Skip to main content

What is the contractual liability of a minor?

 


What is the contractual liability of a minor?

By swatee shukla 

In contract law, this is a tricky area. One of the primary conditions of a valid contract is that the parties should be in a position to enter into a contract. An agreement made by a minor is void and cannot be enforced in a court of law. If obligations are imposed on a minor, the agreement will be considered void and such obligation cannot be enforced against the minor. There is no estoppel against a minor( estoppel means when a person by communicating in written or oral form, or even by such conduct that leads the other person to believe it to be true, and then the person acts after having believed in it. Then he is prevented from denying the truth of that thing). A minor cannot be estopped from pleading minority and can therefore escape liability on grounds of the minority. Any contract entered into by a minor, is void ab initio, and thus such a contract does not lead to any contractual liability. 

Nevertheless, this does not bar a minor from acquiring liability and enjoying the benefits of a contract. When a contract is made by a lawful and competent guardian on behalf of the minor, it will be a valid contract if the contract was entered into for the benefit of the minor. However, if a guardian enters a contract against the interest of the minor, such a contract may be voidable at the option of the minor. If the minor is a beneficiary, i.e. stands to benefit from the contract, the contract is valid and enforceable. Even then, the minor himself does not enter into the contract; it is always the guardian who does so on his behalf. Some legal guardians competent to enter into a contract on behalf of a child may be either parent, natural guardian (in absence of parents), or a guardian adopted by law or adoptive parents. 

When a minor is supplied with the necessaries of life, which are the basic articles needed to maintain the life at the standard of the person, including food, clothes, articles of daily use, and education, by another person, the supplier of such necessaries is entitled to be reimbursed from the property of the minor. This is also applicable to the person of unsound mind. 

In the famous case of mohoribibi v Dharmodas Ghose, a minor borrowed a sum of money after mortgaging his property. The mortgagee approached the court for getting his money back. The privy council (highest court prior to the supreme court) held that the sum cannot be claimed because an agreement with a minor is not valid. Let’s understand this concept by a realistic example, suppose you are a minor, and you enter into a contract with your friend to sell certain property to him. your friend paid you the agreed-to amount, and you subsequently refuse to transfer the property to him. he sue you to enforce the contract, he won’t succeed, as the contract with the minor is void from the beginning, thus no liability shall be imposed on you. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

INCOME TAX SECTION 32AD - Investment in new plant or machinery in notified backward areas in certain States

 Description (1) Where an assessee, sets up an undertaking or enterprise for manufacture or production of any article or thing, on or after the 1st day of April, 2015 in any backward area notified by the Central Government in this behalf, in the State of Andhra Pradesh or in the State of Bihar or in the State of Telangana or in the State of West Bengal, and acquires and installs any new asset for the purposes of the said undertaking or enterprise during the period beginning on the 1st day of April, 2015 and ending before the 1st day of April, 2020 in the said backward area, then, there shall be allowed a deduction of a sum equal to fifteen per cent of the actual cost of such new asset for the assessment year relevant to the previous year in which such new asset is installed. (2) If any new asset acquired and installed by the assessee is sold or otherwise transferred, except in connection with the amalgamation or demerger or re-organisation of business referred to in clause (xiii)or cla

60 Minute Marriage Counselling Session On Phone

Description A 60 minute phone call with an expert Marriage\Relationship Counselor to discuss your marriage\relationship related issues. Counselling aims to resolve issues and improve communication in a relationship. Couples’ counselling works with both people in the relationship, however sessions can start with one individual, working towards the involvement of the other partner. What's Included a) 60 minute phone call with the counselor where you can discuss all your issues and seek guidance. What's Not Included a) Counselling session via meeting

Send Legal Notice for Divorce

 India being a secular country derives a large part of its laws from various religious practices. One such area of law is Divorce law of India. A divorce case in India can be initiated by either party based on the procedure relevant as per the law applicable to the parties. However, the procedure for divorce always starts with sending a legal notice.   Either party can send a legal notice to the other spouse intimating his/her intent to initiate legal proceedings for divorce. Sending a legal notice acts as a formal way of communication by one party to the other acting as a warning and at the same time creating chances for a last attempt for conciliation, if possible. Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue   What is a legal notice for divorce? A legal notice refers to a formal communication to a person or the opposite party in a case, informing him/her about one’s intention to undertake legal proceedings against him/her. Therefore, a legal notice for divorce is a formal inti