By whom contracts must be performed (Section 40 – 45)

Section 40 : Person by whom promise is to be performed

If it appears from the nature of the case that it was the intention of the parties to any contract that any promise contained in it should be performed by the promisor himself, such promise must be performed by the promisor. In other cases, the promisor or his representative may employ a competent person to perform it.

Illustrations

(aA promises to pay B a sum of money. A may perform this promise, either by personally paying the money to B, or by causing it to be paid to B by another; and if A dies before the time appointed for payment, his representatives must perform the promise, or employ some proper person to do so.

(bA promises to paint a picture for B. A must perform this promise personally.


Section 41 : Effect of accepting performance from third person

When a promisee accepts performance of the promise from a third person, he cannot afterwards enforce it against the promisor.


Section 42 : Devolution of joint liabilities

When two or more persons have made a joint promise, then, unless a contrary intention appears by the contract, all such persons, during their joint lives, and, after the death of any of them, his representatives jointly with the survivor or survivors, and, after the death of the last survivor, the representatives of all jointly, must fulfil the promise.


Section 43 : Any one of joint promisors may be compelled to perform

When two or more persons make a joint promise, the promisee may, in the absence of express agreement to the contrary, compel any one or more of such joint promisors to perform the whole of the promise.

Each promisor may compel contribution.—Each of two or more joint promisors may compel every other joint promisor to contribute equally with himself to the performance of the promise, unless a contrary intention appears from the contract.

Sharing of loss by default in contribution.—If any one of two or more joint promisors makes default in such contribution, the remaining joint promisors must bear the loss arising from such default in equal shares.

Explanation—Nothing in this section shall prevent a surety from recovering, from his principal, payments made by the surety on behalf of the principal, or entitle the principal to recover anything from the surety on account of payments made by the principal.

Illustrations

(aAB and C jointly promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. D may compel either A or B or C to pay him 3,000 rupees.

(bAB and C jointly promise to pay D the sum of 3,000 rupees. C is compelled to pay the whole. A is insolvent, but his assets are sufficient to pay one-half of his debts. C is entitled to receive 500 rupees from A‘s estate, and 1,250 rupees from B.

(cAB and C are under a joint promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. C is unable to pay anything and A is compelled to pay the whole. A is entitled to receive 1,500 rupees from B.

(dAB and C are under a joint promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. A and B being only sureties for C. C fails to pay. A and B are compelled to pay the whole sum. They are entitled to recover it from C.


Section 44 : Effect of release of one joint promisor

Where two or more persons have made a joint promise, a release of one of such joint promisors by the promisee does not discharge the other joint promisor or joint promisors; neither does it free the joint promisor so released from responsibility to the other joint promisor or joint promisors.


Section 45 : Devolution of joint rights

When a person has made a promise to two or more persons jointly, then, unless a contrary intention appears from the contract, the right to claim performance rests, as between him and them, with them during their joint lives, and, after the death of any of them, with the representative of such deceased person jointly with the survivor or survivors, and after the death of the last survivor, with the representatives of all jointly.

Illustration

A, in consideration of 5,000 rupees, lent to him and B and C, promises B and C jointly to repay them that sum with interest on a day specified. B dies. The right to claim performance rests with B‘s representative jointly with C during C‘s life, and, after the death of C, with the representatives of B and C jointly.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

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