Thursday, May 30, 2024

𝗝𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗗𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺™

𝙰𝙵𝙵𝙾𝚁𝙳𝙰𝙱𝙻𝙴 & 𝙰𝙲𝙲𝙴𝚂𝚂𝙸𝙱𝙻𝙴

CONTRACTMODEL ANSWER

COERCION

X holds out a pistol over his own head and threatens to shoot himself if a release deed is not signed by his wife in favour of his brother. X’s wife signs the release deed. Examine the validity of the above release deed in light of the provision of the Indian Contract Act 1872.

As per Section 13 of the Indian Contract Act, Consent means when two or more persons agree upon the same thing in the same sense.
It is based on the Latin maxim “Consensus Ad Idem” which means Meeting of minds.

For example:- ‘A’ agrees to sell his house to ‘B’. ‘A’ owns three houses and wants to sell his house in Mumbai. ‘B’ thinks he is buying his Delhi house. Here ‘A’ and ‘B’ have not agreed upon the same thing in the same sense. Therefore, there is no consent and no contract afterwards.

The term “Free Consent” is defined under Section 14 of the Act which states that the consent is said to be free when it is not caused by

  1. Coercion under Section 15
  2. Undue Influence under Section 16
  3. Fraud under Section 17
  4. Misrepresentation under Section 18
  5. Mistake under Section 20,21,22

When the consent is affected by any of the above then the consent is not free consent and the contract is voidable at the option of the aggrieved party in accordance with Section 19 of the Indian Contract Act.

Section 15 of the Act defines the term “Coercion” as Committing or threatening to commit, any act forbidden by the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or the unlawful detaining or threatening to detain any property, to the prejudice of any person whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement.

For example- A threatens to hurt B if he does not sell his house to A for 5 lakh rupees. Here even if B sells the house to A, it will not be a valid contract since B’s consent was obtained by coercion.

In the leading case of Ranganayakamma v Alwar Setti (1889), a widow was prohibited from removing the corpse of her husband until she consented to the adoption.
The Madras High Court held that her consent was not free and it was coerced under Section 15 of the Indian Contract Act and hence voidable.

In another leading case of Chikkam Ammiraju v. Chikkam Seshamma (1912), a person by threat of suicide induced his wife and son to execute a release deed in favour of his brother in respect of certain proprieties claimed as their own by the wife and son.
The Madras High Court held that threatening to commit suicide amounted to coercion within the meaning of section 15 of the Indian Contract Act and therefore release deed was voidable.

In the given scenario, the husband has threatened the wife to commit suicide in order to execute a release deed in favour of his brother thus in the light of Section 14 the consent is not free consent as the deed was signed under coercion as per Section 15 of the Indian Contract Act and in the case of Chikkam Ammiraju v. Chikkam Seshamma (1912), it was held that threatening to commit suicide amounts to coercion.

Thus the release deed was voidable at the option of the aggrieved party under Section 19 of the Act.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!