“In India, the government can be held liable for tortious acts of its servants and can be ordered to be paid compensation to the persons suffering as a result of the legal wrong. Article 294(b) of the Constitution declares that the liability of the Union Government or the State Government may arise “out of any contract or otherwise”. The word otherwise implies that the said liability may arise for tortious acts as well. Article 300 enables the institution of appropriate proceedings against the government for enforcing such liability.

… Even prior to the commencement of the Constitution, the liability of the Government for tortious acts of its servants or agents were recognised vide Peninsular & Oriental Steam

Navigation Co. v. Secy. of State, (1868-69) 5 Bom HCR APP 1. After the commencement of the Constitution, there have been several cases in which the Union of India and State

Governments were held liable for tortious acts of their employees, servants and agents. All those cases were not necessarily by invoking the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. Though, the Government is liable for tortious acts of its officers, servants or employees, normally, such liability cannot be enforced by a Writ Court. An aggrieved party has the right to approach the competent court or authority to seek damages or compensation in accordance with the law of the land.

... But if fundamental rights have been violated, and if the court is satisfied that the grievance of the petitioner is well founded, it may grant the relief by enforcing a person’s fundamental right. Such relief may be in the form of monetary compensation/damages”.

[Extracted from: Kaushal Kishore v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 113 of 2016, decided on January 3, 2023.]

A person may be liable in respect of wrongful acts or omissions of another in the following ways:

In order to succeed in fixing vicarious liability on the master (defendant), the plaintiff has to establish:

In India, which of the following enactments govern(s) the liability of the State for the tortious acts of its servants?

In which of the following cases, the Supreme Court of India dealt extensively with the concept of ‘constitutional tort’?

Whether a statement by a Minister, inconsistent with the rights of a citizen under Part-III of the Constitution, constitutes a violation of such constitutional rights and is actionable as a ‘constitutional tort’: