P Seetharamayya vs G Mahalaxmamma – Tort Case Summary 1958

P. Seetharamayya vs G. Mahalaxmamma map

P Seetharamayya vs G Mahalaxmamma case law is a typical case of damnum sine injuria meaning damages (loss) without any legal injury.

Facts:

  • The parties to the appeals are owners of adjacent lands. The appellants own S. Nos. 86 and 87/2, which have been shown in Ex. A-4, the plan prepared by the Commissioner in the case, as A and A-1.
P Seetharamayya vs G Mahalaxmamma case law of tort
Plan outline of P Seetharamayya vs G Mahalaxmamma Case
  • Between the plot marked A and the vagu (a water stream) are lands belonging to the defendants. These have been shown in Exs. A-4 as B and B-1.
  • The former belongs to the fifth defendant in the case, who is the sole respondent in S.A. No. 1933 of 1953; and the plot marked B-1 is owned by defendants Nos. 1 to 4.
  • The vagu forms the western boundary of the three plots, B, B-1 and A-1. It may be taken as established that the fifth defendant had constructed a bund (sand raised to demarcate the portions) on her land to preserve part of it from damage by the flow of water through a breach in the embankment of the vagu. Ex. A-4 shows the breach to be in plot B, and marks the bund as T.
  • It is equally clear that defendants Nos. 1 to 4 have dug a trench to ward off water entering their plot B/1; which trench is marked as C in the Commissioner’s plan.
  • These defendants have further constructed another bund to the north of their land as additional safeguard. Ex. A-4 also shows in plot B yet another bund as XZ, which has been built to prevent water stopped by the trench and the bund, from entering other parts of the fifth defendants’ land.
  • Finally, there is a bund in the appellant’s plot A, which runs parallel to the boundary between plots A and B, and has several breaches in it.

Case Background:

Lower appellant Court rejected the appeal and decided in favor of the Defendants.

Contentions:

  1. Appellant says, ‘def 5th put up bund because of enmity and def 1st to 4th dug trench and put up bund on their own plots’.
  2. Rainwater falling on the plots flowed into plot A, washing crops of appellant and bunds put up by appellant along west of Plot A washes away because of rainfall.

Reliefs claimed in this second appeal:

  1. For Mandatory injunction, to demolish the bunds and to fill in the trench on the defendants’ land.
  2. For Permanent Injunction against defendants putting up bunds and digging trenches.
  3. For Rs. 300/- as damages for loss.

Ratio by Court:

Justice Bhimasankaram

  1. Vagu on west is a regular stream as per Commissioner’s plan.
  2. Flood water caused damage, so the defendant had riparian rights to protect their land.
  3. Owner should enjoy the power of reasonably selecting how to protect land.
  4. No evidence that 5th Def is putting bunds negligently to protect the land.
  5. No data to prove that accumulated water is diverted from Plot B towards Plot A.
  6. As per deposition of PW1, no obstruction in the vagu.
  7. This case is of damnum sine injuria, therefore, plaintiff must also adopt protective measures against flood water.

APPEAL DISMISSED.

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Om Ram

Om Ram

Om Ram is currently a 2nd-year LL.B. student at Campus Law Centre, Delhi University. Previously he did Life Sciences from SVC, Delhi University. He shows his life journey by making Legal Vlogs on a YouTube channel named 'Om Ram'. He has interests in Law, Science & Film making. Some of his notable work related to photography and other interests can be seen on his Instagram. He also has a channel named 'Law Planet' where he along with his sister makes videos to make people aware of laws and their rights.
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