Ashby vs White case is a leading case law that explained about violation of an absolute right in tort law, i.e. legal injury, even though there was no actual physical damage.
It Covers 2 important maxims:
- Injuria sine damnum means legal injury without damages
- Ubi jus ibi remedium means where there is a right, there is a remedy (or vice versa)
Ashby vs White Facts:
1. Ashby (plaintiff), resident of Aylesbury. Mr. White (defendant), a constable.
2. White prevented Ashby from exercising his ‘Right to Vote’, stating that Ashby wasn’t a settled resident.
3. Ashby refused to accept it and said he was a registered voter. Ashby sued Mr. White for the claim of damages.
1. Ashby—My right to vote should be upheld. Compensation should be paid to me as injury (legal) happened.
2. Mr. White—No injury inflicted, as there was no physical harm by the defendant.
Ashby vs White Ratio & Decision:
1. Lower Court à decreed in favor of the plaintiff and awarded compensation of 5 pounds.
2. Queen’s Court à set aside the decision of the lower court.
3. House of Lords à upheld the Lower Court’s decision. The court stated that injuria sine damnum will apply in this case, as there was a violation of legal rights, even though there were no physical damages done to the plaintiff. And as per ubi jus ibi remedium, in violation of legal rights, a remedy must be given.
SIMILAR INDIAN CASE:
Mr. Sumit vs GNCTD, 2015–(slightly differ from Ashby vs White as in this case Sumit’s name was struck off from voters list)
Plaintiff already exercised his right to vote earlier, but his name was struck off the voters’ list without prior notice.
Received 10000/- in damages (Compensatory Jurisprudence).
Ratio: The right to vote is a Constitutional Right (Article 326) and the Right to vote is a statutory right (s. 62(1) of ROPA 1951).
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