AILET (All India Law Entrance Test) Legal-Aptitude: Questions 75 - 75 of 254

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Question 75

Appeared in Year: 2015



LEGAL PRINCIPLE: Whoever stores a substance which could cause damage on escape shall be absolutely liable (i.e.. liable even when he has exercised necessary care) for any damage caused by the escape of the substance.

FACTUAL SITUATION: Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) manufactured methyl isocyanate, an extremely toxic gas. Due to a storm, the gas that was being stored in sealed containers got released. Before much could happen, the local municipal authorities managed to contain the disaster. The authorities filed a suit against UCIL for the costs that were incurred in decontamination. However, later it was realized that the clean-up by the authorities could have been done without spending as much resources and the damage was not that significant. UCIL argued that it would pay only part of the amount demanded by the authorities, which could have dealt with the contamination.


Choice (4)Response


The municipal authorities should have analyzed the damage first before jumping into action. It was due to their own negligence because of which they had to shell out more than required.


UCIL can plead that the escape of the gas had been caused by a storm and not due to its own negligence. It was an inevitable accident.


UCIL is liable only to the extent of contamination caused. It does not need to pay the authorities the entire amount demanded by them.


The authorities are entitled to the whole sum, as UCIL shall be held liable for all the repercussions of their act even if they had exercised due care.

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