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Crime – TORT


 The violation of a right, when considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation, as regards the community at large.  A crime, is an act deemed by law to be harmful to society in general, even though its immediate victim is an individual. Murder injures primarily the particular victim, but its blatant disregard of human life puts it beyond a matter of mere compensation between the murderer and the victim’s family. Those who commit such acts are proceeded against by the State in order that, if convicted, they may be punished. The notion of crime as a threat to the whole community is the material counterpart of the formal rule that the State alone is master of a criminal prosecution, P.S.R. Sadhanantham v. Arunachalam(1980) 3 SCC 141: 1980 SCC (Cri) 649.  Crime can be defined as an act that subjects the doer to legal punishment. It may also be defined as the commission of an act specifically forbidden by law; it may be an offence against morality or social order, T.K. Gopal v. State of Karnataka(2000) 6 SCC 168: 2000 SCC (Cri) 1037.


Tort means “breach of duty leading to damage”. Same meaning attaches to it in law. In general, torts consist of some act done without just cause or excuse, Jay Laxmi Salt Works (P) Ltd. v. State of Gujarat(1994) 4 SCC 1. “Tort” has been derived from the Latin word “tortus” which means “twisted” or “crooked”. In its original and most general sense, “tort” is a wrong, Common Cause v. Union of India(1999) 6 SCC 667: 1999 SCC (Cri) 1196.  A “Tort” is a wrong independent of contact. Torts are of three kinds. viz. non-feasance or the omission of some act which a man is bound to do; misfeasance, being the improper performance of some act which he may lawfully do; and malfeasance or the commission of some act which is unlawful. A completed tort is not a continuing wrong, Sankar Dastidar v. Banjula Dastidar, (2005) 2 CHN 387. Injury or wrong, as by assault, libel, malicious prosecution, negligence, slander or trespass. Actions are divided into actions in contract and actions in tort. [Whart.]. 5. Means a civil wrong which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of a trust, Section 2(m), Limitation Act, 1963.

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