Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cases on contract Act

1.Abdul Aziz vs. Masum Ali, (1914).
The secretary of a Mosque Committee filed a suit to enforce a promise which the promisor had made to subscribe Rs. 500 to the re-building of a mosque.
Held: “the promise was not enforceable because there was no consideration in the sense of benefit”, as “the person who made the promise gained nothing in return for the promise made”, and the secretary of the Committee to whom the promise was made, suffered no detriment as nothing had been done to carry out the repairs. Hence the suit was dismissed.

2.Kedar Nath vs. Gauri Mohamed, (1886)
The facts of this case were almost similar to those of the above case, but the secretary in this case incurred a liability on the strength of the promise.
Held: The amount could be recovered, as the promise resulted in a sufficient detriment to the secretary. The promise could, however, be enforced only to the extent of the liability (detriment) incurred by the secretary. In this case, the promise, even though it was gratuitous, became enforceable because on the faith of the promise secretary had incurred a detriment.

3.Durga Prasad vs. Baldeo, (1880)
B spent some money on the improvement of a market at the desire of the Collector of the district. In consideration of this D who was using the market promised to pay some money to B.
Held: The agreement was void being without consideration as it had not moved at the desire of D.

4.Chinnaya vs. Ramayya, (1882)
An old lady, by a deed of gift, made over certain property to her daughter D, under the direction that she should pay her aunt, P (sister of the old lady), a certain sum of money annually. The same day D entered into an agreement with P to pay her the agreed amount. Later, D refused to pay the amount on the plea that no consideration had moved from P to D.
Held: P was entitled to maintain suit as consideration had moved from the old lady, sister of P, to the daughter, D.

5. Debi Radha Rani vs. Ram Dass, (1941)
D is ready to sue her husband for maintenance allowance. On husband’s agreeing to pay her a monthly allowance by way of maintenance, she forbears to sue.
Held: The wife’s forbearance to sue amount to consideration for the husband’s agreement for payment of maintenance allowance.

6. Ramchandra Chintaman vs. Kalu Raju, (1877)
There was a promise to pay to the Vakil an additional sum if the suit was successful.
Held: The promise was void for want of consideration. The Vakil was under a pre-existing contractual obligation to render the best of his services under the original contract.

7. Dunlop Pneumatic Tyres Co. Ltd. Vs. Selfridge & Co. Ltd., (1915)
S bought tyres from the Dunlop Rubber Co. & sold them to D, a sub-dealer, who agreed with S not to sell these tyres below Dunlop’s list price and to pay the Dunlop Co. £5 as damages on every tyre D undersold, D sold two tyres at less than the list price and thereupon the Dunlop Co. Sued him for the breach.
Held: The Dunlop Co. Could not maintain the suit as it was stranger to the contract.

Capacity to Contract
Mohiri Bibi vs. Dharmodas Ghose, (1903)
In this case, a minor mortgaged his house in favour of a money-lender to secure a loan of Rs. 20,000 out of which the mortgagee (the money-lender) paid the minor a sum of Rs. 8,000. Subsequently the minor sued for setting aside the mortgage, stating that he was underage when he executed the mortgage.
Held: The mortgage was void and, therefore, it was cancelled. Further the money-lender’s request for the repayment of the amount advanced to the minor as part of the consideration for the mortgage was also not accepted.

Mistake of Law
Solle vs. Butcher, (1950)
Ignorantia juris non excusat, i.e., ignorance of law is no excuse, is a well settled rule of law. A party cannot be allowed to get any relief on the ground that it had done a particular act in ignorance of law. A mistake of law is, therefore, no excuse, and the contract cannot be avoided.

Mistake as to the Subject-Matter
Couturier vs. Hastie, (1856)
A agreed to sell a cargo of corn supposed at the time of contract to be in transit from Salonica to the United Kingdom. Unknown to the parties, the corn had become fermented and had already been sold by the master of the ship at Tunis.
Held: The agreement was void and the buyer was not liable for the price.

Mistake as to the Identity of the Subject-Matter
Raffles vs. Wichelhaus, (1864)
W agreed to buy from R a cargo of cotton “to arrive ex-peerless from Bombay”. There were two ships of that name sailing from Bombay, one sailing in October and the other in December. W meant the former ship but R meant the latter contract.

Remedies for Breach of Contract
Hadley vs. Baxendale
X’s mill was stopped by the breakdown of a shaft. He delivered the shaft to Y, a common carrier, to be taken to a manufacturer to copy it make a new one. X did not make known to Y that delay would result in loss of profits. By some neglect on the part of Y the delivery of the shaft was delayed in transit beyond a reasonable time (so that the mill was idle for a longer period than otherwise would have been the case had there been no breach of the contract of carriage).
Held: Y was not liable for loss of profits during the period of delay as the circumstances communicated to Y did not show that a delay in the delivery of the shaft would entail loss of profits to the mill.
Alderson, B observed in this case as follows:
“Where two parties have made a contract which one of them has broken, the damages which the other party ought to receive in respect of breach of contract should be such as may fairly and reasonably be considered either arising naturally, i.e., according to the usual course of things, from such breach of contract itself, or such as may reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both the parties at the time they made the contract, as the probable result of the breach of it.”

Quasi Contracts
Damodar Mudaliar vs. Secretary of State for India, (1894)
A village was irrigated by a tank. The Government effected certain repairs to the tank for its preservation and had no intention to do so gratuitously for the zamindars. The zamindars enjoyed the benefit thereof.
Held: They were liable to contribute.

Mercantile law by ND Kapoor
Nimita Singh


  1. this post was really helpful for my contract law mid terms... i needed these case facts..

  2. case laws are in brief which are helpful in understanding

  3. Good work, and please add more cases to the list.