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Damnum Sine Injuria/ Injuria Sine Damnum


In law of torts, we all have come across the terms ‘Damnum Sine Injuria’ and ‘Injuria Sine Damnum’ . We often get confused as to the meaning of these two legal terms . Let us clear our concept by understanding the basic concept and the difference between the two.

The word Damnum is a Latin word which means Damage.

The word Sine is also a Latin word meaning Without; and
The word Injuria which is also a Latin word means injury of the Lawful personal privileges

Thus the word Damnum Sine Injuria means any damage which is caused apart from the harm as well as prejudice or in simple terms it means Damage done without the violation of legal rights.

Therefore, a brief explanation of this term is given below:
Damnum Sine Injuria as the meaning suggests is a situation where a damage of any kind is done to another person without violating the legal rights of the other person. For example, A, a shop owner sells stationery items to primary school students for three years and next to A’s shop, B opens another stationary shop and sells his items at a lower price compared to A’s. Now, A cannot sue B as he did not violate any of the legal rights of A because by opening a shop just next to A is no illegal act. Therefore, in this case, although A suffered sufficient monetary loss in his business , he cannot sue B for opening another stationary shop. So, we can say A was a victim of Damnum Sine Injuria

A person committing Damnum Sine Injuria cannot be sued in the court of law.

In Gloucester Grammar School’s case, the defendant was a teacher who was teaching in Gloucester Grammar school and due to some disputes he left the school and opened his own school and even reduced the fees from 40 pence, which was charged in Gloucester Grammar School to 12 pence . As a result, the students started leaving the Gloucester Grammar school and joined the defendants school due to the lower fees. This resulted in a loss for the Gloucester school.

The plaintiff sued the defendant for trespassing their franchise and demanded damages caused by for the monetary loss caused by the defendant.

The court held that the defendant who opened the rival school would not be liable for the monetary loss that occurred to the plaintiff. Though there has been loss suffered to the plaintiff by the act of the defendant, still he would not be getting any damages for the monetary loss by the defendant

The court also held that this case covers the essentials of the maxim Damnum Sine Injuria and therefore the defendant did not violate any legal right of the plaintiff even though the plaintiff suffered monetary loss. Therefore, the plaintiff was not given any damages for his monetary loss as the essentials of Damnum Sine Injuria were met.

This is all about Damnum Sine Injuria.

Injuria Sine Damnum
The maxim Injuria Sine Damnum is just the opposite of Damnum Sine Injuria.

Injuria means injury of the Lawful persons

Sine means without

Damnum means damage

Thus, the maxim Injuria Sine Damnum means the legal injury caused to the plaintiff without any damage to the physical injury or in simple terms it means a situation where no damage has been caused by a particular act , but that act violated a legal right of another.

Therefore, even by an act of any person , no damage is caused to the other ,but there has been a violation of the legal right of the other person ,then the person committing such violation will be held guilty even if no damage has been caused.

For example, A, a person was on his way to give his vote to favorite leader but he was not allowed by B to give the vote as he did not had necessary documents to show that he was an eligible voter. A, kept on saying that he was an eligible voter and was backed by necessary documents to prove his eligibility. B, still did not allow him to vote. However, the candidate whom A wanted to vote won and as a result no such damage was caused to him. But B was held guilty of Injuria Sine Damnum as not allowing a person to give vote is a violation of legal right of A, no matter what was the outcome of the result.

In the case of Ashby vs White, the plaintiff was a qualified voter at the parliamentary elections which were held at that point of time. The defendant , a returning officer wrongfully refused to take the plaintiff’s vote. The plaintiff, however suffered no damage since the candidate whom he wished to vote had already won the election, but still the defendant was held guilty by the court.

The court held that damage is not merely pecuniary but injury imports a damage, so when a man is hindered of his legal rights, he is entitled to remedies. Hence , according to the meaning of the maxim Injuria Sine Damnum , the defendant was held guilty and was liable to pay damages to the plaintiff, although no damage was caused to him but by the act of the defendant , the plaintiff suffered a violation of his legal right to vote. Hence, the court said that the plaintiff was entitled to damages by the defendant.

This is all about Injuria Sine Damnum.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Soubhratra Bhattacharjee
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Authentication No: MA33254898501-12-0321

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