CASE SUMMARY: MOHORI BIBEE V/S DHARMODAS GHOSE

The case of Mohori Bibee vs. Dharmodas Ghose concerns the nature of minor’s contracts, his fraudulent false interference, the application of the principle of estoppel, sections 64 and 65 of the Contract Act, and so on.

Name Of the Case: Mohori Bibee v/s Dharmodas Ghose

Citation: (1903)ILR30Cal539(PC)

Date Of Judgement: 04 March 1903

Name Of the Judges: Lord McNaughton, Lord Davey, Lord Lindley, Sir Ford North, Sir Andrew Scoble, Sir Andrew Wilson.

BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE

Dharmodas Ghose, who was a minor at the time, obtained a loan from Brahmodutt, a lender in Calcutta, by claiming to be an adult and signing a mortgage deed (Mortgage Deed) in his favour. At the time the mortgage was being considered for advance money, Kedarnath, Brahmodutt’s agent, had received information that the respondent was a minor; thus, he could not execute the deed. Nonetheless, he signed a mortgage deal with Dharamdos Ghose.

The youngster then filed a lawsuit against Brahmodutt with his mother and guardian, requesting that the court revoke the mortgage deed because he was a juvenile at the time it was signed. Justice Jenkins (Jenkins J.), a trial court judge, accepted the respondent’s appeal and annulled the mortgage deed.

The appellant’s appeal against the order was likewise dismissed by the High Court, therefore he took his case to the Privy Council. At the time of the appeal, Brahmodutt had passed away. As a result, he was succeeded by Mohori Bibee.

The following arguments were presented by Mohori Bibee:

  1. Instead of cancelling the mortgage deed, the court should have ordered the minor to pay the money owed to him (Rs. 10,500). He argued in favour of this position by citing the Specific Relief Act of 1963, which gives the Court the authority to make such an order.
  2. The repayment of the money received under the deed cancelled may be required under Sections 64 and 65 of the Indian Contract Act 1872.
  3. According to the ‘Estoppel’ principle, the minor who claimed to be a minor during the contractual process cannot now claim that he was a minor.
  4. The minor’s contract is void and unenforceable.

VERDICT

The Court dismissed the appeal.

Rule propounded

  1. The minor’s contract is not null and void from the beginning.
  2. Section 64 of the Contract Act does not apply to minors since these parts demand that the contracting parties be able to make contracts.
  3. As both parties were aware that the contract was being made with a minor, the restriction principle could not be applied in this situation.
  4. The child may be forced to refund the advantages received under the zero contract under the Specific Relief Act of 1963.
  5. However, the court does not believe it is appropriate in this case because the appellant knew Dharmodas Ghose was a juvenile when he was issued a mortgage loan.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above principles, the Privy Council rejected the appeal of the appellant.

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-6712-case-summary-mohori-bibee-v-s-dharmodas-ghose.html
  2. https://lawlex.org/lex-bulletin/case-summary-mohori-bibee-vs-dharmodas-ghose/23391

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