Questions to Practice Law of Tort for CLAT PG

Questions to Practice Law of Tort for CLAT PG


(Excerpted from the judgment of​​ Faiyazhussain Nazirahmed Ansari vs Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation)

The Supreme Court, in the case of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (supra), explained in detail the meaning of 'negligence' in the field of tort. In this case, after analysing the plethora of English and Indian case law on this subject, the Supreme Court held that negligence is failure to use such care as a reasonable, prudent and careful person would use, under similar circumstances. It is the doing of some act which a person of ordinary prudence would not have done under similar circumstances or failure to do what a person of ordinary prudence would have done under similar circumstances. Negligence also is an omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do, or the doing or something which a reasonable and prudent man would not do. Negligence would include both acts and omissions involving unreasonable risk of having done harm to another. The breach of duty must cause damage. How much of the damage to be compensated by the defendant should be attributed to his willful​​ conduct and how much to his willful negligence or careless conduct or remissness in performance of duty, are all relevant facts to be considered in a given act or omission in adjudging duty of care. The element of carelessness or the breach of duty and whether that duty is towards the plaintiff or the class of persons to which the plaintiff belongs are important components in tort of negligence. Negligence would, therefore, mean careless conduct in commission or omission of an act, whereby another to whom the plaintiff owed duty of care has suffered damage. The duty of care is crucial in understanding the nature and scope of tort of negligence.​​ It was also held that negligence connotes inadvertence to the consequences of his conduct which can be a measure of behaviour where one person had been careless in that he did not behave as a prudent man would have done whether by inadvertence or otherwise. The tort of negligence always requires some form of careless conduct which is usually, although not necessarily, the product of inadvertence. Not every careless conduct which causes damage, however, will give rise to an action in tort. The negligence lies​​ in failure to take such steps as a reasonable, prudent man would have taken in the given circumstances. What constitutes carelessness is the conduct and not the result of inadvertence. Thus negligence in this sense is a ground for liability in tort.​​ The liability against the Corporation on the facts alleged by the plaintiffs is based on common law and not on the statute. The general principle of common law is that every person and body must so manage and maintain the property under its control that it should not cause injury to others. To put it in other words, the plaintiffs do not complain of any act or omission on the part of the Corporation in pursuance of the Act and based themselves on common law duty of care. In such circumstances, the bar of Section 487 would not be attracted.


  • Which of the following is not a policy factor which may come into the duty of care question?

  • The neighbour test

  • The impact on the insurance market

  • The floodgates possibility

  • Social morality


  • The judgement in the given passage has been pronounced by

  • Delhi High Court

  • Gujarat High Court

  • Chandigarh High Court

  • Allahabad High Court

Ans. b

  • In the case of​​ Syam Sundar v. State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court held that the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur is applicable when

  • the cause of the accident is primarily within the knowledge of the defendant and the mere fact that the cause of the accident is unknown does not prevent the plaintiff from recovering damages

  • the cause of the accident is primarily within the knowledge of the plaintiff​​ and the mere fact that the cause of the accident is​​ unknown does not prevent the defendant from recovering damages

  • both a and b

  • none of the above

Ans. a

  • Why did the claimant in Donoghue v Stevenson bring her action in tort instead of contract?

  • Because the claimant had not actually purchased the ginger​​ beer herself

  • Because the purchaser of the ginger beer was indirectly injured

  • Because the seller of the ginger beer was not responsible for the snail in the bottle

  • Because the presence of the snail was a defect in quality rather than a danger

Ans. a

  • Duty of care in that type of situation was not the issue in Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad. What was the issue?

  • Duty of care in a novel scenario

  • Policy implications in duty of care

  • Duty of care to the particular claimant

  • Breach of duty in combination with causation

Ans.​​ c

  • What is the best explanation for the decision in Nettleship v Weston?

  • There were no dual controls on the car

  • Driving a car on a public road must be treated as a heavy responsibility

  • The driver was insured against the accident

  • The driver had just passed her driving test

Ans.​​ b

  • Sita is a young registrar in a surgical unit of the local hospital. Which of the following cases would be of most applicable to determine the duty of care expected of her?

  • Wells v Cooper

  • Roberts v Ramsbottom

  • Wilsher v Essex AHA

  • Roe v Ministry of Health

Ans.​​ c

  • Which statement most accurately reflects the law regarding duties of care in sporting activities?

  • Participants in a sporting event are taken to have consented to the risk of injury

  • Participants in sporting events are owed the duty of care which is appropriate to all the circumstances

  • Participants in sporting events are taken to have consented to the risk of injury

  • Spectators are taken to have consented to all the risks run in watching the relevant activity

Ans. b

  • Which of the following is not a requirement for invoking res ipsa loquitur?

  • There must be no explanation for the cause of the accident

  • The cause of the accident must have been under the defendant's control

  • The defendant is not able to disprove breach

  • The accident must be of the kind which does not normally happen in the absence of negligence

Ans. c

  • Which statement below best describes the Bolam standard of care?

  • It is subjective and only applies to the medical profession

  • It is objective and applies to all skilled defendants

  • It deprives judges of the decision on breach of duty

  • It is both subjective and objective and applies in relation to professional defendants

Ans. d

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