Indian contract act, 1872
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SUIT BY A THIRD PARTY TO A CONTRACT Though under the Indian Contract Act, 1872, the consideration for an agreement may proceed from a third party, the third party cannot sue on contract. Only a person who is party to a contract can sue on it.Thus, the concept of stranger to consideration is a valid and is different from stranger to a contract. Example: P who is indebted to Q, sells his property to R and R promises to pay o the debt amount to Q. If R fails to pay, then in such situation Q has no right to sue, as R is a stranger to contract.
The aforesaid rule, that stranger to a contract cannot sue is known as a "doctrine of privity of contract" is however, subject to certain exceptions. In other words, even a stranger to a contract may enforce a claim in the following cases: (1) In the case of trust, a beneficiary can enforce his right under the trust, though he was not a party to the contract between the settler and the trustee (2) In the case of a family settlement, if the terms of the settlement are reduced into writing, the members of family who originally had not been parties to the settlement may enforce the agreement.
(3) In the case of certain marriage contracts, a female member can enforce a provision for marriage expenses made on the partition of the Hindu Undivided Family (4) In the case of assignment of a contract, when the bene t under a contract has been assigned, the assignee can enforce the contract. (5) Acknowledgement or estoppel - where the promisor by his conduct acknowledges himself as an agent of the third party, it would result into a binding obligation towards third party. For example, if L gives to M 20,000 to be given to N, and M informs N that he is holding the money for him, but afterwards M refuses to pay the money. N will be entitled to recover the same from the former i.e. M
. (6) In the case of covenant running with the land, the person who purchases land with notice that the owner of land is bound by certain duties a ecting land, the covenant a ecting the land may be enforced by the successor of the seller. (7) Contracts entered into through an agent: The principal can enforce the contracts entered by his agent where the agent has acted within the scope of his authority and in the name of the principal.
VALIDITY OF AN AGREEMENT WITHOUT CONSIDERATION The general rule is that an agreement made without consideration is void (Section 25). In every valid contract, consideration is very important. A contract may only be enforceable when consideration is there. However, the Indian Contract Act contains certain exceptions to this rule. In the following cases, the agreement though made without consideration, will be valid and enforceable.
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