Appointment and authority of agents (Section 182 – 189)

Section 182 : “Agent” and “principal” defined

An “agent” is a person employed to do any act for another, or to represent another in dealings with third persons. The person for whom such act is done, or who is so represented, is called the “principal”.


Section 183 : Who may employ agent

Any person who is of the age of majority according to the law to which he is subject, and who is of sound mind, may employ an agent.


Section 184 : Who may be an agent

As between the principal and third persons, any person may become an agent, but no person who is not of the age of majority and of sound mind can become an agent, so as to be responsible to his principal according to the provisions in that behalf herein contained.


Section 185 : Consideration not necessary

No consideration is necessary to create an agency.


Section 186 : Agent’s authority may be expressed or implied

The authority of an agent may be expressed or implied.


Section 187 : Definitions of express and implied authority

An authority is said to be express when it is given by words spoken or written. An authority is said to be implied when it is to be inferred from the circumstances of the case; and things spoken or written, or the ordinary course of dealing, may be accounted circumstances of the case.

Illustration

A owns a shop in Serampure, living himself in Calcutta, and visiting the shop occasionally. The shop is managed by B, and he is in the habit of ordering goods from C in the name of A for the purposes of the shop, and of paying for them out of A‘s funds with A‘s knowledge. B has an implied authority from A to order goods from C in the name of A for the purposes of the shop.


Section 188 : Extent of agent’s authority

An agent, having an authority to do an act, has authority to do every lawful thing which is necessary in order to do such act.

An agent having an authority to carry on a business, has authority to do every lawful thing necessary for the purpose, or usually done in the course, of conducting such business.

Illustrations

(aA is employed by B, residing in London, to recover at Bombay a debt due to B. A may adopt any legal process necessary for purpose of recovering the debt, and may give a valid discharge for the same.

(bA constitutes B, his agent to carry on his business of a ship-builder. B may purchase timber and other materials, and hire workmen, for the purpose of carrying on the business.


Section 189 : Agent’s authority in an emergency

An agent has authority, in an emergency, to do all such acts for the purpose of protecting his principal from loss as would be done by a person of ordinary prudence, in his own case, under similar circumstances.

Illustrations

(a) An agent for sale may have goods repaired if it be necessary.

(bA consigns provision to B at Calcutta, with directions to send them immediately to C, at Cuttack. B may sell the provisions at Calcutta, if they will not bear journey to Cuttack without spoiling.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

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