Indian Penal Code

Difference between Crime and Tort

Legal terms often generally become a source of confusion. Two of the terms are Crime and Tort. Sometimes, people use them interchangeably but that is not the reality. Both terms are completely different from each other. Each of them has separate features and consequences. It becomes very essential to understand the real existence of these legal terms in order to understand the legal system properly. In this article, we will look at the meaning of crime and tort, and the difference between tort and crime.

difference between tort and crime

What is Crime?

Undoubtedly, crime is nothing but doing something wrong. Specifically, in this case, the impact is on society in general. There are special cases or acts which are a crime under the state legal system. In case, a person does any of the act, the law will take necessary decisions of punishment in the court.

Specifically, the proceeding takes place in the criminal court of law. Crimes which go against laws are already set for the protection of society. Moreover, it keeps peace ensuring everyone can have the right to live in a society, free of crimes.

Crime is an illegal act for the following reasons:

  1. Firstly, crime goes against existing laws set-up in society.
  2. Secondly, crime affects the standard of living of law-abiding citizens who wish to live peacefully in society.
  3. Lastly, a crime is an intentional act contravening human fundamental rights.

What is Tort?

Unlike a crime, tort is doing something wrong hampering individual parties. In legal terms, a tort happens when negligence directly damages a person or his/her property. There are different types of torts, but all of them result in injury to a private person or property.

Negligence is the most common reason for tort. When a person unintentionally harms someone then the injured party can sue the defendant for his act. A strict liability tort becomes an issue if a private party is injured through a faulty product.

Difference between Tort and Crime

Crime Tort
A Crime is wrongdoing which hampers the social order of the society we live in. A Tort is wrongdoing which hampers the individual or his property.
Crime happens mostly intentionally. It is a deliberate act which people do to get some unlawful benefits. It happens mostly due to negligence. Tort is hardly intentional. But it is still damaging to the individual.
Crime impacts the well-being of society in general. The legal bodies try to give proportional punishment to law offenders in order to maintain peace in society. Tort impacts the well-being of the individual. The aggrieved party seeks compensation for the damages.
Crimes are presented in the Criminal Court. Torts are presented in the Civil Court.
Compensation for crimes is already mentioned in the book of law. Whenever the court has to decide the amount of compensation, they simply refer to the law book. In certain cases, judges use their personal judgments too. Compensation for torts is given on the basis of the damages to the aggrieved party.

Questions on Difference between Tort and Crime

Question: Why is tort an unlawful activity?

Answer: A tort is unlawful because –

  1. Firstly, a tort causes bodily harm to an individual and impairs a person’s life.
  2. Secondly, a tort is against the civil rights of an individual in society.
  3. Lastly, torts are covered by law and the offense is subject to prosecution.
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