Decided on March 27,1967



- (1.) THIS is an application by the plaintiff from the concurrent judgments of the lower Courts dismissing his suit for Rs. 850 principal, and interest in addition, based on a number of pro-notes all dated 6-1-1962, when as it was discovered later, the defendant borrower was less than eighteen years of age. The ground for dismissal is that the transactions were void ab initio. The finding of fact is that the monies had been actually given to the defendant, and further there was no device or want of diligence on the part of the plaintiff who had been innocently persuaded that the defendant had come of age was genuine. Accordingly the plaintiff sought help of the doctrine of equitable restoration, that is, prayed that the status quo ante should be restored by getting the defendant, who had since become a major, to return the monies he had actually received. This has been refused.
(2.) 1 he facts being themselves clear and undisputed, the problem for us is to decide whether in a case like this we can apply the principle of equity that the minor though legally incompetent to contract, still having got an advantage should before pleading his own incompetence and misrepresentation be compelled to restitute the advantage he had gained; secondly, whether this principle of equity can be derived from section 65 of that Contract Act on the theory that it is possible to discover at a later date the initial voidness of a contract, though one of the parties has been innocently persuaded of its validity. In many of the reported cases, the equity implied in section 41, Specific Relief Act has also been considered ; but that will be nothing more than an analogy in the instant case, where the ex-minor is the defendant and is resisting a suit for the repayment of the money ; and is not himself asking for the cancellation of any instrument.
(3.) THIS subject has come up before the Courts quite often ; but owing to the variety of the circumstances attending each of the cases, the judgments have at times the appearance of mutual conflict of views without there being a theoretically consistent doctrine that can straightway be applied to all such contexts. The difference are for one thing whether the doctrine of equitable restoration is inherent in the Act or is implied in section 65 of the Contract act and for another, assuming such a doctrine, whether in the cases before them, the party other than the ex-minor had by his negligence or device disentitled himself to any equitable relief.;

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.