Meaning: Injury without damage.
This Latin principle injuria sine damno means there has been legal injury (injuria) but no actual damage has been caused. In such a case, the person whose right has been infringed has a good cause of action. It is not necessary for him to prove any special damage because every injury imports damage when a man is prevented from enjoying his rights.
Every person has an absolute right to property, to the immunity of his person, and to his liberty. And an infringement of this right is actionable per se. Actual perceptible damage is not, therefore, essential as the foundation of an action. It is sufficient to show the violation of a right in which case the law will presume damage. Thus in cases of assault, battery, false imprisonment, libel, trespass on land, etc., the mere wrongful act is actionable without proof of actual damage. The court is bound to award to the plaintiff at least nominal damages, if no actual damage is proved.
In the case of Ashby vs White1), the plaintiff was a qualified voter at a parliamentary election. The defendant who was a returning officer in election wrongfully refused to take a vote of the plaintiff. Although the plaintiff did not suffer any loss by such wrongful act as the candidate he wanted to vote had won the election, the legal rights of the plaintiff were infringed. Therefore, the defendant was held liable.
Sunil Sharma is an advocate; editor and compiler of legal commentaries, having authored more than 40 books.