Necessitas inducit privilegium quoad jura privata

Necessitas inducit privilegium quoad jura privata

Literal Meaning

With respect to private rights necessity induces privilege.


The principle laid down in this maxim is one of the most common defence in tort law. The defence of necessity which has been provided in this maxim provides the individual a privilege to use or take property of another. This defense is normally used in the cases of trespass to land, trespass to chattels or conversion. 


‘A’ was passing by the house of ‘C’, suddenly he noticed that C’s house was on fire, he has to enter D’s house in order to get the fire extinguisher. ‘D’ sued ‘A’ for trespassing his property, however, the court dismissed the plea as ‘A’ took the defence of necessity as there was no other way to stop the fire in C’s house. 

Indian Law Position: 

Section 81 of the Indian Penal Code states the following – 

“Act likely to cause harm, but done without criminal intent, and to prevent other harm.—Nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it be done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person or property.”[1]

This section of the Indian Penal Code provides the definition of necessity.

Case Referred

Ramesh v. State of Madras

In this case the court considered the general exception under Section 81 of the Indian Penal Code.[2]

Gopal Naidu & Anr. v. King-Emperor

In this case also the Bombay High Court considered the exception laid down in Section 81 of the Indian Penal Code.[3]

Vullappa and Ors. Vs. S. Bheema Row

The defence available under Section 81 was sought in this case.[4]

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1]  Indian Penal Code 1860, s. 81

[2]  S. Ramesh v. State of Madras, Crl.O.P.(MD)Nos.9083 of 2017 and 8686 of 2017.

[3] Gopal Naidu And Anr. v. King-Emperor, (1923) ILR 46 Bom 605.

[4] S. Vullappa And Ors. V. S. Bheema Row, 43 Ind Cas 578.