What doctrine has been laid down in the case of M.C. Mehta v. Union of India in regard to liability? How is it different from Rylands v. Fletcher?
[Law of Torts] – A more stringent rule than the strict liability rule in Ryland v. Fletcher was laid down by the Supreme Court recently in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India. The Supreme Court of India in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, has established a new doctrine of ‘absolute liability’ in place of the doctrine of strict liability to deal with new situations in society arising out of modern industrial development. The case related to the harm caused by escape of Oleum gas from one of the units of Shriram Foods and Fertilizers Industries. The Court held that the rule of Rylands v. Fletcher which was evolved in the 19th century did not fully meet the needs of a modern industrial society with highly developed scientific knowledge and technology were hazardous or inherently dangerous industries were necessary to be carried on as part of the development programme and that it was necessary to lay down a new rule not yet recognized by English law, to adequately deal with the problems arising in a highly industrialized economy.