An agreement made with a minor is void ab initio ie., void from the very beginning. Any agreement made with a minor is not at all a contract. It is an agreement which does not legal effect in court of law. It means it is not enforceable in court of Law Those agreements are call void agreements. In other words it would not enjoy the legal effect. Minors agreements are absolutely void and it was observed in Privy Council Judgment in the land mark case of Mohirii Bibi v. Dharmadas Gosh. The plaintiff was Dharmodas Ghosh, who was a minor, mortgaged his property to the defendant, a moneylender. Defendant’s attorney had the knowledge about plaintiff’s age at the time of contract. The plaintiff later paid only Indian Rs. 8000 but refused to pay rest of the money. The plaintiff’s mother was his legal guardian at that time, so he commenced an action against the defendant saying that at the time of making of a contract, he was a minor, so the contract being a void one, he is not bound by the same. The court held that unless the parties have competence under Section 11 of the Act, no agreement is a contract. These agreements were considered to be nullity and non-existent in the eyes of law as per the above section. Mohiri Bibi case , Privy Council did not recognise Section 65 of Indian Contract Act, Section of 115 of Indian Evidence Act and Section 41 of Specific Relief Act. As per the Section 65 says any person who has received any advantage under such agreement or contract is bound to restore, it, or to make compensation for it, to the person from whom he received it when a person fraudulently represent himself or herself as a major. Here any person includes minor. Hence Law Commission of India under 13th Report to the Indian Contract Act made suggestion to amend this section 65. But in Mohiri Bibi case where Privy Council has observed that Section 65 could not be attracted to the minors. Thus there would be lacunae and injustice where minor could take advantage of it. In the case of Ram Ashish Chaudhary v. State of Uttar Pradesh, by an agreement, a person was appointed as a teacher. But he was a minor at the time of agreement. The Court held that the agreement was void ab initio due to minority of the person appointed, in the light of section 11 of Indian Contract Act and Mohiri Bibi’s case. Two types of contracts with a minor were valid, they were contracts for necessaries and beneficial contracts of service.”
GENERAL STATUS OF MINOR IN INDIA
India follows the same English Lawin contract with some modification here and there which suit to the Indian conditions or circumstances. “In other words, Indian Contract Act is the replica of English Contract Act. Hence, the position or general status of minor is same as in Indian law or Indian scenario. A minor is not competent to contract or make any agreement as a minor lacks mental capacity because of age factor. In English Law, a Minor in contract, subject to certain exceptions, is only voidable at the option of the minor and Indian Law varies little extent from English law because of morals or ethics which says no one should be enriched at the cost of others.
RATIFICATION BY MINOR
A minor’s agreements are void ab initio. It is incapable of being validated by a subsequent ratification after the minor has attained the age of majority. A minor is incapable of either making a contract himself or authorising the same. He cannot legally ratify an act done on his behalf because of whole question or ratification is based on the assumption that authority could have been conferred by the person ratifying the acts at the date when acts were performed. In the case of Nazir Ahmed v. Jiwandas, if the parties to a contract void due to the minority of a party are interested, they can draw up a fresh contract after the party attains majority. The new contract will require new consideration. The consideration given under the earlier but void contract cannot serve as consideration in the new contract entered into after attaining majority. It means after attaining majority there should be some consideration then only the contract becomes valid contract and that contract is enforceable in the court of law. In the case of Indran Ramaswamy v. Anthiappa Chettiar, a minor borrows money and executes promissory note. After attaining majority, he executed another promissory note in settlement of first note without consideration or without fresh consideration. The second note is void for want of consideration. In the case of Smt. M.C. Nagalakshmi and Ors. v. Sri . M.A. Farook and Sri. M.A., a person when minor executed a deed with regard to his interest in the estate. A suit was filed when he had attained majority. The person admitted the agreement and did not repudiate it. It was held that the contract was enforceable to the extent of the minor’s interest in the estate.”
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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