Every person has the right to exercise undisturbed enjoyment of his possessions. However, if this rightful enjoyment of possession is hindering other’s right that they exercise on their possessions, it needs to be controlled. The tort of nuisance pertains to this concept. The word ‘nuisance’ is derived from the Greek word ‘nuire’ which means ‘to cause harm’. the tort of nuisance occurs when while exercising the rights on one’s possessions, it harms the rights of the person in surrounding of that person.


Nuisance is an injury to the right of a person’s possession of his property to undisturbed enjoyment of it and results from an improper usage by another individual.

Nuisance, as defined by Salmond is, “causing or allowing to cause without lawful justification, the escape of any deleterious thing from one’s land or from anywhere into land in possession of the plaintiff, such as water, smoke, gas, heat, electricity, etc.”

According to Black Law Dictionary,” anything that unlawfully worketh hurt, inconvenience, or damage is nuisance.”


Wrongful Act: to constitute the tort of nuisance there should be commission of a wrongful act. Any action carried out with the aim to violate the legal rights of another person is regarded as unlawful.

Damage: The annoyance, loss, or damage must be sufficient for the law to see as significant evidence supporting the claim.


Tort of nuisance can be classified into two kinds:

  1. Private Nuisance
  2. Public Nuisance


Private Nuisance is that kind of nuisance in which a person’s use or enjoyment of his property is ruined by another. It may also injuriously affect the owner of the property by physically injuring his property or by affecting the enjoyment of the property. Unlike public nuisance, in private nuisance, an individual’s usage or enjoyment of property is ruined as distinguished from the public or society at large. The remedy for private nuisance is a civil action for damages or an injunction or both.


A nuisance is defined by the Indian Penal Code as an act that either inevitably causes harm, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to those who may have occasion to use any public right, or it causes any common injury, danger, or annoyance to the people in general who dwell or occupy the property nearby.

Public nuisance has an impact on society as a whole, on a sizable segment of the population, and on the property rights that society’s members may be able to exercise. A public nuisance is an act that has a major negative impact on or interferes with the general public’s comfort, safety, or health.

Rose v. Miles (1815)

Due to the defendant’s unlawful obstruction of a publicly accessible navigable waterway, he was unable to carry his products through the creek and had to do so on land, incurring additional transportation costs. The plaintiff successfully demonstrated that he had suffered a loss over other members of society and that he was entitled to pursue legal action against the defendant, leading to the conclusion that the defendant’s actions had created a public nuisance.


Prescription: A prescription is a legally recognized title that is obtained through use and time; a person can legally claim any property since his predecessors were legally entitled to own it.
Prescription is a unique type of defense in which the party may use it if the nuisance has been existing openly and peacefully for some time without any interruption. After these twenty years have passed, the nuisance is legalized in the same way as if it had been granted permission by the landowner at the beginning.

Statutory Authority: All available remedies, including actions, indictments, and charges, are eliminated when a statute permits the commission of a specific crime or the use of land in a particular manner. As long as all appropriate safety measures have been done. There are two types of statutory authority: unconditional and unconditional.


Injunction: A judicial order known as an injunction prevents someone from acting in a way that could endanger or violate the legal rights of another. It could take the shape of a brief injunction that is issued, rescinded, or upheld during its brief duration. In the event that it is validated, it becomes a permanent injunction.

Damages: The offended person may be offered damages in the form of nominal damages or compensation. The statute determines the amount of damages that must be given to the party who has been wronged, and its goal is not only to make amends for the harm done to the victim but also to make the defendant realize his error and discourage him from committing the same wrong again.

Abatement: A nuisance is abated when it is removed by the aggrieved party without the need for legal action. The law does not favor this type of remedy. but is accessible in specific situations. The defendant must typically be notified of this right and his failure to act, and it must be used within a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable steps may be employed to utilize the abatement, and if the plaintiff’s actions exceed reasonable measures, he will be held accountable.


Everybody’s daily existence involves the concept of nuisance; in fact, Indian courts have established their own precedents while also drawing heavily from English common law decisions and English concepts. This has contributed significantly to the development of the idea of nuisance in the legal field and ensures the justice and welfare of all parties that may be involved, including the party that is affected in private nuisance cases and society at large in public nuisance cases.

Contributed by – Ishita Saxena

(Symbiosis Law School, Noida 2023-28)

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