Author : Aakriti Pandey of The ICFAI University, Dehradun

Every day, we make promises with our companions for the loyalty towards their commitments Making a promise could be a commitment that you just will keep your word. it’s a commitment that reinforces trust. But of these promises don’t seem to be legally bound until and unless a correct agreement isn’t performed.

Transactions are conducted in our day-to-day life which directly or indirectly involves the usage of contracts, whether verbal or written. These are a significant part of any individual’s life and are utilized in every part. Contracts are a bundle of rights and obligations that tend to bind one party with another in exchange for a few considerations.

A contract may be a legal obligation that’s recognized by courts. Contract concerns with liability if the person breaks a promise and is overall made from distinct essentials that are required to create a legal contract. We might not encounter IPC company law constitution, etc. but we do enter into many sorts of oral, written implied, and expressed styles of contract.

Indian Contract Act came into force on 1st September 1872, i.e. a few years before our independence so this legislation was made by Britishers and during this, there was a complete of 226 sections. But in 1932 some sections were removed and separate legislation was made i.e. Indian Partnership Act and Sales good act was made. for a legitimate contract to be persist it’s essential to confirm for following things

1. Consideration

2. competent parties

3. free consent

4. lawful object

5. Offer and acceptance


In the contract the important pillar is largely the concept of consent for a sound contract it’s very essential to make sure that the free consent of both the parties must be there. Mutual understanding of the same subject material and footing between the parties about the terms of the contract. consensus-ad-idem could be a concept which means that the parties stepping into the contract must mean the identical thing within the same sense. Free consent defines that while forming any reasonably contract the parties must be free from any pressure. for instance, someone holds a gun on the forehead and forcibly pressurize the party or someone to give his/her consent for the contract. within the given example the consent of the person is harmed and isn’t free therefore this automatically ends up in an invalid contract and therefore the agreement is alleged to be void.

According to the Indian Contract Act, if the consent of an individual is influenced by coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation, or mistake than the contract isn’t enforceable by law.



If this coercion is applied than the agreement becomes void. Coercion is compelling someone to enter into a contract under pressure or threat. Coercion has the effect of creating the contract voidable. It implies that at the discretion of the party whose consent wasn’t free, the contract is voidable. The aggravated party will, therefore, determine whether to enforce the contract or to cancel the contract.

For ex. X compels and beats Y to sell his car for rupees 50000/- which is worth rupee 200000/- as within the given example coercion is applied by X.

Undue Influence

Undue means unnecessary and influencing means changing someone’s will but this influence in unnecessary. It talks about emotional or psychological pressure. It’s defined that a contract is claimed to be undue influence” where the relations subsisting between the parties are specified one amongst the parties is in an exceedingly position to dominate the requirement of the alternative and uses that position to urge an unfair advantage of other.

The effect of undue influence makes an agreement voidable at the choice of the party whose consent was caused. Any such contract will be put aside. Only a party to the contract can avoid or rescind the contract. This right doesn’t belong to the hands of the third party.

‘A’ sold his gold ring to his teacher ‘B’ for Rs 200 after he had been offered good grades by his teacher. Here, A’s permission isn’t given freely, he was influenced by his teacher.


The Fraud States that if the person has an intention to deceive someone or intention to induce someone. Section 17 describes fraud and lists the acts that quantity to fraud, which is a false claim, active concealment, promise without the intention of carrying it out, the opposite deceptive act, or any act declared fraudulent.

The contract arising from fraud could be a null contract. The misled party has the correct to withdraw from the contract. Due to the fraudulent agreement, the party is chargeable for recovering the damages.
As an example A sells B his horse which he knows that the horse is of unsound mind but B was unaware of this fact therefore its a fraud


Misrepresentation defined under section 18 as

(1) The positive assertion, in an exceedingly manner not warranted by the knowledge of the person making it, of that which isn’t true, though he believes it to be true;

(2) Any breach of duty which, without an intent to deceive, gains a plus of the person committing it, or anyone claiming under him, by misleading another to his prejudice, or the unfairness of anybody claiming under him;

(3) Causing, however innocently, a celebration to an agreement, to make a blunder on the substance of the thing which is that the topic of the agreement.

For example, A wants to purchase the business of B so B sells his business to A OF Rupees 50 lakhs. A is purchasing this business because the monthly sales of B are rupees 1 lakh. The contract was such it was to be performed after a year. After a year the sales vetted to rupees 10000. that the B took advantage and dose does not tell this to B and thus misrepresentation occurs.

A mistake is an error of fabric that can be caused by single or both parties, subject to the provisions of sections 20, 21, and 22. Consent is claimed to be so caused when it’d not are given apart from the existence of such coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation or mistake.

For example, A ship was on the way which has cargo. But before the ship reaches to A A forms contract with B that he will sell his cargo To B. Later, it was found that the ship was sunk and cargo was vanished with that. Here both the parties were unaware of the ship. Therefore the agreement was void 


Therefore, the mere acquisition of consent isn’t enough but the consent must be obtained in a very very free and voluntary manner. the concept behind the free consents lies on the target of fair to both the parties with no biases and to create sure the judgment of any parties wasn’t clouded before getting into the contract. The consent of any parties must be achieved in any circumstances when the consent is caused by no influence. Which stands up in individual autonomy and freedom to contract to perform between them.

As within the case of S. Ananda And Ors. vs State Of Madras And Ors. the petitions were allowed in thus far as impugned G.O. Modifies the advantages offered within the earlier G.O. of the year 1974 to the bias of the petitioner.

As within the case of Mohanlal Jagannath v. Kashiram Gokul the award which was delivered by panchas under which defendant convey half his share of his inherited property to uncle. And reciprocally his uncle assuring his release from the non-compoundable criminal charge, cropped up by his uncle himself, against him but afterward his uncle died and so the plaintiff claimed possession. In this case, it had been held that the signatures were obtained on an award by putting him in fear of his conviction within the criminal case pending against him and were clearly vitiated by undue influence.

Free Consent is completely important to create an agreement with a legitimate contract. The importance of free consent can’t be stressed enough. The Party’s consent must be free and voluntary. It’s necessary to grant consent to the contract with none pressure or delusions. The parties’ consent must be free, as this could affect the contract’s validity. If the consent has been obtained or caused by coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation or mistake, then the aggrieved person has the proper to void the agreement.