Legal IQ

Quick Referencer for Judicial Service

MINOR’S CONTRACT
Q. A film producer entered into an agreement with Indrani a girl aged 14 years, whereby Indrani agreed to act in a film under the title “Rangeeli”. The agreement was entered into with the producer and signed by ‘F’, Indrani’s father, on behalf of Indrani. On breach of agreement by the film producer, Indrani sued the producer through her father as next friend.
Will Indrani Succeed?
Would it have made a difference if there had been an undertaking by ‘F’ that his daughter Indrani would act in the said film.?
Civil Services (I.A.S.) Exam. 1976
Civil Services (I.A.S.) Exam. 1984 (Same problem in different words).

Ans: No, Indrani will not succeed in this case, but it will make difference if there had been an undertaking by ‘F’ that his daughter would act in the said film—Raj Rani v. Prem Adib, AIR 1949 Bom 215.
Reasons: Facts of this problem are similar to the famous case of Raj Rani v. Prem Adib referred above. In this case Desai J. Bombay High Court held that the agreement with the father of minor is void seeing that the consideration moving from the father that is the minor’s promise to act in the film and as minor cannot in law promise, there is no consideration. On the other hand, had the consideration moved from the father in the shape of an undertaking by him that his daughter shall act, the father could have sued, but could recover only the damages he had suffered.

In view of the decision given by Bombay High Court in Raj Rani v. Prem Adib it is clear that in the given problem Indrani will not succeed in the suit filed against film producer because agreement between ‘F’ and film producer is void because the consideration moving from the father (‘F’) is the minor’s promise to act and as minor cannot in law promise, there is no consideration.

However, it is clear from the decision given in Raj Rani’s case that in the given problem if there had been an undertaking by ‘F’ that his daughter Indrani would act in the said film, ‘F’ would have been entitled to get damages but only to that extent he had suffered.

Note: For more clear concept and related cases see Pollock & Mulla (The Indian Contract Act, 9th Edn. Pages 107 and 108).

Source: Kishor Prasad

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