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Circumstances In Which Agreements Become Void

Void Agreement, According to Section 2(g) “An agreement not enforceable by law is said to be void”. Thus a void agreement is void from the very beginning, that is, void abinitio. It is a nullity from the beginning. For example, an agreement which does not create legal obligation or an agreement with a minor, or an agreement where both the parties are under a mistake of fact essential to the agreement, or an illegal agreement or an agreement in restraint of marriage, or an agreement in restraint of trade, or an agreement in restraint of legal proceedings, or uncertain agreement or wagering agreement or any agreement to do an impossible act, is void.

A contract which has become void (Void contract), “A contract which ceases to be enforceable by law becomes void when it ceases to be enforceable” [S 2 (j)]. Thus in this case the contract is valid when originally made but subsequently becomes void due to certain circumstances. For example, under Section 56 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. Illustration (d) appended to Section 56 says that if A contracts to take in cargo for B at a foreign port and A’s Government afterwards declares war against the country in which the port is situated the contract become void when war is declared. Section 65 lays down that “When an agreement is discovered to be void or when a contract becomes void, any person who has received any advantage under such agreement or contract is bound to restore it, or to make compensation for it, to the person from whom he received it”. This Section does not apply to minor’s agreement. A contract or an agreement which the parties know at the time of entering into it as void would not fall under Section 65. The words, “discovered to be void” comprehend a situation in which the parties were suffering from a mistake of fact from the very beginning but had not realised, at the time of entering into the agreement or signing of the document that they were suffering from any such mistake and had therefore, acted on such agreement. The agreement in such a case would be void from its inception, though discovered to be so at much later stage.

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