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Binoj (Asst. Manager)     14 October 2010

Help: Public Nuisance

Dear All,

I solicit your esteemed advice and help for one of the situations am in. It may look trivial, but request you to read on.

My neighbor is in the habit of taking bath in hot water on a daily basis. But the problem here is he doesn't want to use LPG or Water Heater to boil the water citing finance reasons. So, he goes the traditional way of using a open stove powered by wood and fire. The problem here is he does this near to our compound on the other side because of which my house is engulfed in smoke by the time they are done with boiling the water.

I had almost pleaded to them to either stop it, move it from the current place or put a chimney in place so that it isnt uncomfortable for the others. But he just doesn't want to hear. He has gone to an extent of threatening me saying that he will continue to do this and that I can go and complaint on this matter to anyone.

So here am, seeking your help to  give him a befitting response. If there is any legal procedure do advise.

Warm Regards,



 6 Replies

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     14 October 2010

Sir, there is no use talking rules to such kind of persons. Please think of doing something legally by which he will not be able to speak about the inconvenience caused by you.  People are also expected to behave keeping their civic sense. Only then law and order prevails. 

As you know these trivial issues are not entertained by courts. 

Deepak Shenoy (CS & LLB Student)     14 October 2010

Mam, I believe the nuisance is private nuisance as public is not mainly suffering in large. Why cant he go and file a suit for injunction ? Cant he argue that the smoke creating health problems to him/his family. ??? Kindly advise




There is a Latin saying in English law: De minimis non curat lex, which can be translated

as: “The law does not concern itself with trifles”.


Private nuisance is a continuous, unlawful and indirect interference with the use or enjoyment of land, or of some right over or in connection with it. 

Nuisance is of two kinds:

1. Public

   2. Private 


Public Nuisance is an offence, which affects the public at large, or some considerable portion of them. It depends upon the number of houses and the concourse of people in vincity; and the annoyance or neglect must be of a real and substantial nature. Acts which seriously interfere with the health, safety, comfort or, convenience of the public or, which tend to degrade public morals, have always been considered public nuisance if it is shown that they render enjoyment of life and property uncomfortable. No prescripttive right can be acquired to maintain a public nuisance.


Private Nuisance is anything done to the annoyance or to hurt another and not amounting to trespass. It is an act affecting some particular individual or individuals as distinguished from the public at large.


A person is guilty of nuisance when he:


   1. does any act, or is guilty of an illegal omission, and

   2. such act or omission:

         1. must cause any common injury, danger or annoyance;

               1. to the public, or

               2. to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or 

         2. must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to any persons who had rights to use. 


Whoever causes nuisance shall be punishable with imprisonment, or fine, or both depending upon the discretion of the court. 

1 Like

Pradeep Kumar (Lawyer)     14 October 2010

Dear Sir,

                  Indeed there is legal remedy to it.You need to convey your message by legal notice.Keep that evidence to show that you are really harrased.You may contact good lawyer from your place and can go for filing a criminal complaint for indimidation and civil suit for causing nuisance.You may ask more at


Advocate Pradeep Kumar.

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     15 October 2010

Binoj ji,  your case is not a public nuisance. I do not see public at large are being affected here. It is a private nuisance. 

In action of private nuisance, you will have to show the substantial loss or damage caused to you by the action of the defendant. There has to be either 1. encroachment of neighbour's land 2. direct physical injury to neighbour's land. 3. nuisance by  interference with neighbour's peaceful enjoyment of land. 

For the third point, the plaintiff has to show there has been substantial loss. Reasonableness plays an important role in determining whether there has been a nuisance.

1 Like

Deepak Shenoy (CS & LLB Student)     15 October 2010

Where there is a legal right there's always a remedy available. In this case as pointed out by Suchitra mam you have a right to enjoy your property and the other person you mentioned has invaded your private rights. So you definitely have a right, its up to you and your lawyer how best you prove that smoke has caused damage/injury to you or how you got inconvenienced by the other persons act.

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