Section 25: Town Hall Case Study

Town Hall

Section 25 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872

This section discusses the importance of “consideration” in agreements, as mandated by the Indian Contract Act of 1872:

  • Key Principle: An agreement without consideration is void. This means that if an agreement is made without something of value exchanged between the parties, it cannot be legally enforced.
  • Essence of Consideration: The value exchanged, known as consideration, must be provided because the person making the promise wants it. This also ensures that the agreement is based on a mutual desire to exchange something valuable.

Case Overview: Construction of Howrah Town Hall

  • Background: The initiative to construct a Town Hall in Howrah was spearheaded by the plaintiff, who served as both trustee and Municipal Commissioner of the Howrah Town Hall Fund.
  • Funding: After securing sufficient members, the Fund collected the necessary finances. An agreement was made with the defendant to contribute to the building efforts.
  • Changes in Plan: The approved structural plan changed due to an expansion in the membership list, resulting in an increased budget from Rs. 26,000 to Rs. 40,000. Consequently, the membership fees also rose.
  • Issue: Despite initially agreeing to donate Rs. 100 to the project, the defendant later withdrew his pledge.
  • Legal Action: The refusal led the Municipal Commissioner to legally pursue the defendant to enforce the payment agreement.

Issue at Hand

  • Liability of the Defendant: Was the defendant required to pay the specified amount?

Key Observations by the Calcutta High Court

  • Valid Agreement: The court noted that if individuals understand the purpose of their subscription and agree to it, this forms a valid agreement.
  • Enforceable Contract: It was emphasized that the agreement includes all necessary elements that make a contract enforceable by law. This means those affected by the agreement can seek legal enforcement.
  • Contractual Basis: The court clarified that the subscription agreement is founded on good consideration, making it legally binding and enforceable.
  • Right to Sue: Consequently, the plaintiff has the legal authority to represent himself and others who share a similar interest in the matter, affirming the lawsuit as permissible and appropriate.

Reservation in Promotions!


The decision reached is straightforward:

  • Once a promise is made, the person who made it must fulfill their obligation.
  • They cannot withdraw or revoke the promise once it is given.

This conclusion ensures clarity and accountability in upholding commitments.


Section 25 of the Indian Contract Act: When Can an Agreement Without Consideration Be Valid?

Section 25 of the Indian Contract Act highlights specific scenarios where an agreement, even if made without consideration (something of value exchanged between parties), can still be considered valid. Here’s a simpler breakdown:

Written and Registered Agreements Based on Love and Affection

  • An agreement is valid if it’s written, officially registered, and made out of natural love and affection between close relatives.

Compensation for Voluntary Actions

  • If someone voluntarily does something for you or does something you were supposed to do, you can make a valid promise to compensate them, even without prior consideration.

Written PromiTown Hall Session to Pay Time-Barred Debts

Additional Clarifications:

  • Validity of Gifts:
    • The law does not affect the validity of gifts that are given, ensuring that genuine gifts between individuals are respected.
  • Inadequate Consideration:
    • An agreement isn’t void just because the consideration is low. However, the court might consider this factor to determine if the agreement was made without any pressure or deceit.