another sovereign power or the subject of another sovereign power not owing temporary allegiance, in pursuance of sovereign rights.
  • Judicial acts:
    It means act done by judicial officers and persons executing warrants and orders of judicial officers.
  • Political Functions:
    Acts done in exercise of political functions of state e.g., foreign affairs; diplomatic, consular and trade representation; war and peace; acts in emergency; etc.
  • Defence Forces:
    Acts done in relation to defence forces like Combatant activities of the Armed Forces during the time of war; acts done in the exercise of the powers vested in the Union for purpose of training or maintain the efficiency of the Defence Forces.

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly