Author: Arryan Mohanty, Student of Symbiosis Law School, Nagpur
The state has become a significant litigant in the court of law. On the one hand, the government’s attitude remains conservative, and it tries to defend its action or the tortious action of its officers by raising the plea for immunity for sovereign acts or acts of the state. On the other hand, no comprehensive enactment delineating the state’s liability in case of its tortious act has been promulgated until today. The tortious liability of the state is assessed through judicial interpretation and activism alone. There is no specific law in India that addresses the state’s tort liability. However, the Indian Government and the state are subject to legal action for their tortious behavior, according to the Constitution of India. However, this does not list the situations in which we can hold the state accountable for the torts committed by its employees. Hence, the question arises what conditions give the government the option to award a person compensation or monetary damages? There is a straightforward instance of a recognised tort being committed, mainly when a public official is negligent while performing his duties. The question of whether the government can be held accountable for paying the injured party’s damages under the theory of vicarious liability then emerges. All these aspects have been discussed in this paper.