Sunday, 23 January 2022

Undue Influence

                        UNDUE INFLUENCE

INTRODUCTION

When one party is in a position to dominate the will of the other and actually misuses the power, then it is a case of undue influence. Thus, the contract becomes voidable as mentioned under Section 16 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. This means the unfair use of one’s superior position to obtain the consent of a person who is in a weak position.


ESSENTIALS FOR BEING AN UNDUE INFLUENCE

  • When one person is in a position to dominate the will of the other person in a contract.

  • When he/she  misuses his position

  • When he/she obtains an unfair advantage.

 

For instance, A police officer ‘A’ bought a property worth Rs 1 crore for Rs 5 Lakh from Roman, an accused under his custody. Later this contract was cancelled and it was held that the contract was voidable because there was a mental pressure on Roman.

For a person to be in an undue influence, the most important thing is that what type of a relationship the parties have between them. There are generally three types of relationship/authority:-

  • Real authority – An example of a real authority is that of a father and a son.

  •  Apparent authority – An example of an apparent authority is of an employer and an employee.

  •  Fiduciary relationship – It is a relationship based on trusts. Suppose that of an advocate and a client.

Only dominating position of a person is not necessary there should also be the misuse of power of this position for taking advantage, then only will it be called an undue influence.


BURDEN OF PROOF

The burden of proof generally lies onto the party bringing a claim to the court.

         However, the burden can be shifted to the defendant in an undue influence case if the plaintiff can demonstrate that a confidential relationship exists between testator and the defendant.

 For example, ‘A’, the plaintiff was indebted to ‘B’ the defendant. B had given ‘A’, a loan. When A showed that B was at a dominating position, the burden of proof was on B now. This means that now B has to prove to the court that he had not exerted undue influence on A.

PRESUMPTION OF UNDUE INFLUENCE

 This means in some case the court presumes that there must have been an undue influence. The court presumes when-

  • One of the parties to a contract is in a position to dominate the will of another and the contract is prime facie unconscionable (that is unfair), the court presumes the existence of undue influence in such cases.

  • One of the parties to a contract is a pardanashin woman( a woman who are generally in cove like burkha, gunghat. These women are generally not allowed to socialise.), the contract is presumed to be induced by undue influence, and the burden of proof is shifted to another party. Thus, he/she has to show in the court that the women was explained clearly the facts in the document of the transaction. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Equality before law

  Equality before law “The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law. Meaning of right to equality This means that every pe...