coercion and undue influence

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SIMILARITY COERCION & UNDUE INFLUENCEFORCE INVOLVED FLAW IN CONSENT THIRD PARTY Both involve a kind of pressure upon a person to make an agreement. Both cause a flaw in the consent and thereby make the contract voidable. A third party may exercise coercion or undue influence on one of the parties to the contract.

COERCION vs UNDUE INFLUENCEBASISNATURE OF ACT TYPE OF FORCE CRIMINAL LIABILITY PRE-EXISTING RELATIONSHIP

COERCIONConsent obtained by committing, or threatening to commit, any act forbidden by the Indian Penal Code. Use of physical or violent force. Involves criminality giving rise to possible criminal prosecution also. Pre-existing relationship between the parties is not required. If contract rescinded, the affected party has to restore any benefits received, under Sec. 64, to the other party. Can be directed against a third party also. No presumption of coercion in any case.

UNDUE INFLUENCEConsent obtained by dominating the will of the other.

Use of moral or mental pressure. No such criminality involved.

Pre-existing relationship between the parties is necessary. If contract rescinded, the affected party may or may not return the benefit, under Sec. 19A, as the court may find it just. Must be directed against the party to the contract only. Undue influence presumed by law in some cases.

RESTITUTION

THIRD PARTY PRESUMPTION

From the foregone discussion, we conclude that : The CONSENT of a person is said to be free if it is not caused by any kind of fear or any kind of induced ignorance. Also, Coercion and Undue Influence are the main two sources of fear that lead to a contract being a Voidable Contract at the option of the affected party. Moreover, though undue influence is considered as a subtle form of coercion, but the former varies from coercion in a number of ways as it is more of a mental pressure than any physical threat. But INDIAN CONTRACT ACT, 1872 provides fair support to the weaker parties in both the cases.

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