- MEANING OF TERM NUISANCE
The term ‘nuisance’ is derived from the French term nuire, to do hurt or to annoy. The term nuisance has exhaustive and diverse definitions.
Nuisance as a tort means an unlawful interference with a person’s use/enjoyment of the land or some right over, or in connection with it. This means that nuisance is that wrong which is done to a man by disturbing him unlawfully in the use/enjoyment of his property or the exercise of his common right.
- KINDS OF NUISANCE
Nuisance is of 2 kinds:
- Public or Common Nuisance– A public/common nuisance is defined as an unreasonable interference with a right common to the overall public. The acts constituting public nuisance are unlawful and it is crime under section 268 of IPC. Obstructing a public way by digging a trench, carrying on trades that cause offensive smell or intolerable noises, etc are examples of the common nuisance.
2. Private Nuisance– private nuisance is an unreasonable interference that may damage the plaintiff’s property or may cause personal discomfort to him in the enjoyment of the property.
However, every interference is not a nuisance. Mere noise, vibration, smell or inconvenience, etc is not a nuisance.
- DEFENCES TO NUISANCE
- Prescription– If a nuisance has been going on peacefully and openly without any kind of interruption then the defence of prescription is available to the party. After the expiry of twenty years, the nuisance becomes legalized as if it had been authorized in its commencement by a grant from the owner of the land.
- Statutory Authority– An act done under the authority of a state is a complete defence provided that necessary reasonable precautions have been taken. Thus a railway company authorized to run railway trains is not liable if, despite due care, the sparks from the engine set fire in the adjourning property.