Monday, October 08, 2007

Contract Act_Practical Problems_9

The manager of a cinema theatre gave instructions that no tickets were to be sold to R. R, knowing this, asked his friend to buy a ticket for him. With this ticket R went to the theatre but was refused admission. He filed a suit for damages for breach of contract, against the theatre. Would he succeed? Decide giving the provisions of the Indian Contract Act in this regard.

R would not succeed. Section 22 of the Indian Contract Act provides that a contract is not voidable merely because it was caused by one of the parties to it being under a mistake as to a matter of fact essential to the agreement. However, in certain exceptional cases, a unilateral mistake renders a contract unenforceable. One such circumstance may be 'mistake with regard to the identity of the person contracted with'. A large number of a legal decisions are available on this point including those of Candy v. Lindsey.
The facts of the given problem are similar to those of Said v. Butt in which the contract was declared void on ground of mistake. Manager of the theatre having issued instructions not to sell ticket to R, suggests that he had no intentions to make contract with R. Thus, had it been known that the ticket was being purchased for R, it would have been refused. There is thus absence of consent altogether and hence no valid agreement. R would, therefore, not succeed in his suit for damages.

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