Section 56 - Agreement to do impossible act : Indian Contract Act
What is the effect of Agreement to do impossible act? Section 56 of Indian Contract Act
Section 56 of Indian Contract Act 1872 : "Agreement to do
56. An agreement to do an act impossible in itself is void.
Contract to do act afterwards becoming impossible or unlawful.-A
contract to do an act which, after the contract is made, becomes
impossible, or, by reason of some event which the promiser could
not prevent, unlawful, becomes void when the act becomes
impossible or unlawful.
Compensation for loss through non-performance of act known to
be impossible or unlawful.-Where one person has promised to do
something which he knew, or, with reasonable diligence, might
have known, and which the promisee did not know, to be
impossible or unlawful, such promiser must make compensation to
such promisee for any loss which such promisee sustains through
the non-performance of the promise.
(a) A agrees with B to discover treasure by magic. The agreement
(b) A and B contract to marry each other. Before the time fixed
for the marriage, A goes mad. The contract becomes void.
(c) A contracts to marry B, being already married to C, and
being forbidden by the law to which he is subject to practise
polygamy. A must make compensation to B for the loss caused to
her by the non-performance of his promise.
(d) A contracts to take in cargo for B at a
foreign port. A's Government afterwards declares war
against the country in which the port is situated.
The contract becomes void when war is declared.
(e) A contracts to act at a theatre for six months in
consideration of a sum paid in advance by B. On several
occasions A is too ill to act. The contract to act on those
occasions becomes void.