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Section 56 - Agreement to do impossible act : Indian Contract Act 1872

 

What is the effect of Agreement to do impossible act? Section 56 of Indian Contract Act 1872

Section 56 of Indian Contract Act 1872 : "Agreement to do impossible act"

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.

Illustrations
(a) A agrees with B to discover treasure by magic. The agreement is void.
(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.

 

INDIAN CONTRACT ACT 1872

Section 41 - Effect of accepting performance from third person

Section 42 - Devolution of joint liabilities

Section 43 - Any one of joint promisers may be compelled to perform

Section 44 - Effect of release of one joint promiser

Section 45 - Devaluation of joint rights

 

 

Time and place for performance

Section 46 - Time for performance of promise, where no application is to be made and no time is specified

Section 47 - Time and place for performance of promise, where time is specified and no application to be made

Section 48 - Application for performance on certain day to be at proper time and place

Section 49 - Place for performance of promise, where no application to be made and no place fixed for performance

Section 50 - Performance in manner or at time prescribed or sanctioned by promisee

 

 

Performance of reciprocal promises

Section 51 - Promiser not bound to perform, unless reciprocal promisee ready and willing to perform

Section 52 - Order of performance of reciprocal promises

Section 53 - Liability of party preventing event on which the contract is to take effect

Section 54 - Effect of default as to that promise which should be first performed, in contract consisting of reciprocal promises

Section 55 - Effect of failure to perform at fixed time, in contract in which time is essential

 

 

Section 56 - Agreement to do impossible act

Section 57 - Reciprocal promise to do things legal, and also other things illegal

Section 58 - Alternative promise, one branch being illegal

Appropriation of payments

Section 59 - Application of payment where debt to be discharged is indicated

Section 60 - Application of payment where debt to be discharged is not indicated

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