The word ‘nuisance’ is derived from the French word ‘nutre’ and Latin word ‘nocere’ which mean ‘to hurt or to annoy’. Nuisance has been defined to be anything done to the hurt or annoyance of lands, tenements or hereditament of another, and not amounting to a trespass. Blackstone describes nuisance(nocumentum) as something that worketh hurt, inconvenience
It is an injury to the right of a person in possession of property to undisturbed enjoyment of it and results from an improper use by another person of his own property. One should also use one’s property in such a way that no injury is caused to another’s use of property.
Nuisances are of two kinds: 1) Public 2) Private
It is an act or omission, causing any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity. For example: keeping common gaming house or disorderly inn, etc. Any person who has suffered special damage is entitled to bring an action.
Civil: In case of public nuisance or other wrongful act affecting or likely to affect the public a suit for declaration and injunction or for such other relief as may be appropriate in the circumstances of the case may be initiated:
• By the Advocate General
• With the leave of the court by two or more persons, even though no special damages has been caused to such persons by reason of such public nuisance or other wrongful act.
Local bodies like Municipality, etc. have a legal right to remove obstructions, from the public ways. If they unreasonably deny to use their right a writ under Article 226 can be brought against them (Anil Krishna v. West Bengal, AIR 1989 Cal.102)
Criminal. Chapter XIV of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 133 to 143 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 prescribe the appropriate remedies in this respect.
A private nuisance is some unauthorized use of a man’s property causing damage to the property of another or some unauthorized interference with the property or proprietary rights of another, causing damage, but not amounting to trespass-underhillon torts. Private nuisance includes obstruction to light and air, wrongful escape of foul gas or noise, water filth, germs, etc. In the case of Ware v. Garston Haulage and Co.,(1944) AC 30 it was held that if anything is placed on the highway which is likely to cause an accident though being an obstruction to those who using the highway and an accident results there is an actionable nuisance.
Who can sue in Private Nuisance?
• The owner with possession
• The occupier of land who is in possession.
• The reversioners.- If there is danger that the permanent injury may be caused to his property, the reversioner can bring an action in nuisance
• The owner of an incorporeal hereditaments such as a right to air, light or profit.
The remedies available to a person for nuisance are:
• Abatement,i.e, removal of a nuisance
• Injunction. Here the injury complained of must be present or impending as by reason of its gravity, or its permanent character, or both, cannot be adequately compensated in damages.