Q. ‘A’ finds B’s purse and gives it to him. ‘B’ promises to give ‘A’ Rs. 1,000. Can ‘A’ claim the money? Give reasons and also refer relevant provision.
Civil Services (I.A.S.) Exam. 1961
Civil Services/I.A.S. (P.T.) Exam. 1994 (similar problem).
Ans: Yes, ‘A’ can claim the money promised by ‘B’—Section 25(2).
Reasons: According to Section 25 an agreement without consideration is void.
But it is notable that aforesaid general rule provided by Section 25 is subject to three exceptions mentioned in Section 25 itself:
This problem is based on Section 25(2) which lays down one of the exceptions to the general rule “No consideration, No contract.
The relevant part of Section 25(2) on which this problem is based provides that an agreement is not void if it is a promise to compensate (wholly or in part) a person who has already done something for the promisor.
In this case ‘A’ after finding the purse of ‘B’ gives it to him. Thus, ‘A’ has voluntarily done something for the promissor (b). Consequently ‘B’ promises to compensate ‘A’ to give Rs. 1,000 to him. Thus, promise by ‘B’ to ‘A’ to give Rs. 1,000 is a valid agreement in view of the provisions made in Section 25(2) even though there is no consideration moving from ‘A’ for Rs. 1,000.
Note: It is notable that in this problem act of ‘A’ of giving purse to ‘B’ after finding it is no consideration on part of ‘A’ because it was done voluntarily by ‘A’ and not at the desire of ‘B’ (promissor). When something is done by a person voluntarily, it does not come within the definition of ‘Consideration’ given in Section 2(d) because the relevant part of Section 2(d) speaks “When at the desire of promisor”
For detail see definition of ‘Consideration’ given in Section 2(d).
Source: Kishore Prasad