Qui per fraudem agit frustra agit. A person who acts fraudulently acts in vain.
In this article, the author delves upon Alimony Contracts and the applicability of Section § 25 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
It would be fruitful to recite Section § 25 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, that is stated as herein under-
Indian Contract Act, 1872 [Act No. 9 of Year 1872, dated 25th April, 1872]
25. Agreement without consideration, void, unless it is in writing and registered or is a promise to compensate for something done or is a promise to pay a debt barred by limitation law
An agreement made without consideration is void, unless -
(1) it is expressed in writing and registered under the law for the time being in force for the registration of documents, and is made on account of natural love and affection between parties standing in a near relation to each other; or unless
(2) it is a promise to compensate, wholly or in part, a person who has already voluntarily done something for the promisor, or something which the promisor was legally compellable to do; or unless
(3) it is a promise, made in writing and signed by the person to be charged therewith or by his agent generally or specially authorized in that behalf, to pay wholly or in part debt of which the creditor might have enforced payment but for the law for the limitation of suits. In any of these cases, such an agreement is a contract.
Explanation 1: Nothing in this section shall affect the validity, as between the donor and donee, of any gift actually made.
Explanation 2 : An agreement to which the consent of the promisor is freely given is not void merely because the consideration is inadequate; but the inadequacy of the consideration may be taken into account by the Court in determining the question whether the consent of the promisor was freely given.
Nagendrappa Natikar v. Neelamma, 2014 (14) SCC 452
In the matter of Nagendrappa Natikar v. Neelamma, the Hon'ble SUPREME COURT OF INDIA speaking through Learned K. S. RADHAKRISHNAN AND DIPAK MISRA, JJ., vide Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 11800 of 2013 [Arising out of C.C. No. 1297 of 2012] as decided on : 15-3-2013, has held-
Section 125 Cr.P.C. is a piece of social legislation which provides for a summary and speedy relief by way of maintenance to a wife who is unable to maintain herself and her children. Section 125 is not intended to provide for a full and final determination of the status and personal rights of parties, which is in the nature of a civil proceeding, though are governed by the provisions of the Cr.P.C. and the order made under Section 125 Cr.P.C. is tentative and is subject to final determination of the rights in a civil court.
Section 25 of the Contract Act provides that any agreement which is opposed to public policy is not enforceable in a Court of Law and such an agreement is void, since the object is unlawful. Proceeding under Section 125 Cr.P.C. is summary in nature and intended to provide a speedy remedy to the wife and any order passed under Section 125 Cr.P.C. by compromise or otherwise cannot foreclose the remedy available to a wife under Section 18(2) of the Act.”
From the above judicial precedent, one may prudently infer that it is a good idea to review Alimony Consent agreements by specifically screening out scenarios that could potentially invalidate the Agreement in a Court of Law.
The author hails from a Consulting Background in the area of Business, Technology and Project Management. This Article is a humble effort to disseminate Legal Research with insights from the Consulting Background. The Author may be reached via anil [at] Satyagraha [dot] com