Agreement To Do Impossible Acts (Sec. 56)

The theory of frustration is born because an action is impossible. For Satyabrata Ghose vs. Mugneeram Bangura – Co-Anr[1], the “impossible” section 56 of the law was not used. It may be literally impossible to accomplish an action, but it may be unenforceable and unnecessary, and if an adverse event or change in circumstances completely disrupts the foundations on which the parties negotiated, it is very likely that the promising party will find it impossible to do the act it promised. Therefore, if the object of the contract is lost, the contract is frustrated. The infringement renders the contract inoperative and fulfils the contractual obligations of the parties. However, section 65 of the Act states that, where an agreement has been nullified, the person who has received a benefit from such an agreement is “obliged” to reinstate or compensate him by which he was received. For example, X, a singer, contracts with Y, a theater director, to sing two nights a week in the next two months in his theater, and Y agrees to pay their hundred rupees for each night performance. X is voluntarily absent from the theater on the sixth night, and Y revokes the contract. Y must pay X for the five nights she sang. The question is whether this section also applies to contracts cancelled out of frustration.

The frustration of a contract arises without fault or control of a party and, therefore, a party should not be required to compensate in such a case. However, failure to comply with appropriate compensation may also result in losses for the other party. It is therefore to be hoped that the Indian justice system will be enlightened and provide an appropriate means for cases of contractual ftrustrations. Contracts in which the benefit depends on the sustainability of a particular person or thing imply that the impossibility resulting from the ruin of the person or the cause excuses the benefit; Taylor v. Caldwel, 122 ER 30. Frustration is a series of circumstances that occur after the contract is concluded, the arrival of which is not due to the fault of a party and which physically and economically prevents one or more parties from executing the contract.

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