Citation- (1887) ILR 14 Cal 64

Date of Judgement- 26 November 1886

Bench – W C Petheram, Beverley

“When at the desire of the promisor, promisee does something then it is a valid consideration under section 2(d) of the ICA.”

Facts:

A Town Hall was planned to build in Howrah. Based on it, all the subscriptions, funds, and interested persons came up for the construction. Municipal Commissioner of Howrah, the Plaintiff entered into an agreement with the contractor and supplied necessary information of the plans.

Later on, with an upswing of subscriptions and plans, there was a rise in the cost of construction making it from Rs.20,000 to Rs.40,000. The defendant made a subscription to pay Rs. 100 for the construction of Town Hall. However, he refused to pay the amount. The Plaintiff commenced an action to claim the amount.

Issues:

  1. Whether the lawsuit initiated by the Plaintiff and all other interested, is maintainable?
  2. Whether the Defendant is liable to pay the amount?

Judgement:

In an ordinary situation, if somebody puts his name for a subscription for a charitable object, it cannot be recovered, as there is no consideration.

However, in this particular case, persons subscribing knew the purpose for which the money was applied and was also aware that on the account of their subscription, the plaintiff entered into the contract. The court considered this a perfectly valid contract and with good consideration.

The Court held that even if the defendant does not benefit from the promise he made for a charitable purpose, he is liable to pay the amount. He was responsible for his promise. A promise once made cannot be taken back after its commencement. It 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.

Personal Opinion:

This case sets a substantial example that a promisor cannot escape liability from a promise once made. He has to perform obligations under the contract. A consideration, which is an essential element of a contract has to be performed by both parties. The court, with the present case, reaffirmed the importance of promise and consideration.

(By – M. Soujanya)

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