Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

Injury without damage or infringement of an absolute private right without any actual loss or damage.




According to this maxim, whenever there is an invasion of a legal right, the person in whom the right is vested is entitled to bring an action and may recover damages, although he has suffered no actual harm. In such a case, the person need not prove the actual damage caused to him/her. In simple terms, the maxim refers to the violation of legal rights without damages. As per this maxim, the infringement of certain rights is itself considered as damage and there is no need to prove that actual damage is caused.

A person against whom the legal right has been infringed has a cause of action such that even a violation of any legal right knowingly brings the cause of action. The law even gives the liberty that if a person merely has a threat of infringement of a legal right even without the injury being completed, the person whose right has been threatened can bring a suit under the provisions of Specific Relief Act under Declaration and injunction.


If A roams around B’s house without any reason then, there is a violation of the legal right of B and thus, the maxim Injuria Sine Damnum is applicable.

Case Laws

In the case of Ashby vs. White, 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 wanted to vote in the election has won but the legal rights of the plaintiff were infringed and therefore the defendant was held liable.

As per the facts of the case Bhim Singh v. the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the petitioner was an MLA who while on his way to attend the Legislative Assembly session was intercepted by the police and kept as a prisoner at an undisclosed location. Subsequently, on the plea filed by his wife, the court ordered the inspector general of the police to inform as to where Bhim was being held in custody. Finally when Bhim was brought before a magistrate for the first time, the court found that he was not produced before the magistrate nor sub judge who issued the police orders of remand and that the police obtained the orders in surreptitious circumstances at the residence of the magistrate and after-hours from the sub judge. The Supreme Court criticized such conduct of the magistrate and sub judge stating that they had no concern for the subject out of either casual behavior or worse than they had potentially colluded with the police who had deliberately acted mala fide. The court ruled that there ‘certainly was a gross violation of Bhim Singh’s constitutional rights’ and condemned the authoritarian acts of the police.
Further, the SC awarded Bhim Singh a compensation of fifty thousand rupees for his illegal detention and false imprisonment by the police.

In a similar case like (Ashby vs. White), in Ashrafilal v. Municipal Corporation of Agra “The plaintiff’s name was deleted and dropped from the voter list by the concerned authorities (election officials), as a consequence of which the plaintiff was not able to exercise his right to vote. Plaintiff sued the Municipal Corporation of Agra, for the violation of his fundamental right. The court held the Municipal Corporation of Agra liable, as the plaintiff’s legal right to vote was violated and compensation was granted to the plaintiff.”

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