Minor is one who has not attain the age of 18 years, listed in section 3 of Majority Act 1875. That every person domiciled in India shall attain the age of majority on his completing the age of 18 years and not before.
Section 11 of Indian Contract Act 1872 forbid a minor from entering into a contract. The effect of this prohibition is that any contract entered by a minor is “ void-ab-intio” ( invalid from the begning ) regardless whether the other party was aware of his majority or not.
The minors contract is void-ab-initio and null, but this dos not means that it is illegal.
There is a case in which a minor enter into a contract, which states that a contract with minor is void.
MOHIRI BIBI VS. DHARMODAS GOSH 1903
The case goes back to the year 1903 in which, for the first time, the privacy council held that a minor’s contract is void-ab- intio that it is void from the begning.
FACTS OF THE CASE – The plaintiff Dharmodas Ghosh, when he was a minor, mortgaged his property to the defendant, a money lender. At that time defendant’s attorney had the knowledge about plaintiff’s age. The plaintiff later paid only Rupees 8000 but refuse to pay rest of the money. The plaintiff’s mother wads his next friend ( legal guardian ) at that time, so she commenced an action against the defendant saying that at the time of making of a contract, he was a minor, so the contract is void, he is not bound by the same.
ISSUE OF THE CASE –
- Whether the deed was void under section 2, 10(5), 11(6) of Indian contract Act 1872 or not ?
- Whether the defendant was liable to return the amount of loan which he had received by him under such deed or mortgaged or not ?
- Whether the mortgaged commenced by the defendant was voidable or not ?
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE – It was held that unless all parties have competence under section 11 of the Act, No agreement is a contract.
By looking in Indian law, minor’s agreement is void which means that it has no value in the eye of law and it is null as it cannot be enforced by either of the party of the contract. Even after the person attains the age of majority, the same contract cannot be ratified by him and it is still void
Minor is competent to receive the property but it is not competent to transfer it. As, in a contract, a minor can be a promise but not a promisor.
For example – B had two sons, and he transferred the property to A (a younger son) a minor. But minor could not transfer his property to his brother for whom he was feeling bad for not being a part of a property.
CONTRACT BY A GAURDIAN
In some cases a guardian of a minor could enter into a contract on behalf of the minor. Such an agreement which the guardian enter into for the advantage of the minor, could be enforced by the minor.
At last we can conclude that minors are incapable of thinking what is right or wrong for them and can easily get influenced and misguided ending up taking wrong decision. Hence, they cannot enter into a contract.
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