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An I. O. U. is evidence of an account stated", but not of money 1.0.U. lent?
Promissory notes will be considered when we come to the Negoti- Promissory able Instruments Act.
notes, QUASI CONTRACTS. This, says Sir W. Anson, is a convenient term for a multifarious class of legal relations which possess this common feature, that, without agreement and without delict or breach of duty on either side, A has paid something which X ought to pay, or X has received something which A ought to receive. The law in such cases imposes a duty npon X to make good to A the advantage to which A is entitled .
The provisions of the Indian Contract Act on this subject are contained in secs. 68-73.
Section 68 deals with two cases, (a) where X being incompetent to contract is supplied by A with necessaries suited to his condition in life, and (6) where A so supplies Y, whom X (being incompetent to contract) is ‘legally' bound to support. In both cases A is entitled to be reimbursed from the property of X, but not to any personal remedy against him.
Section 69 deals with cases in which A allows B to assume such a position that B may be compelled by law to discharge A's legal liabilities. In such cases the law implies a request by A to B to make the payment and a promise by A to repay B. Besides the case of the zamíndár's tenant paying revenue-arrears, which is given as an illustration, the payment by one of several co-debtors or Co-sureties of the entirety of the debt is dealt with by secs. 43 and 146. So where the mortgagees of a ship who had taken possession, paid off the wages due to the crew from the owners for the purpose of liberating her from proceedings in the Court of Admiralty-.
Section 70 confers a right resembling that of the Roman negotiorum gestor; but under the Indian law compensation is not payable unless the principal actually derives benefit from the gestio.
Section 71 declares generally the responsibility of the finder of goods to their owner. The rights and duties of the finder of hidden treasure are declared by Act VI of 1878.
Section 72 declares the obligation of one to whom money has been paid, or goods delivered, under coercion, or by mistake as
* In Buck v. Hurst, L. R. 1 C. P.297, Fesenmeyer v. Adcock, 16 M. & the following I. O. U. signed by debtor and surety, 'we jointly and severally 3 Law of Contract, 4th ed., p. 8. owe you £60,' was held evidence of * Johnson v. Royal Mail Steam a joint account stated with creditor. Packet Co., L. R. 3 C. P. 38.
to the existence of a liability to make the payment or delivery! The case where the payment or delivery has been procured by fraud seems to have been forgotten.
Where the obligation resulting from a quasi-contract has not been discharged, any person injured by the failure is entitled to receive the same compensation from the party in default, as if such person had contracted to discharge the obligation and had broken his contract (sec. 73, par. 3).
The Bill which afterwards became the Contract Act was drawn in 1866 in England by the Indian Law Commissioners. In the following year it was introduced into the Council of the GovernorGeneral during the absence of Mr. (now Sir Henry) Maine by the Right Hon. W. N. Massey, referred to a Select Committee, and published and circulated to the Local Governments. Thereupon, a controversy arose between the Secretary of State and the Commissioners on the one side, the Home and the Indian authorities on the other, as to the Commissioners' proposals that all penalties should be treated as liquidated damages, and that the ownership of goods may be acquired by buying them from any person who is in possession of them, if the buyer acts in good faith, and under circumstances which do not raise a presumption that the possessor has no right to sell them, in other words, that every place in India should become a market overt. The result was that the Secretary of State permitted the Government of India to take their own course as to altering the Bill: the Commissioners resigned; and the Bill (whose early enactment was directed by the Secretary of State) was carried through the Council, with some important amendments, by Mr. (now Sir Fitzjames) Stephen. Unfortunately it had been sent out to India in a very crude form; it never underwent the patient, penetrating revision by a skilled draftsman necessary in the case of such a measure; and though the Indian judges have loyally en deavoured to give effect to its provisions, these are so incomplete and sometimes so inaccurately worded that the time seems to have come for repealing the Act, and re-enacting it with the amendments in arrangement, wording and substance, suggested by the cases decided upon it during the last fourteen years. Should this be done it would be well to incorporate the existing laws relating to negotiable instruments, to exchanges, and to sales and mortgages and leases of immovable property, and to add chapters on Carriers and Insurance.
Marriot v. Hampton, 2 Smith, L. C., 8th ed., 431 and notes.
OF THE COMMUNICATION, ACCEPTANCE AND REVOCATION OF
Communication, acceptance and revocation of proposals
3 4 5 6 7 8
OF CONTRACTS, VOIDABLE CONTRACTS, AND VOID AGREEMENTS.
What agreements are contracts
13 Free consent' defined
14 Coercion' defined
15 Undue influence' defined.
16 Frand' defined
17 Misrepresentation' defined
18 Voidability of agreements without free consent
19 Agreement void where both parties are under mistake as to matter of fact 30
Effect of mistakes as to law
24 25 ib. ib. . 26 27
Agreements void, if considerations and objects unlawful in part
It is in writing and registered, .
Or is a promise to pay a debt barred by limitation law
Saving of agreement not to carry on business of which good-will is
Or during continuance of partnership
Saving of contract to refer to arbitration dispute that may arise
Saving of contract to refer questions that have already arisen
Exception in favour of certain prizes for horse-racing
. ib. ib. 28 15. is. ib. 29 30 ib. it.
OF CONTINGENT CONTRACTS.
*Contingent contract' defined .
. 31 Enforcement of contracts contingent on an event happening
32 Enforcement of contracts contingent on an event not happening
33 When event on which contract is contingent to be deemed impossible, if it is the future conduct of a living person
34 When contracts become void, which are contingent on happening of specified event within fixed time
35 When contracts may be enforced, which are contingent on specified
event not happening within fixed time Agreements contingent on impossible events, void
OF THE PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT.
CONTRACTS WHICH MUST BE PERFORMED.
Obligation of parties to contracts
37 38 39
BY whom CONTRACTS MUST BE PERFORMED.
Each promisor may compel contribution
Sharing of loss by default in contribution . Effect of release of one joint contractor Devolution of joint rights
40 41 42 43 ib. ib. 44 45
TIME AND PLACE FOR PERFORMANCE.
Time for performance of promise, where no time is specified and no appli
cation to be made Time and place for performance of promise, where time is specified and no
application to be made Application for performance to be at proper time and place Place for performance of promise, where no application to be made and no
place fixed Performance in manner or at time prescribed or sanctioned by promisee
PERFORMANCE OF RECIPROCAL PROMISES.
51 52 53
Promisor not bound to perform, unless reciprocal promisee ready and
willing to perform
contract consisting of reciprocal promises .
essential Effect of such failure when time is not essential Effect of acceptance of performance at time other than that agreed
upon Agreement to do impossible act, void Contract to do impossible act, or one which afterwards becomes im
possible or illegal, when void Compensation for loss on non-performance of act known to be impossible
or unlawful Where there are promises to do things legal, and also other things illegal,
the former are a contract, the latter a void agreement In alternative promise, one branch being illegal, legal branch alone en
Application of payment where debt to be discharged is indicated