Question: ‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Whether such consideration is lawful? [RJS 1986] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Whether such consideration is lawful?] Answer Section 23 of The Indian… Read More »

Question: ‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Whether such consideration is lawful? [RJS 1986] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Whether such consideration is lawful?] Answer Section 23 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872 renders certain considerations and objects as unlawful. It lays down provisions as to what considerations and objects are lawful,...

Question: ‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Whether such consideration is lawful? [RJS 1986]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Whether such consideration is lawful?]

Answer

Section 23 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872 renders certain considerations and objects as unlawful. It lays down provisions as to what considerations and objects are lawful, and whatnot. It states:

The consideration or object of an agreement is lawful, unless:

  1. It is forbidden by law; or
  2. Is of such a nature that, if permitted, it would defeat the provisions of any law;
  3. Or is fraudulent; or involves or implies, injury to the person or property of another;
  4. Or the Court regards it as immoral,
  5. Or opposed to public policy.

In each of these cases, the consideration or object of an agreement is said to be unlawful. Every agreement of which the object or consideration is unlawful is void.” For example, ‘A’ agrees to let her daughter to hire ‘B’ for concubinage. The agreement is void, because it is immoral, though the letting may not be punishable under The Indian Penal Code (XLV of 1860).

The law does not allow an agreement tainted with immorality to be enforced. Consequently, every agreement the object of or consideration for which is immoral is unlawful. What is “immoral” depends upon the standards of morality prevailing at a particular time and as approved by the courts. But certain kinds of acts have been regarded as immoral since times immemorial and will perhaps always be so regarded.

One such act is interference with marital relations. Thus, in Baivijli v. Nansa Nagar, [ILR (1885) 10 Bom 152] where a married woman was given money to enable her to obtain a divorce from her husband, the lender promising to marry her subsequently, it was held that the money could not be recovered.

Further, in the case of Chogalal v. Piyari, [ILR (1908-10) 31 All 58] it was held that “If a woman takes a house in order to live in it as the mistress of a man and to use it for that purpose, and the landlord at the time when the lease is executed knows that it is taken for that purpose, the landlord cannot recover the rent”.

Thus, applying the above provisions and rationale of Hon’ble courts to the present case at hand, where ‘A’ promises to pay a monthly allowance to a woman kept as a mistress. Such consideration is unlawful and can’t be made enforceable by virtue of being immoral as mentioned in Section 23 of The Contract Act,1872.


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 2022-01-16T12:39:17+05:30
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