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Ryland Rule Vs. M.C. Mehta Rule

Difference in the rules for Strict and Absolute Liability

Ryland Rule 1. The Rylands rule requires non-natural use of land by defendant and escape from land of the thing which causes.

M.C. Mehta Rule 1. The rule in M.C. Mehta is not dependent on these conditions (However, like Ryland rule, it also deals with dangerous things).


Ryland Rule 2. The Ryland rule will not cover cases of harm to persons within the premises for the rule requires escape of thing which causes harm from the premise.

M.C. Mehta Rule 2. The Mehta rule makes no such distinction between persons within the premises where the enterprise is carried on and persons outside the premises, for escape of the thing causing harm, from the premises, is not a necessary condition for the applicability the rule.


Ryland Rule 3. It is called the rule of ‘Strict liability’. However, the Rylands rule though strict in the sense that it is not dependant on any negligence on the part of the defendant and in this respect similar to the new rule, is not absolute as it is subject to many exceptions e.g. Act of God, statutory authority, act of stranger, etc.

M.C. Mehta Rule 3. It is called the rule of ‘absolute liability’. It is not only strict but absolute and is subject to no exception. Thus, where the damage is caused due to the act of stranger, say due to sabotage the owner of the industry is still liable. Thus, it provides a ‘Stricter then strict’ liability.


Ryland Rule 4. Damages award-able where the Rylands rule applies will be ordinary or compensatory.

M.C. Mehta Rule 4. Where the Mehta rule is applicable, the court can allow exemplary damages and the larger and more prosperous the enterprise, the greater must be the amount of compensation payable by it.

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