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Tortious Interference And Types Of Torts

Torts is a legal terminology that is derived from the French word tortum literally meaning twist. It traces its roots back to the pre-colonial period when British came to India for trade links. They established British courts in their presidencies like Madras, Surat or Bombay, which were referred to as Mayor's Court. From here, the journey of torts and its development began in India. There are various existing definitions for torts given by various jurists and thinkers. One common definition of torts is that as follows-

Torts is a misconduct termed as private wrong that harms people or their property or an act against the private individual. The injured party here can sue the wrong doer often termed as tortfeasor. Salmond defines tort as a civil wrong for which the remedy lies in common law action given for unliquidated damages and which is not just the breach of contract or just trust and mere social or moral good.

The following are essentials of torts:
  • It is a civil wrong.
  • It is other than mere breach of contract/breach of trust.
  • It is redressible in nature.

Tortious Interference refers to unnecessary and intentional interference with anyone's business or property that may be counted as movable or immovable property. It is a civil wrong that falls under the category of torts which is redressible in nature for unliquidated damages. This tortious interference may be claimed on any basis that spreads its ambit to either day-to-day activities or may be occasionally done towards another. The ambit of this interference is widely spread, and it includes interferences like false claims, malice intentions towards another harm to person or property and many more. All these tortious interferences fall under the category of torts or types of torts like nuisance, defamation, trespass etc.

Tortious Interference

The legal term 'tortious interference' is made up of two words- tortious and interference. The word tortious is derived from tort that means any civil wrong that is committed by an individual towards another that falls under the category of torts and liability is incurred towards that person who acts as a tort feasor. The liability of torts is termed as tortious, and this is the simple meaning of the term tortious.

Interference, on the other hand refers to the unnecessary involvement in anyone's land, property either movable or immovable or even reputation of the person. Interference is civil wrong, and liability is incurred for unliquidated damages. The party who suffers the damages files a civil suit against another who acts as a tort feasor is liable to pay damages that are not fixed by law. The damage is unliquidated in nature. The proceedings here are civil.

For instance, A unlawfully interferences in B's property by throwing garbage in his land. This interference is illegal or unlawful. This interference is called as tortious interference. Now, A can initiate civil proceedings because B committed a nuisance against A. Therefore, B can sue A for unliquidated damages against the tortious interference he committed.

Types Of Tortious Interference:

There Exist Two Broad Categories Of Tortious Interference Which Are As Follows:
  • With regard to a contract.
  • With regard to business activities.

Tortious Interference With Regard To A Contract

Tortious interference refers to the interference when a person unlawfully interferences with a contract between two individuals and manipulates them which leads to loss or breach of contract. This is termed as Tortious interference with a contract. The person who suffers breach or loss can sue the other who interfered and civil proceedings can be initiated. It can only be claimed when there is a written contract.

For instance, Anu and Bhim entered into a contract to sell anu's car at the rate of Rs. 100000 to Bhim. Nisha manipulated Bhim not to buy anu's car because she did not have good relations with her. Here, the tortious interference was done by Nisha and anu can initiate civil proceedings against her.

Tortious Interference With A Business Relationship

Tortious interference with a business relation is somewhat similar to that with regard to a contract. It can be imposed when a third person interferes with a business deal between two or more individuals that leads to loss or breach.

Types Of Torts

Torts can be classified into four broad categories namely- Intentional torts, strict liability torts, constitutional torts, and negligence torts. They can further minorly be classified as vicarious, absolute and defamation.

Intentional Torts

Intentional torts refer to that form of torts that is done with a malafide intention or purposefully to harm the other person or his/her property or cause harm to the same. These include assault and battery as foremost. Assault refers to an apprehension of harm whereas battery refers to bodily and intentional harm caused to the person.

In the case of R v. St George, 1980 it was held that merely a holding of unloaded gun towards another does not amount to assault against another and will not fall under the category of intentional torts.

Strict Liability Torts

Strict liability refers to the consequences that flow from an act wrongfully done by an individual for which he can be held liable even if it may not fall in any criminal wrong or act. One of the famous cases of strict liability is Rylands v Fletcher, in which the plaintiff installed a mine shaft besides which the defendant constructed an artificial pond. The latter caused the mine shaft to collapse and due to which water flowed in plaintiff's operation. The plaintiff's sued the defendant. The issue here was whether the use of land whether reasonable or not. It was held that use of land by the defendant was unreasonable, and he did this without any sort of notice with regards to the same and the court of law held him liable.

Constitutional Torts

Constitutional torts refer to that form of tort where a tort is committed against an individual against his constitutional rights, and it is committed by a governmental employee.

Negligence Torts

Negligence refers to the breach of care that one must follow for another person or towards another person. It is the duty that one person owes to another and if there is a breach of such duty it leads to negligence and due to negligence when harm that is a civil wrong is caused is called a negligence tort. For instance, if I own a dog who bites anyone, and I fail to do that duty I have committed the tort of negligence. This is further divided into civil and criminal negligence torts.

It can thereby be concluded that the legal term tort has a wide range of civil wrongs under one umbrella. Tortious interference is unnecessary or purposeful interference or harm caused to another which is further divided into interference with contract or business. Types of torts include its ambit to negligence, strict liability, constitutional torts and intentional torts.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Maanya Jain
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