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Injuria Sine Damnum

Violation of Legal Right Without Causing any Harm

This maxim means violation of a legal right without causing any harm, loss or damage to the plaintiff. Thus, it is the behavior, which is actionable as a tort. It is always actionable as legal wrongs entail a remedy. Every injury imports damages Infringement of private right is actionable per se. No actual loss or damage is required to be proved by the plaintiff. Tort are of two kinds- namely, those, which are actionable per se (i.e. the law conclusively presumes damages as in case of violation of absolute rights), and those, which are actionable only on proof of actual damage resulting from them (as in case of qualified rights). Thus, the act of trespassing is actionable even though the plaintiff has not suffered any harm. Similarly, a libel is actionable per se, while slander (i.e. oral as opposed to written defamation) is not actionable without proof of actual damage. In Case: Ashby v White (1703) 2 Lord Raym 983:- In this case, the plaintiff succeeded in his action, even though the defendant’s act did not cause any damage. The plaintiff was a qualified voter at a parliamentary election, but the defendant, a returning officer, wrongfully refused to toke plaintiff’s vote. No loss was suffered by such refusal because the candidate for whom he wanted to vote won in spite of that. The defendant was held liable. The following observations made by the court aptly clarify the principle of the maxim: “If the plaintiff has a right, he must of necessity have means to vindicate and maintain it, and a remedy if he is injured in the exercise or enjoyment of it, and indeed it is vain thing to imagine a right without a remedy, for want of right and want of remedy are reciprocal.

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