Kedarnath Bhattacharji vs Gorie Mahomed Case deals with the reaffirmation of the rule of law by stating that any act done at the will of the promisor’s wish is taken as the fulfillment of consideration of a contract. Section 25 of the Indian Contract Act 1872 says that an agreement without consideration is void. Consideration is defined under Section 2 (d) of the Indian Contract Act which says when at the desire of the promisor, promisee does something then it is a valid consideration.
- In this case, the plaintiff was a municipal commissioner of Howrah and was also one of the trustees of the Howrah city council fund.
- A town hall was planned to build in Howrah. After gaining enough membership to support the funds required to build a town hall, the commissioners, including the plaintiff, made an agreement with the defendant to build a town hall.
- The plans and proposed structures for the same were submitted and also passed. Later, because of the expansion in the membership list, the plans also expanded. Therefore, the expected cost of construction increased from 26,000/- to 40,000/-.
- The defendants made a subscription to pay 100/- for the construction of the town hall, which he later refused. The commissioner sued the defendant for the same.
- Whether the lawsuit started by the plaintiff maintainable?
- Whether the defendant is liable to pay the amount?
The Honorable Judges present to hear this case were Justice W C Petheram and Justice Beverley. The bench was of the opinion that-
- In an ordinary situation, when someone puts his name for a subscription for a charitable work then it cannot be recovered as there is no consideration.
- But in this case, the people subscribing knew the purpose for which their money will be used and also were aware that on what account of their subscription the plaintiff entered into a contract with them.
On these grounds, the court considered it to be a valid contract with good consideration.
The court held that even if the defendant does not benefit from the promise he made; he is liable to pay. The defendant was responsible for the promise he made and cannot step back or take it back after its commencement. Therefore, the suit was successful.
This judgment reaffirmed the rule of law by stating that any act done at the will of the promisor’s wish is taken as the fulfillment of consideration of a contract. This case sets an example that once the promise is made, the promisor has to perform his duty and cannot take it back. The consideration which is a very important element of a contract, this case confirmed the importance of promise and consideration.