Force Majeure is a French term which literally means “greater force”.
Force Majeure means an event or an act which cannot be controlled or anticipated by any human being. It is a clause in a contract law which allocates the risk of loss if the performance of the contract becomes impossible for any of the party in the event where the parties have no controlled over nor have they anticipated the force majeure. In this case the contract becomes void. For the appliance of the force majeure clause the party has to proof that there was a force majeure event and that it was beyond their control to fulfil the contract.
The Indian Contract Act, 1872 which determines the circumstances In which promises in a contract Shall be legally binding is silent on the term ‘force majeure’. Though the act allows an agreement for the performance of an impossible act. A ‘force majeure’ Cannot be implied in Indian law. it has to be expressly provided.
While making the contract the parties are required to mention the force majeure clause or to send a notice to the other party mentioning the force majeure clause and the impossibly to fulfil the contract.
Force majeure clause includes the event such as Act of God, tsunamis, earthquake, war, terrorism etc.
For events to constitute force majeure They must be in foreseeable, External to the parties of the contract or unavoidable. Force majeure clause Protects a party from any financial liability For its failure to perform a contractual obligation. The parties has to proof in a court of law that it was a force majeure event and that they tried fulfilling the contract but it was not under their control or that they have to proof the nature of the contract, Nature of the event of the contract or that it falls under section 56 of the Indian Contract Act to get discharged from their contractual obligation.
Is COVID-19 a force majeure event?.
Due to COVID-19 situation, communications decreased at international level, transportation decreased, businesses couldn’t fulfil their contract, so can they blame covid 19 for it or does covid-19 is an event of Act of God? The term force majeure rarely covers endemic or pandemic. Finance minister in February clarifies that disruption in supply change due to the spread of coronavirus qualifies as a force majeure event, and companies and businesses can invoke force majeure clause.
Section 32 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 Act reads as under: “Enforcement of Contracts contingent on an event happening – Contingent contracts to do or not to do anything if an uncertain future event happens, cannot be enforced by law unless and until that event has happened. If the event becomes impossible, such contracts become void.”
Section 56 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 reads as under:—A contract to do an act which, after the contract is made, becomes impossible, or, by reason of some event which the promisor could not prevent, unlawful, becomes void when the act becomes impossible or unlawful. Compensation for loss through non-performance of act known to be impossible or unlawful.
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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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge