Describe the reciprocal promises, its types and rules

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Q.6      Describe the reciprocal promises, its types and rules.

 Ans:    RECIPROCAL PROMISES [SECTION 2(F)]

 

Promises, which form the consideration or part of the consideration for each other are called “Reciprocal promises

EXAMPLE

In a contract for sale, “A” promises to deliver the goods to “B” at a fixed and “B” promises to give security for the payment of the price such promises are called “Reciprocal Promises”.

 

TYPES OF RECIPROCAL PROMISES

Lord Mansfield have classified the reciprocal promises as under.

Types of reciprocal promises Meaning
(a)Multanand Independent When the promises are to be performed by each party independently, without waiting for the other party to perform his promise
(b)Multanand Dependent When the performance of one party depends on the prior i performance of the other party.
(c)Multanand Concurrent When the promises are to be performed simultaneously.

RULES REGARDING PERFORMANCE OF RECIPROCAL PROMISES

The rules regarding the performance of reciprocal promises are as follows.

 

(a)        REGARDING SIMULTANEOUS PERFORMANCE [SECTION 51]

When a contract consists of reciprocal promises to be simultaneously performed, the promisor need not perform his unless the promisee is ready and willing to perform his reciprocal promise.

 

EXAMPLE

44A” and “B” contract that “A” shall deliver goods to 44B” to be paid for by “B” on deliver/. “A” need not deliver the goods unless “B” is ready and willing to pay for the goods delivery “B” need not pay for the goods, unless 14A” is ready and willing to deliver them on payment.

 

b)         REGARDING ORDER OF PERFORMANCE [SECTION 52]

Where the order in which reciprocal promises are to be performed is expressly fixed by the contract, they must be performed in that order, and where the order is not expressly fixed by the contract, they must be performed in the order, which the nature of the transaction requires.

 

EXAMPLE

“A” and “B” contract that they shall build a house for “B” at a fixed price. As promises to build the house must be performed before B’s promise to pay for it.

 

c)         EFFECT OF PREVENTING THE PERFORMANCE [SECTION 53]

When a contract contains reciprocal promises, and one party to the contract prevents the other from performing his promise, the contract become voidable at the option of the party so prevented; and he is not entitled to compensation form the other party for any loss which he may sustain in consequence of the non-performance of the contract.

d)         EFFECT OF NON-PERFORMANCE IN CASE OF MUTUAL AND DEPENDENT RECIPROCAL PROMISES [SECTION 54]

Where the performance of one party depends on the prior performance of the other party and the party who is liable to perform first, fails to perform it, then such party cannot claim the performance from the other party and must make compensation to the other party for nay loss which the other party may sustain by the non-performance of the contract.

 

EXAMPLE

“A” hires B’s ship to take in and convey, fromCalcuttatoMauritiusa cargo, to be provided by “A”, “B” receiving a certain fright for his conveyance. A does not provide any cargo for the ship- “A” cannot claim the performance of B’s promise and must make compensation to “B” for thloss which “B” sustains by the non-perform of the contract.

 

e)         EFFECT OF PROMISE TO DO LEGAL & ILLEGAL THINGS [SECTION S7]

Where person reciprocal promise, firstly to do things which are legal and secondly under specified circumstances, to do certain other things which are illegal, the first set of promises is a contract, but the other second is void agreement.

 

EXAMPLE

44A” and “B” agree that “A” shall sell “B” a house for Rs 10,000 but that, if “B” uses it as a gambling house, he shall pay Rs 50,000 for it.

 

The first set for reciprocal promises, namely to sell the house and to pay Rs, 10,000 for it, a contract. The second set is for an unlawful object, namely that B may us the house as a gambling house and is void agreement.

 

(f)        EFFECT OF ALTERNATIVE PROMISE BEING ILLEGAL [SECTION 58]

In the case of an alternative promise, one branch of which is legal and the other illegal, the legal branch alone can be enforced.

 

EXAMPLE

“A” and 44B” agree that “A” shall pay “B” Rs. 1,000/= for which 44B” shall afterwards deliver to “A” either rice or smuggled opium.

This is a valid contract to deliver rice, and a void agreement as to the opium.

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