Tuesday, 16 February 2016


How joint rights devolve?
This is quite a different situation from what we discussed earlier. Here a single person makes a promise to two or more persons jointly. The promisor is single person and promisees are more than one. All the joint promisees during their lifetime, on death of any of them, the legal heirs/representative of the deceased promisee become promisee with other surviving promisees and on death of the last surviving promisee the representatives of all promisees jointly acquire rights to enforce the contract.

What is situation in case the promisee releases one of the joint promisor?
In case of a joint promise made by two or more persons, the promisee may release any of joint promisors from performing the contract. But such release does release the other promisor from performing the contract and does not discharge the released the promisor of his liability, responsibility to other joint promisors.

How joint liabilities devolve on the death of any one of the joint promisor?
The Section 42 of a the Indian Contract Act deals with this situation. It does not make any distinction between joint promises and several promises. According to the said section in the absence of any contrary in the contract, all the persons who made promise during their joint lives; after the death of any of the promisor, legal heirs / representative of deceased promisor along with surviving promisors; after the death of the last surviving promisor, the legal heirs, representatives of all the promisors, are bound to fulfill the promise.But if the contract provides for any contrary intension the liability devolves according to the contract.

What are the joint liabilities?
When two or more persons promise jointly to perform or to do something for a consideration, it is liability of all such persons who promised to perform or to do something. Such contractual obligations of the promises are joint liabilities, which are governed by a Indian Contract Act, 1872. We come across many such contracts in purchase, sale of the immovable properties and construction sector and also in administration of partnership assets. The person who makes promise is promisor and to whom the promise made is promisee.