Vicarious liability in context of Master servant Relationship
Name- Sachet Labroo
Division- E (B.A LLB)
of Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA
Symbiosis International ( Deemed University) Pune
Under the guidance of
Vicarious liability is one of the most important topic in torts which says about holding the master responsible for the wrong acts done by the servant in the course of employment.
There are two essentials of the Vicarious liability :-
• The person should be a “servant”
• The wrongful act should have been done in the course of employment”
Wrongful acts can be classified as:-
• Wrongful acts authorised by the master.
• Authorised acts done in a wrongful manner.
? “qui facit per alium facit per se” meaning he who acts through another is deemed to have acted himself .The servant’s course of employment are generally for the master’s benefit and it is fair to held the master liable.
? “respondent superior” meaning that employer is responsible for the wrongful acts of the employee.
1. What is the justification for the Vicarious liability in context of Master servant relationship?
? State Bank Of India vs Shyama Devi (1978) 3 SCC 399
FACTS OF THE CASE
On September 17, 1945, the respondent opened a Savings Bank Account, being No. 9001, with the appellant’s predecessor, the imperial Bank of India at its Allahabad Branch. She was introduced to the Bank by one Kapil Deo Shukla, who was an employee of the Bank, and admittedly a close neighbour of the respondent and a friend of her husband, Bhagwati Prasad.
On November 30, 1948, the respondent made a petition in forma pauperis for the recovery of Rs. 15,547/10/- together with pendente lite and future interest from the Imperial Bank. This petition was later registered as a regular suit in 1950. The plaintiff’s case, as ,pleaded, was as follows :
The plaintiff had, apart from 1,932/2/- admitted by the defendand-Bank, the under-noted amounts which were deposited by her :from time to time with the Bank
(Indiankanoon.org. (2018). State Bank Of India vs Shyama Devi on 5 May, 1978. online Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1228981/ Accessed 27 Aug. 2018.
ISSUES OF THE CASE
? Died the plaintiff deposit with the defendant the various sums of money?
? Are these amounts mentioned in the plaintiff’s Pass Book? If so, is the plaintiff bound by entries therein?
? Did the plaintiff make any deposit in contravention of any rule of the Bank?
These were the main issues on which the court wanted to seek answers to settle the disputes of this case.
In general the rule is that the master is held responsible for the guilty acts of the servant. But there are some essentials of the vicarious liability that are that the person charged should be a servant. And the wrongful act should have been done in the course of employment. Wrongful acts are therefore categorised in two.
Wrongful acts authorised by the master and the authorised acts done in the wrongful manner. An employer will be liable for the acts which are wrongful ways of doing something authorised by the employer, even if the acts themselves are expressly forbidden by the employer.
Principles or Application of the Case
The case, as already notified, was that the various amounts had been handed over in cash or In cheque by her to K.D Shukla, who was an employee of the Bank for crediting in her Savings Bank Account with the defendant Bank. But Shukla fraudulently misappropriated the funds and he converted the same for his own use.
Therefore the question that was K.D Shukla, while receiving these amounts from the plaintiff, acting as an agent of the plaintiff or the Bank in the course of his employment?
From the additional documentary evidence two facts were clear
1) The cheque for Rs.7000 drawn by Bhagwati Prasad was not handed over in the normal course of business.
2) It was cashed and deposited in the personal account of Lal Babu.