Free Consent Law Notes

This article was written by Soma-Mohanty of the KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneswar. In that article, she talked about the essence of free consent, exceptions, and some case law. There must be two parties who voluntarily and knowingly enter into an agreement. But how does the law determine whether the parties are both? This is where the concept of free consent comes into play. Let`s learn more about free consent and the elements of free consent. Even if funds have been paid or goods delivered under duress must be refunded or returned as soon as the contract is invalid. And the burden of proof of coercion lies with the party who wants to avoid the contract. The aggrieved party must therefore prove coercion, i.e. prove that its consent was not given voluntarily. Suppose A sells his gold watch to his teacher B for only Rs 500/- after his teacher promises him good grades. Here, the consent of A (adult) is not given voluntarily, he was under the influence of his teacher. In order to recognise undue influence, the dominant party must aim to exploit the other party. If the influence is exerted for the benefit of the other party, it is not undue influence.

However, if consent is not free due to undue influence, the contract becomes objectionable at the discretion of the difficult party. And the burden of proof lies with the dominant party to prove the lack of influence. If the situation is such that one of the contracting parties is in a dominant position and uses its position to obtain an undue advantage, consent is described as the result of undue influence. Now, the 1872 Act also provides for cases in which one person may dominate the will of another. These cases are as follows: The burden of proof is on the party alleging misrepresentation to avoid the contract, to prove that false information was used to obtain consent. If consent was obtained by misrepresentation, it becomes questionable at the option of the injured party. A key factor is that the Indian Penal Code is not always applicable to the place where consent was obtained. A very important part of the law is the phrase “to the detriment of any person”, which means that coercion can be directed against the prejudice of a person and not only against the contracting party. It is interesting to note that in addition to the contracting parties, the parties may also exercise coercion. Even a third party to the contract can cause coercion to obtain consent, as in Ranganayakamma v. Alwar Setti (1889)[2] was seen where a widow was coerced because she was forced to adopt a boy and was not allowed to remove her husband`s body until the adoption was completed. It is for the party whose consent would have been forced to prove that the consent thus obtained by the aggrieved party was given by coercion.

If the consent of a party has been obtained by coercion, the contract becomes voidable at the will of the injured party. Free consent is an agreement between two parties to fulfill the wish of one or both parties. The characteristics of perfect free consent are that coercion means forcing a person into a contract. When intimidation or threats are used under pressure to obtain the consent of the party, that is, it is not free consent. For a contract to be valid, the parties must accept it voluntarily and voluntarily. The principle of consensus ad idem is followed, which means that the parties must mean something in the same sense. The contracting parties must have an identical understanding of the content of the contract. If the situation is such that consent was obtained by undue influence, the contract becomes voidable at the discretion of the injured party.

In the absence of free consent, the contestability of the contract depends on the choice of the injured party. Free consent refers to an agreement when both parties knowingly and voluntarily enter into a contract of their own free will. This includes acceptance of all terms and conditions and a mutual understanding of the subject matter of the contract. Thus, to establish a contract of a valid nature, the important element is free consent. Consent exists when a person voluntarily acknowledges another person`s suggestion or wish. The definition of free consent under the Indian Contracts Act is consent that is free from coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation or error. Article 13 states: “Two or more persons agree if they agree on the same thing in the same sense (consensus-ad-idem).” Free consent means the consent given to an individual to perform an act according to his will. For example, if an LIC officer assists someone in getting a loan approved on behalf of the company, they are acting on the basis of the powers given to them by the company. A reasonable person would understand that the nature of an agent`s work implies that consent is given to communicate with clients.

The Madras Supreme Court has confirmed that the threat of suicide also amounts to coercion and that the aggrieved party has the right to terminate the contract. In this case, the husband threatened his wife and son with suicide if they did not execute a bill of sale in favour of his younger brother. They carried out the act, but then filed a lawsuit for coercion. Since the act of suicide is prohibited even under the ICC, the husband`s act was found unlawful and the consent obtained was obtained through coercion. Now, free consent has been defined in section 14 of the Act. The article states that consent is considered free consent if it is not caused or influenced by: the parties can agree on something along the same lines. However, mere consent is not enough, and consent must also be given voluntarily in order to establish an effective contract. We have various factors that influence free consent, and that has to do with the contestability of the contract. Therefore, both parties involved in your contract should be aware of these factors and ensure that the contract freely expires until the expiry date. “A” and “B” are the two parties to a contract.

We saw that there was a crisis and “A” had presented a plan to solve it. After “B” was made aware of this fact and analyzed that it was the perfect solution, he agreed. In this case, both parties have shown their agreement. When an agreement is entered into with consent and is free from coercion, fraud, misrepresentation, undue influence and error. In this case, the contract is deemed to have been concluded with free consent. Inappropriate influence: Inappropriate influence is another factor that violates free consent. This happens when one of the other parties dominates the other party in any aspect. It is possible to gain an unfair advantage over the other party because of its dominant position.

The principle of undue influence is the doctrine of justice. The effect of undue influence leads to the contestability of the contract for free consent in accordance with § 19 A. Valid evidence is required to file a claim against the dominant party. In general, undue influence affects the following parties – Elements: – The elements of consent are limited to a similar purpose as well as the same sense of mind. On the other hand, the elements of free consent should be free from fraud, coercion, undue influence, misrepresentation and other errors. In contract law in India, the meaning of consent is given in Article 13, which states that “it is when two or more persons agree on the same thing and in the same sense”. So both people must also agree on the same thing in the same sense. Mere consent is not sufficient for a contract to be enforceable. The consent given must be free and voluntary.

Fraud means deception by one of the parties, i.e. when one of the parties intentionally provides false information. Thus, the false statement is made knowing perfectly well that it is not true, or recklessly, without verifying its accuracy, this is called fraudulent. This absolutely interferes with free consent. Now, the effect of coercion is that it makes the contract questionable. This means that the contract is voidable at the choice of the party whose consent was not free. The aggrieved party therefore decides to perform the contract or to cancel the contract. In the example above, if B still wishes, the contract can be continued. Apparent consent occurs when a person`s actions or words, silence or inaction are understood by a reasonable person to be intended to give consent. However, a genuine but irrational belief that the other person is accepting a contract does not constitute obvious consent.

In the Indian Contracts Act, the definition of consent is set out in section 13, which states that “it is when two or more persons agree on the same thing and in the same way.” So the two people also have to agree on something along the same lines. For example, suppose A agrees to sell his car to B. A owns three cars and wants to sell the Maruti.