VOHRA SADIKBHAI RAJAKBHAI & ORS. Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT & ORS.
LAWS(SC)-2016-5-27
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: GUJARAT)
Decided on May 10,2016

Vohra Sadikbhai Rajakbhai And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
State of Gujarat and Ors. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) The essence of the issue that needs to be decided in the instant appeal is captured by the appellants by formulating the following substantial question of law; though the same is not appropriately framed: "Whether gross negligence in not maintaining particular level of water in the dam by the respondents; that has resulted into damage and destruction to the plantation of the appellants, causing loss of livelihood, could be said to be an 'Act of God' -
(2.) It so happened that the respondents had constructed and maintained a dam. 60,000 cusecs of water from this dam was released, which flooded the land of the appellants and destroyed the plantation therein. As per the respondents, the water had to be released from the dam as it reached alarming level because of heavy rains and non-release would have breached the dam. The action was, thus, taken in public interest and it was occasioned because of the rains, which was an act of God. The appellants, on the other hand, contend that it was sheer negligence on the part of the respondents in not maintaining low level of the water keeping in mind the ensuing monsoon season and, therefore, the damage which the appellants have suffered has direct nexus or causal connection with the aforesaid act of negligence and it cannot be attributed to the rains. It is, thus, pleaded that the respondents cannot term it as an act of God and excuse themselves from the tortious liability.
(3.) There is hardly any dispute on the factual matrix under which the aforesaid issue has cropped up for determination.;


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