Kedarnath Bhattacharji v. Gorie Mahomed (1887): When at the desire of the promisor, promisee does something then it is valid consideration.

Case NameKedarnath Bhattacharji v. Gorie Mahomed, (1887) ILR 14 Cal 64
CourtBefore the High Court of Calcutta
Decided onNovember 26, 1886
BenchWC Pethekam, Beverley
Author of the JudgementWC Pethekam
Relevant lawsSection 2(D), 25 of the Indian contracts act
AbstractWhen at the desire of the promisor, promisee does something; it is valid consideration under section 2(d) of the ICA. In the following case, on the desire of the defendant promising to pay money, the plaintiff entered into another contract. Hence, this forms valid consideration under the act and defendants were held liable to pay the amount promised.
Author of the BriefAarsh Chokshi, Student at Gujarat National Law University.
KeywordsPromise, Consideration, Gratuity, Funds.

Brief facts and procedural history:

  • Plaintiff being the commissioner of Howrah and one of the trustees of the Howrah town hall fund, contemplated that if the necessary amount is raised by the way of subscription, they would build the town hall.
  • The subscribers of the fund, while promising the money, undertook that in pursuance of the commissioner entering into a contract for erecting the building, they are paying a certain amount.
  • After certain amount was raised, the plaintiff entered into a contract with the contractors for building the hall. One of the subscribers, who had promised to pay Rs.100 refused to pay and plaintiff sued.

Issues before the court:

  • Whether the plaintiff and all other persons interested can sue the defendant for payment of the amount subscribed?
  • Whether the amount subscribed by the defendants can be claimed in event of no consideration for the defendants?

Judgement and ratio of the court:

  • In an ordinary situation, if somebody puts his name for a subscription for a charitable object, it cannot be recovered, as there is no consideration.
  • However, in this particular case, persons subscribing knew the purpose for which the money was applied and was also aware that on the account of their subscription, the plaintiff entered into the contract. The court considered this a perfectly valid contract and with good consideration.
  • Hence, it was held that plaintiff and other persons interested could sue for the amount subscribed and defendant has to pay the money promised.

Held: The high court ordered the judge of small cause court to decree the suit for the amount claimed.

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