Injuria Sine Damno and Damnum Sine Injuria

Injuria Sine Damno

Maxim refers to the established principles and prepositions. That is the general rules or principles or guidelines laid down and which are to be followed by the general public. Maxims are very useful, as with the help of this particular point of law can be understood clearly and precisely and also used for the proper solution of the cases. Maxims are very widely used in various branches of law and so in the law of torts.

As the law is a difficult subject having various interpretations, rules, and principles. It is therefore considered necessary to have these combinations of various Latin and French words to be used for much clearer understanding. However, the only difficult part of the use of these maxims is that they have to be applied with full precaution. The person using these maxims has to make sure that whether the case in which it is applied has its application in the same manner, or whether it is an exception to the general rule, as any alterations of any of these maxims would be dangerous.

Injuria Sine Damno

Injuria Sine Damno is a legal maxim, which means that injury or loss or damage so caused to the plaintiff without suffering any physical injury or damage. It is a Latin term, where ‘Injuria’ refers to injury ‘Sine’ refers to without and ‘Damno’ refers to a property or any physical loss, therefore the term refers to ‘injury suffered without actual loss’.  Here, in this case, the plaintiff doesn’t have to prove the damages so suffered, he only has to prove that there is some legal damage suffered by him, that is the action so brought is actionable per se. Like for example, where A roams around B’s house without any justification then, in that case, there is a violation of the legal right of B and therefore this maxim is applicable. 

This maxim is well explained in the case Ashby vs. White[1]where the plaintiff was a qualified voter at a parliamentary election, while the defendant who was a returning officer in election wrongfully refused to take a vote of the plaintiff. Although the plaintiff didn’t suffer any loss by such wrongful act as the candidate he wants’ to vote on the election, the legal rights of the plaintiff were infringed and therefore the defendant was held liable.

Another leading case is of Bhim Singh vs. State of J. & K[2]., here in this case the petitioner was an M.L.A. of J. & k. parliamentary assembly. While he was going to attend the assembly session, police there wrongfully arrested him. He was not even presented before the magistrate within the stipulated time. Resultant was that the person was wrongfully deprived of his legal right to attend the meeting and moreover his fundamental right i.e. art 21 of the constitution was also violated. It was held that the respondent was responsible, and the petitioner was liable to receive Rs. 50,000 from the defendant.

In case o Injuria Sine Damno the loss suffered is not any physical loss but due to the violation of legal right. Therefore, damages received by the aggrieved party is because of some kind of loss is being suffered, and hence the amount for damages are determined just to compensate the victim. The amount for compensation can even be rs. 5. However, where the violation of a legal right is owing to mischievous and malicious act, the number of damages so fixed can be increased as done in case of Bhim Singh’s case.

Damnum Sine Injuria

Damnum Sine Injuria is a maxim, which refers to injury which is being suffered by the plaintiff but there is no violation of any legal right of a person. In such circumstances, where there is no violation of the legal right of but the injury, or damage is being suffered by the plaintiff, the plaintiff can’t bring an action against the other for the same, as it is not actionable in law, unless there is some infringement of a legal right is present.

Damnum Sine Injuria, the literal meaning of the word refers to loss or damage in terms of money, property or any physical loss without the infringement of any legal right. It is not actionable in law even if the act so did was intentional and was done to cause injury to other but without infringing on the legal right of the person.

This can be better explained in the following case:

Gloucester Grammar School Case[3]

The defendant was the schoolmaster intentionally opened the school in front of the plaintiff’s school, causing damage to him. As due to an increase of competition the plaintiff has to reduce their fees from 40 pence to 12 pence per scholar per quarter. It was held that even though the plaintiff has suffered harm but there was no infringement of any legal right, therefore, the defendant can’t be held liable.

Mogul Steamship Co.  Vs.  McGregor Gow and Co.[4]

In this case number of companies trading in steamships, combined their hands with the intention to drove the plaintiff’s company out of the tea-carrying company, by reducing and offering assistance at a reduced price. It was held that the plaintiff has no cause of action as no legal right has been infringed by the other companies.

Ushaben vs. Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir[5]

In this case, the plaintiff pleaded before the court of law to issue a permanent injunction order on the film named, “Jai Santoshi Maa”. According to her, the film hurt the religious feelings of the plaintiff. It was observed that hurting of religious sentiments did not result in any legal injury, and also that other then the plaintiff no other person feelings were hurt. Therefore it was held that the defendant was not liable.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is Injuria Sine Damno?

Injuria Sine Damno refers to the damage suffered by the plaintiff due to the violation of legal rights done by the other, even though there is no harm or loss or injury being suffered by the plaintiff. Hence in this, the plaintiff has to only prove that his/her legal rights have been violated, as it is actionable per se.

  • What is Damnum Sine Injuria?

Damnum Sine Injuria refers to the loss of money property or any physical damage so has been suffered by the plaintiff even though the act so is done is with the intention to cause harm to the plaintiff, it won’t be actionable in the court of law. As any injury suffered without any damage to the legal right is not actionable in law.

  • What is the difference between Injuria Sine Damno and Damnum Sine Injuria?

The basic difference between the two is in their terms only. As Injuria Sine Damno is the legal injury so caused to the plaintiff without any damage to physical injury, while in case of Damnum Sine Injuria it refers to the damages suffered physically by the plaintiff but no damage is being caused to the legal rights as there is no violation of it.  Another point of difference is that the of actionable in law, so Injuria Sine Damno is actionable per se as there is a violation of legal right, while the other is not as there is no violation of any legal right is there.

 Edited by – Sakshi Agarwal

Quality Check – Ankita Jha

Approved & Published by – Vedanta Yadav


[1](1703) 2 LR 938.

[2]AIR 1986 SC 494.

[3] (1410) Y.B. Hill 11 Hen, 4 of 47, p. 21, 36.

[4] (1892) A.C. 25.

[5] A.I.R. 1978 Guj. 13.

Sakshi Raje
I am Sakshi Raje from M.S. University Vadodara, pursuing BALLB (hons.). Tort law and it's interpretations in legal world are way too interesting according to me. I am attracted towards it because of its interpretation done differently according to the needs of society. Apart from this I am fond of travelling and tracking different places.