Rules of Strict and Absolute liability May 4, 1 Strict Liability Strict liability is the principle which evolved from case of Rylands v. Fletcher in the year This principle clearly states that a person who keeps hazardous substances in his premises, is responsible for the fault if that substance escapes in any manner and causes damages. This principle stands true if there was no negligence on the side of the person keeping it and the burden of proof always lies on the defendant to prove how he is not liable.
Strict and Absolute Liability: The law may deal with them in two ways. It may prohibit them altogether. It may allow them to be carried on for the sake of social utility but only in accordance with statutory provisions laying down safety measures and providing for sanctions for non-compliance  through the doctrine of strict liability.
The undertakers of the activities have to compensate for the damage caused irrespective of any carelessness on their part.
The basis of liability is the foreseeable risk inherent in the very nature of the activities.
In this aspect, the principle of strict liability resembles negligence which is also based on foreseeable harm. But the difference lies in that the concept of negligence comprehends that the foreseeable harm could be avoided by taking reasonable precautions and so if the defendant did all that which could be done for avoiding the harm, he cannot be held liable except possibly in those cases where he should have closed down the undertaking.
Such a consideration is not relevant in cases of strict liability where the defendant is held liable irrespective of whether he could have avoided the particular harm by taking precautions.
The rationale behind strict liability is that the activities coming within its fold are those entailing extraordinary risk to others, either in the seriousness or the frequency of the harm threatened.
Now it seems to have returned to what are regarded as its roots: Liability under the rule is strict in the sense that it relieves the claimant of the burden of showing fault; howeverit is far from absolute since there are a number of wide ranging differences.
The facts of the case were as follows. The defendant was a mill owner, and he employed some independent contractors who were apparently competent, to construct a reservoir on his land to provide water for his mill.
They communicated with the mines of the plaintiff, a neighbour of the defendant, although no one suspected this, for the shafts appeared to be filled with earth.
It was found as a fact that the defendant had not been negligent, although the contractors had been.
But the House of Lords held the defendant liable. The basis of liability in the above case was the following rule propounded by Blackburn, J. But for his act in bringing it thereno mischief could have accrued, and it seems but just that he should at his peril keep it there so that no mischief may accrued, or answer for the natural and anticipated consequences.
And upon authority, this we think is established to be the law whether the things so brought be beasts, or water, or filth, or stenches.
For the application of the rule therefore the following three essentials should be there: In Rylands v Fletcher, the thing so collected was a large body of water. The water collected in the reservoir was of a huge quantity and was thus regarded to be of potential danger.
ESCAPE For the rule in Rylands v Fletcher to apply, it is also essential that the thing causing the damage must escape to the area outside the occupation and control of the defendant.Strict liability and absolute liability are some of the most fundamental concepts in the law of torts, and comprehension of their differences is critical for any law student.
In this article, the sphere of tortious liability insofar as it relates to strict and absolute liability will . Absolute liability is more stringent from of strict liability, the rule laid by Rylands v.
Fletcher and was recognized by Supreme Court of India in M. C. That might me the reason as to why Absolute Liability (the way applied in India) is not applied and not accepted in US in case of product Liability. They rather follow the principle of Strict Liability in almost every jurisdiction in US.
The unfortunate Bhopal Gas Leak disaster has triggered a new path of tort jurisprudence, leading to environment tort, toxic torts, governmental torts, MNCs liability, congenital torts, stricter absolute liability.
In this blog post, Pramit Bhattacharya, Student, Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, writes about the rule of Strict liability and Absolute liability. The post looks into the essential and exceptions to the rule of strict liability.
The post also highlights how the rule of absolute.