The word nuisance is derived from the French word nuire meaning to do hurt or to annoy. A nuisance as a tort means an unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land, or some right over, or in connection with it. Acts interfering with the comfort, health or safety amount to a nuisance. The famous lawyers in India often regard nuisance as a wrong done to a man by unlawfully disturbing him in the enjoyment of his property or in the exercise of a common right.
Top lawyers in India while dealing with cases pertaining to nuisance are found saying that nuisance may be caused by negligence but it is not regarded as a branch of negligence and is also a continuing offence. In cases of a nuisance, the defence that all reasonable care to prevent the nuisance was taken is not regarded as a good defence.
The famous Supreme Court lawyers usually define public nuisance as an unreasonable interference with a right common to the general public. Various examples of public nuisance are witnessed by almost everyone in their day to day like, obstructing a public way, causing offensive smell or intolerable noise. The acts constituting public nuisance are necessarily unlawful acts on the other acts constituting a private nuisance are not necessarily unlawful.
It is pertinent to note that public nuisance does not create a civil cause of action. However, a person can take private action against public nuisance when the following conditions are satisfied:
1. He must show special and particular injury to himself beyond that which is suffered by the rest of the public.
2. The injury caused must de direct and not mere consequential injury.
3. Lastly, the injury must be shown to be of a substantial character.
In order to constitute the tort of nuisance also known as private nuisance following essentials are to be proved:
1. Unreasonable interference: every interference is not regarded as a nuisance. Interference must be such that it must cause damage to the plaintiff’s property or must cause some personal discomfort to the petitioner in the enjoyment of his property. An act does not become unreasonable or actionable because it is sensitive to the petitioner.
2. Interference with the use of the enjoyment of land: interference with comfort and convenience in using the premises amounts to a nuisance. However, the courts have laid down in various cases that only substantial interference with the convenience in using the premises also amounts to a nuisance.
It is of great importance to note that under the tort of a nuisance a person cannot increase the liability of his neighbor by applying his property to any special use. The special use may even amount to using the place for the purpose of business or pleasure.