What is Consent? According to section 10 of The Contract Act, it is compulsory for the validity of the contract that the consent of all the contracting parties must be free, There should not be any pressure on any party while giving his consent at the time of entering into a valid contract.
DEFINITION OF CONSENT
According to section 13 of The Contract Act, the consent has been defined as follows:
“Two or more persons are said to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense”. There cannot be a contract without the consent of the contracting parties. The contracting parties are said to be at consent when they agree on the same thing in the same sense. When the parties have different opinions or understand the same thing in different ways, it means there is no real consent and there can not be a valid contract.
Illustration: A offers to sell his horse to B for Rs. 20000 and B agree to purchase the horse at the same price. It means that parties are at consent.
Illustration: X offers to sell his piece of land for Rs. 50000 but Y is ready to purchase for Rs. 40000. It means parties are not at consent.
Free consents are essential for the validity of a contract According to section 14 of The Contract Act, the consents are said to be free when it is not caused by
- Coercion, as defined in section 15, or
- Undue influence, as defined in section 16; or
- Fraud, as defined in section 17, or
- Misrepresentation, as defined in section 18, or
- Mistake, subject to the provisions of section 20, 21 and 22.
Consent is said to be so caused when It would have been given but for the existence of such coercion, undue not Influence, fraud, misrepresentation of mistake. Thus we can say the free consents are the consent that has been obtained by the Free Will of the parties voluntarily given and no pressure was used on either of the contracting parties in the form of coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation, and mistake.
EFFECT OF THE CONSENT ON THE VALIDITY OF THE CONTRACT
For the validity of the contract, the mere consent is not sufficient but there must be free consents of all the contracting parties. When any Sort Of pressure like coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation Or mistake is applied, the consents are not said to be free and there cannot be a valid contract. When the consents of the parties are not free. The contract may be void or voidable.
When the contract is voidable: When the consents to a contract are caused by coercion, undue influence, fraud or misrepresentation the contract is voidable at the option of the party whose consents is so caused.
Illustration: A’s consent is received fraudulently and tater on it is proved. The contract will be voidable at the option of A. A can continue the contract or can commit a breach of it but B cannot enforce the contract.
When the contract is void: When the consent is by mistake of both the contracting parties, the contract is It is not enforceable at the option of any of the contracting parties when there is consent, there is no contract.
Illustration: A offered to sell his horse to B for Rs. 2000 and B agreed to purchase, Neither of the parties were aware of the fact that horse was dead at the time of their bargaining. This contract is due to the mistake of both of the contracting parties.