Question: A and B are friends. B treats A during A’s illness. B does not accept payment from A for treatment and A promises B’s son X, to pay him Rs. 1,000. A, being in poor circumstances, is unable to pay. X sues A for the money. Can X recover? [HJS 1986] Find the answer to the mains… Read More »

Question: A and B are friends. B treats A during A’s illness. B does not accept payment from A for treatment and A promises B’s son X, to pay him Rs. 1,000. A, being in poor circumstances, is unable to pay. X sues A for the money. Can X recover? [HJS 1986] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A and B are friends. B treats A during A’s illness. B does not accept payment from A for treatment and A promises B’s son X, to pay him Rs. 1,000. A, being in...

Question: A and B are friends. B treats A during A’s illness. B does not accept payment from A for treatment and A promises B’s son X, to pay him Rs. 1,000. A, being in poor circumstances, is unable to pay. X sues A for the money. Can X recover? [HJS 1986]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A and B are friends. B treats A during A’s illness. B does not accept payment from A for treatment and A promises B’s son X, to pay him Rs. 1,000. A, being in poor circumstances, is unable to pay. X sues A for the money. Can X recover?]

Answer

The general rule of contract law is that an agreement without consideration is void. Section 25 of the Indian Contract Act states that:

“An agreement made without consideration is void unless

(1) It is expressed in writing and registered under the law for the time being in force for the registration of documents and is made on account of natural love and affection between parties standing in a near relation to each other; or unless

(2) It is a promise to compensate, wholly or in part, a person who has already voluntarily done something which the promisor was legally compellable to do; or unless

(3) It is a promise, made in writing and signed by the person to be charged therewith, or by his agent generally or specially authorised in that behalf, to pay wholly or in part a debt of which the creditor might have enforced payment but for the law for the limitation of suits.”

In any of these cases, such an agreement is a contract.

Section 2(d) of the Indian Contract Act defines 'consideration’ as “When at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any other person has done or abstained from doing or does or abstains from doing or promises to do or to abstain from doing something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise”.

So Indian Contract Act recognise any such consideration which has been given at the desire of the promisor rather than voluntarily.

As per the second clause, voluntary Services are services that are being referred to in the provision are like past services. A promise to compensate a person who has voluntarily done something for the promisor is valid even if it is without consideration.

This covers cases, where a person without the knowledge of the promisor, or otherwise than at his request, does the latter some service and the promisor promises to recompense him for it.

The aspect of voluntariness is very important and crucial. The term signifies that the work or the task is being performed at one’s own will and impulse. The choice so exercised is not constrained, prompted or suggested by any other person.

If the services are rendered in return for some wage or some benefit, it cannot be considered to be voluntary at all. Hence, the services rendered even for a bonus become excluded from the purview of the exception provided in Section 25(2) of the Act.

In the present case at hand, A was treated during his illness by his friend B. Further, B has refused to accept any payment for such professional services rendered by him to A.

In simple words, the act of B was made voluntary and was gratuitous. It is also critical here to note that after treatment, A never made any promise to compensate B within the meaning of Section 23(2) of the Act.

However, A promised B’s son X, to pay him Rs. 1,000. For this promise, there was no consideration at all. In other words, the promise with X being without consideration does not create any legal obligation and is void.


Law of Contract Mains Questions Series: Important Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 9 Dec 2021 12:27 AM GMT
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