Thursday, May 30, 2024





M, a minor was studying in a school. On 31 August 2023, he took a loan of Rs 30000 from D for payment of his school fees and agreed to repay by 30 September 2023. M possesses assets worth Rs 1Lakh. On due date M fails to pay back the loan to D. D now wants to recover the loan from M out of his assets. Referring to the provisions of the Indian Contract Act 1872 decide whether D would succeed.

According to Section 11 of the Act if a person is a Major, Sound mind and not disqualified by law then he is considered to be competent to Contract.

In light of the above provision, the agreement entered into by the minor is void ab initio and cannot be enforced in a court of law. The same was held by the Privy Council in the leading case of “Mohiri Bibi v/s Dharmodas Ghosh”.

But the exception to this general rule is provided under Section 68 of the Indian Contract Act and it is stated that if any person supplies the necessities to the minor then he can recover the same from the estate of the minor but the minor cannot be held personally liable if he does not possess such estate or assets.

In the case of Chappel vs. Cooper, Alderson B described necessaries in the following manner: “Things necessary are those without which an individual cannot reasonably exist. In the first place, food, raiment, lodging and the like.

Thus articles of mere luxury are always excluded, though luxurious articles of utility are in some cases allowed.” It can be said that necessaries include not only things that are absolutely necessary for survival but also those that are required for a reasonable existence.

Thus, in the given case M cannot be held liable for such payment as the contract entered with the minor is void from the beginning but D can recover the amount of necessities as the Education falls under the ambit of necessities and it can be recovered from the assets or estate of the minor.
Therefore the claim of ‘D’ would succeed.

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