What is Valid Contract? Every contract is a valid contract unless it is not voidable, void or unenforceable by law. When one person makes an offer and other accepts it, it becomes a promise and when a promise has consideration for both the contracting parties, it becomes an agreement. According to The Contract Act, “an agreement enforceable by law is a contract.” This definition of contract consists of two parts. Firstly there must be an agreement and secondly, an agreement must be enforceable by law. An agreement is enforceable by law when it is coupled with obligation. Therefore, a contract is a combination of two ideas, i.e. agreement and obligation, An obligation is a legal duty to do or to abstain from doing what one has promised.
In short, a contract which fulfills all the requirements of law and is enforceable by law is a valid contract. Until a contract is valid, it cannot be enforced. (2) A purchases a ticket of a bus going from Multan to Lahore to carry passengers. So it will also be a valid contract. Some law experts define a (Valid) contract as follows:
Pollock: “Every agreement and promise enforceable by law is a contract”
Salmond: “An agreement creating and defining obligations between the parties.”
Anson: “A contract is an agreement enforceable at law made between two or more persons, by which rights are acquired by one or more to act or forbearances on the part of the other or others.”
Leak: “An agreement as a source of a legal contract imports that one party shall be bound to some performance which the other shall have a legal right to enforce.”
ESSENTIALS ELEMENTS OF A VALID CONTRACT
For the validity of the contract, section 10 of the contract Act says, “An agreements are contracts if they are made by the free consent of the parties competent to contract, for a lawful consideration and with a lawful object and are not expressly declared to be void.” So according to law, the following are the essential elements of a valid contract.
- Offer: For the validity of a contract, the offer is essential. The Offer is the starting point of the contract. Until
there will be no valid offer by one party to another, there cannot a contract. The offer may be oral, written or implied but it is compulsory for the formation of the contract.
- Acceptance of the Proposal: The only offer is not sufficient for the contract but its acceptance is also compulsory. Untill proposal is accepted by the offeree, there cannot be a contract So the acceptance of the proposal by the offeree is also essential for the formation of the contract.
- Agreement: The only proposal and its acceptance are not sufficient for a contract, it will only be a promise. Therefore, there must be an agreement . and agreement must be enforceable by law. Every promise forming the consideration for both the parties is an agreement. So the proposal, its acceptance, and the consideration are compulsory for a valid contract.
- Legal Relation: The parties to the contract must intend to create a legal relationship. It means both the contracting parties should know that if any of them will fail to meet the contract, it will be liable to the other party for such default. Agreements of moral, religious and social nature are not contracts because they often do not create a legal relationship and legal obligation among the contracting parties.
- Lawful Consideration: The only consideration is not compulsory for the validity of the contract but it must be lawful. The section 25 of The Contract Act says that an agreement without consideration is void. But section 10 of The Contract Act says that lawful consideration is necessary for the validity of the contract. So a contract without consideration or; with Unlawful consideration is void and not valid.
- Lawful Object: For the validity of a contract the object of the contract must also be lawful. It must not be illegal or immoral. It should not oppose any general public policy. According to section 23 of The Contract Act, every agreement of which the object is unlawful is void.
- Competent to Contract: The parties to the contract must be competent to contract. according to section 11 of The Contract Act says that every person is competent to contract who is of the age of majority according to the law to which he is subject, and who is of sound mind, and is not disqualified from contracting by any law to which he is subject. So a minor or a person who is of unsound cannot enter into a binding contract. Similarly, a person who has been disqualified to enter into a contract by any law enforceable in Pakistan cannot enter into a binding contract.
- Free Consent: For the validity of the contract, it is necessary that all the contracting parties must enter into a contract with free consent.
- Not Declared to be void: There are some contracts which have been declared by law as void ab-initio (from the very beginning). So for the validity of a contract,» it, is necessary that a contract must not be declared to be void by any law enforceable in Pakistan. For example an agreement in restraint of Trade, in restraint of marriage, in restraint of legal proceeding, a wagering contract and a contract to do impossible acts etc. are void and not valid contract,
- Certainty: For the validity of a contract, it is necessary that the meanings, terms, and performance of the agreement must be clear, certain, and definite. According to section 29 of The Contract Act, “agreements, the meaning of which is not certain or capable of being made certain are void.” So for a valid contract, the terms of the agreement must be certain. These must not be uncertain or vague otherwise it will become void.
- The possibility of Performance. For the validity of a contract, it is also necessary that the performance of the contract must be possible. A contract, the performance of which is impossible cannot be a valid contract. Example: A contract to make a dead body alive will be a void and s not valid because it is impossible to perform. The contract will only be valid when it is written, registered and attested by both the parties in the presence of the registrar of real estate.