Subhas Chandra Das vs Ganga Prasad Das Mushib Case is of Indian Contract Act, 1872 which explains the concept of Undue Influence. In the case of Undue influence, the contract is voidable, as consent given by the party is not free and the party has the power to avoid the contract. To prove that the contract is induced by undue influence than certain condition needs to be fulfilled which are given under the same section.
Mitter, G.K, Wanchoo, K.N, Shelat, J.M
- Section 16 states the definition of ‘Undue Influence’ under the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
- Section 101 states the concept of ‘Burden of Proof ‘ under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
- Donor, i.e. plaintiff’s father, transfers his entire property to the defendant and plaintiff’s nephew, which is made out of love and affection.
- Plaintiff claims that undue influence was exercised over the donor.
- After the defendant has successfully received the property if, the donor made a statement that “he no longer holds any interest in the property”.
- High Court considered the presence of undue influence of the termination of the deed due to the relationship of the grandfather and grandson between the donor and defendant.
- Whether the contract has been induced by undue influence?
- Mitter J., quoted the three stages for constituting a case under undue influence as expounded in Raghunath Prasad vs Sarju Prasad case.
- The law in India as to undue influences as embodied in Section 16 of the Contract Act is based on English Common law. According to Halsbury’s Laws of England, where there is no relationship shown to exist from which undue influence is presumed, that influence must be proved. There is no presumption of imposition of fraud merely because a donor is old or of weak character.
- There is no presumption of undue influence in the case of a gift to a son, grandson, or son-in-law, although made during the donor’s illness and a few days before his death.
- The court held that to prove section 16 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 some conditions need to be fulfilled such as a relationship between the parties one of them has the intention to dominate the will, also it must be further proved that defendant use such relation to obtain an unfair advantage over the plaintiff. The statement made by the donor “he no longer holds any interest in the property” shows that he has given his consent without any pressure and the donor was good in the management of the property, which proves that the transfer is not induced by undue influence.
Where there is no relationship shown to exist from which undue influence is presumed, that influence must be proved.