Nuisance Meaning, Difference Between Public And Private Nuisance.


A person who is in possession of a property is authorized to its undisturbed, peaceful enjoyment as per Law. But if someone else’s disturbed use or enjoyment in his property ends up causing an unlawful disturbance or obstruction with his enjoyment or use of that property or of the rights over it, or in relation with it, we can say that the Tort of Nuisance take place.


Nuisance is the troublesome, inexcusable, unjustified and illegal use of property, which give results in disruption or harm to others, either to the individual or to the general public.

Nuisance can embrace harmful smells, loud noise, burning, the distraction of water onto other property, and collection of bothersome activities. Nuisance means “annoyance” in Law.

According to Blackstone, “Anything that worketh, hurt, inconvenience, or damage”1


1. Wrongful Act

Any act which is done with the malice intention to cause harm to the legal rights of another person is cover under the wrongful act.

2. Damage or loss or annoyance caused to another individual.

Damage or loss or annoyance must be in a manner which the law should consider as considerable material for the claim.

Definition by Black stone, “A Nuisance may be of either Property or Physical discomfort”

1. Property

Any injury to the property will be enough to support an action for the damages.

2. Physical discomfort

Nuisance rising from physical discomfort, there are two important conditions required

  • The usage by the third party should beyond of the natural course of enjoyment from one party.
  • The discomfort should be of such a degree that it would consequence an individual in the locality and people would not be able to bear up or tolerate the enjoyment.


1. Public Nuisance

The Indian Penal code explains Nuisance as an act which effects any injury, apprehension or annoyance, to the people in general who reside or occupy the property, in the locality, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or apprehension, or annoyance to the people against the use of any public right.

Public Nuisance influenced the society and the people living in it at large, or some locality of the society and it affects the legal rights of the members of the society might enjoy over the property. Any act which perilously affects or harms the health, safety or comfort of the general public is a Public Nuisance.

An occurrence where an individual has a private right of action with respect to a Public Nuisance:

  1. Any personal injury which is of a higher degree than the rest of the public must present by a person.
  2. Such an injury has to be direct and not just a resulting injury.
  3. The injury must be appeared to have a large effect.

2. Private Nuisance

Private Nuisance is the kind of nuisance in which individual use or enjoyment of his property is destroyed by another. It may also injuriously harm the owner of the property by physically destroying his property or by causing the enjoyment of the property.

Unlike Public Nuisance, in Private Nuisance, a person’s usage or enjoyment of property is effect as differentiated from the public or society at large. The remedy for Private Nuisance is a civil action for damages or an injunction or both.

Elements of a private nuisance

  1. The intervention must be unreasonable or unlawful. It is in a manner that the act should not be justifiable in the eyes of the law and any act which no reasonable man perform.
  2. Such interference has to be with the use or enjoyment of land, or of some rights over the property, or it should create physical discomfort and disturbance on a large ground.
  3. There should be damage to the property in order to form a private nuisance.



MEANING According to Section 268 IPC Public Nuisance is defined as a criminal offence. Public Nuisance causes to the public in general or public at Large. It is defined as any illegal act or omission causing injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance Private Nuisance causes to particular as it is defined as any illegal act or omission causing injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance.


DEFINITION A person is guilty of a Public Nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which effect any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who stay or occupy the property in the locality, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right. (Section 268 Indian Penal Code)  A private nuisance may be defined as an unlawful intervention with another’s use and enjoyment of property or someone’s right over or in relation with the property.


(Private nuisance is not defined in the Indian Penal Code)


NATURE It causes the public at large.


It causes to a particular or individual if effect individual rights over the property.


RIGHT TO SUE  Sue by any public motivated or spirited person or organization or association.  Sue by a private individual or his legal representative, to whom or to whose property injury is caused.
REMEDY  Injunction constraining from doing any illegal act or omission.    Damages can also be affirmed or claimed with an injunction.

This Article is Authored by SADIYA NAQVI, 2nd Year (B.A. LL.B) Student at ICFAI University, Dehradun. 

Also Read – Can It Be Said That Nuisance Means Injury To Property or Physical Comfort?

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