Damnum sine injuria – Legal Maxim

Literal Meaning

Damage without legal injury.

Explanation

The legal maxim means causing of damage/condemnation without injury. It refers to a situation where the right of the plaintiff is not respected and is breached but this breach of the plaintiff’s right does not result in damage or in some cases liquidated damages. In other cases the injury is too small that the law considers it trivial to take notice of.

Origin

Latin

Illustration

Sam was running an ice-cream parlour quite successfully. After few days Rock opened up another ice-cream parlour in front of Sam’s ice-cream parlour and started selling ice-creams at a price lower than Sam’s ice-creams. Here even though the low prices will cause loss to Sam but there is no violation of any legal right and hence Sam has no effective remedy against Rock.

Case Reference

a. M. R. Mini (Minor) Represented By Her Guardian and Father M.P. vs. State of Kerala and Anr[1]

Once we hold that the university-wise allocation of seats is valid the misfortune of the petitioner is damnum sine injuria, if we may use that expression in this context. Every adversity is not an injury. Judicial remedy cannot heal every wound or cure every sore since the discipline of the law keeps courts within its bounds.

b. Ayaaubkhan Noorkhan Pathan vs. State Of Maharashtra[2]

There may be some harm or loss that may not be wrongful in the eye of the law because it may not result in injury to a legal right or legally protected interest of the complainant but juridically harm of this description is called damnum sine injuria.

C. Ramdas Khatau & Co vs. S Atlas Mills Co Ltd[3]

There are a great many acts which may inflict annoyance and occasion coat and expense, which, in the popular sense of the word, are a nuisance to another person but which do not amount to a nuisance in the legal sense of the word, and give rise to no cause of action, are, in fact, damnum sine injuria.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference

[1] M. R. Mini (Minor) Represented By Her Guardian and Father M.P. v. State of Kerala and Anr., A.I.R. 1980 2 S.C.C. 216.

[2] Ayaaubkhan Noorkhan Pathan v. State Of Maharashtra, A.I.R. 2013 S.C. 58.

[3] Ramdas Khatau & Co . S Atlas Mills Co Ltd, LQ 1930 HC 0263.

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I am Amol Verma from Chanakya National Law University, Patna pursuing B.B.A, LL.B (Hons.). Being a first-generation lawyer, the motivation to study law came from its dynamic nature and how it keeps on changing to cater to the needs of society. My areas of interest include the Law of Contracts, Criminal Law, Corporate Law, and IPR. I love to take part in moot court activities, parliamentary debates, and seminars. I am a member of the Academic and Debating Committee of CNLU and CNLU’s Legal Aid Cell. I like to read, research and write on legal issues as it helps me in understanding the practical functioning of law as well as keeps me updated on the recent legal developments.