Damnum Sine Injuria:
This is a legal maxim in law of torts which deals with damages caused without
injury. So it basically deals with the damages caused where there is no
involvement of infringement of legal rights. Since there is no infringement of
legal rights to any particular person, hence this cannot be enforced in court of
The mere fact that a man is injured by another's act gives in itself no cause of
action; if the act is deliberate, the party injured will have no claim in law
even though the injury is intentional, so long as the other party is exercising
a legal right.
Damnum sine Injuria is a Latin word, which mean DAMAGE WITHOUT INJURY, and
hence the word itself clearly establishes that if a person suffers from any kind
of damage, but if there is no Inter vision with the legal rights of a person,
then neither it can be enforced in the court of law, nor a person can claim any
The maxim Damnum Sine Injuria is dived into three parts:
- Damnum includes anything which is related to substantial loss, harm,
damage with respect to money, health etc.
- Injuria means infringement of a right given by the law by the plaintiff
- Sine means without
The general principle on which this maxim is based upon is that if one exercises
his common or ordinary rights, within reasonable limits, and without infringing
others legal right; such an exercise does not give rise to an action in tort in
favor of that other person. Damages can be in any form either in the form of any
substantial harm or loss suffered from respect to the money, comfort, health,
In order to get more clarity regarding this Damnum Sine injuria concept, letís
have a detailed case analysis.
The Land mark case dealing with this concept include:
Gloucester Grammer School Case:Facts:
In this case, the defendant was a school teacher who used to work in
plaintiff school. Due to some conflicts which arose between the defendant and
plaintiff, defendant had left the school. Later, he set up a rival school next
to that of plaintiff. Defendant school teacher was very popular for his
teaching. Boys from the plaintiff school left it and started to join in
defendantís school, because of this competition the plaintiff had to reduce them
from 40peneace to 12penance. The plaintiff sued defendant for monetary loss
Issues Raised In This Case:
- Can defendant be held responsible for the monetary loss suffered by the
plaintiff, just because he had fixed a rival school and damaged the right of
- Did this case cover the essentials of Damnum sine injuria? And if yes then
the defendant couldnít be held liable?
It was held by court that; no suit could lie. It was held by court of law that
defendant couldnít be held liable. The court stated that:
compensation is no ground of action even though the monetary loss is caused, but
if no legal right is violated.
It also further stated that, the defendant had lawfully set up his own school
and he nowhere violated any legal right of plaintiff.
It was believed by the court that, students liked the teaching style of
defendant, hence it was at the discretion of the students to study in which ever
school they want to.
Appellant has no right to stop the defendant to run a business as a competition
to his school.
Law of Torts is understood to be An instrument to form people adhere to conduct
of reasonable behavior and respect the rights and interests of one another.
- And the same are kept in mind while giving the judgment of the case at
the top of the decision of the law of court.
- The case which we discussed above is related to An act which caused damage but no legal right is infringed or
- This is known as Damnum Sine injuria which means: Damage without
The decision taken in the case GLOUCESTER GRAMMER SCHOOL, was also applied to
the similar case Chasemore vs Richards (1859). In this case the plaintiff was
running a mill on his own land, and for the same purpose he was using stream
water for a long time. The well which was dug in his own land did cut the supply
of underground water supply.
The quantity of water in the stream was reduced due
to this reason the mill was closed. The plaintiff sued deft for the damage
caused. For this case, the court had taken the precedent from Gloucester grammar
case and stated that this is a case of Damnum sine injuria. Since there is no
legal injury, the court held that plaintiff ask for any compensation.
In India, the concept of law of torts has been given constitutional value as it
is applied in deciding many cases.4
Vishnu Dutt Sharma vs Board of High School:
In this case the plaintiff filed a
suit and argued that he was entitled to damage as he had suffered a loss of one
year due to wrongfully detention by the principal. Even in this case, the court
held that the plaintiff canít claim compensation as misconstructions of
regulations doesnít amount to tort. From this case analysis, we can conclude
that compensation is not the ground of action despite the fact that monetary
loss, or any other type of loss is caused but if no right is violated
concept of Damnum sine injuria, the Gloucester grammar case has been a land mark
case, and from this the court had laid down the rules that:
If There Is No Infringement Of Legal Right, Then No Compensation Can Be
- Gloucester Grammar school case comment, Indian legal solutions
- Gloucester Grammar school case comment, E-justice India
- Chaesmore v/s Richards
- Vishnu Datt v/s Board of High School
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Naga Snigdha Nemani
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