Short notes on Expressly declared Void Agreements

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The last essential of a valid contract as declared by Section 10 is that it must not be one which is ‘expressly declared’ to be void by the Act. Thus, there arises a question, as to what are ‘expressly declared’ void agreements? The following agreements have been ‘expressly declared’, to be void by the Indian Contract Act:

1. Agreements in restraint of marriage (Sec. 26).

2. Agreements in restraint of trade (Sec. 27).

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3. Agreements in restraint of legal proceedings (Sec. 28).

4. Agreements the meaning of which is uncertain (Sec. 29).

5. Agreements by way of wager (Sec. 30).

6. Agreements contingent on impossible events (Sec. 36).

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7. Agreements to do impossible acts (Sec. 56).

At the very outset, it may be borne in mind that the law declares these agreements void ab-initio and not illegal, and therefore transactions collateral to such agreements are not made void. In fact, it is for this reason that these agreements have not been discussed in the preceding chapter dealing with “unlawful or illegal agreements,” because otherwise, in effect, these agreements are also ‘unlawful agreements’ as they are expressly declared void by the Contract Act. It may be recalled that in the case of illegal agreements, transactions collateral to them are also tainted with illegality and hence void.

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