Saram v. Seneviratna

502-P. C. Colombo, 15,045
Download Judgment: English
Country: Sri Lanka
Region: Asia
Year: 1918
Court: Privy Council
Health Topics: Environmental health
Tags: Environmental hazards, Pollution

The Appellant was the proprietor of a oil store in Colpetty. Coopering (the art of making barrels) was carried out all day and night at the store. This affected the health of the people in the vicinity. The Appellant was thus proceeded against by the Police Magistrate under S 105(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code for causing nuisance to the public and thus had to cease activity. The issue was whether the act of the Appellant constituted public nuisance.

The Court upheld the action taken by the Police Magistrate and found no reason to interfere with his order. It held that public nuisance was to be distinguished from private nuisance by the quantum of the annoyance caused. Since the coopering by the Appellant affected the health of people living in the vicinity, the Court held that it amounted to public nuisance, even though the noise was confined to the immediate neighborhood.

“…nuisances for the purpose of the provisions relating to methods of summary abatement are such as affect the health and comfort of the neigh­bourhood.”