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An estimated 2-minute read

Need for reformation in laws relating to minors?

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"Competent to contract"

This is one thing that almost everyone who has covered even a minute portion of contracts would know. Why I am writing a blog on this topic is not because I want to brag about my legal knowledge here, because there is nothing to brag about. Every law student would probably know of this. But the reason behind me sitting down and typing out all this is the fact that for the last couple of months, THIS has dominated my thought process.
At first, this might just look like 'just another law', but somewhere deep down it goes on to reveal the loopholes in the same. The world of the contractual capacity of a minor is extremely volatile. While studying the above mentioned law, the only thing I thought of was, "I wasted my minority years. I could have done so much and just got away with it." And mind you, its a very bad sign when a law student thinks that way. For people who are not aware of this, Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 deals with what is known as 'Competency to Contract', under which, minors (anyone below the age of 18 years) is declared to be incompetent. Leaving this aside, this Section provides with a few laws, which does nothing but give the minor the freedom to do what he wants, and not be liable in any which way. As opposed to what the the Law Commission of India has to say, these provisions seem like they have been made more to cause a loss in some way to the adult than to 'protect the rights of the minors'.
In the modern age scenario, where minors are 'minors' only because of their age and not their 'level of understanding', its high time the Law Commission of India makes these laws a little more stringent, at least towards minors who fraudulently enter into contracts. Currently, even if a minor 'falsely represents' himself to be a major and enters into a contract, there is no relief available to the other contracting party. Which does not suffice the 'aim' of creating laws, that is to provide the people with justice. The 'law of estoppel' does not apply to a minor. This means that like in the above statement, if a minor represents himself to be a major, he is ALLOWED to later state that he is not, and then get away with it. The contract is just declared by the Court as 'void ab intio'.
Numerous amendments have been made till date for the betterment of the existing laws and various sections of the law repealed to make them more just and unbiased, but unfortunately there still are many lacunas in the law which the minors take undue advantage of and the majors are the ones who have to bear the brunt, without any fault of theirs.
Unfair? Well, doesnt seem like the law making body cares.
But hopefully, the Law Commission is listening.
Tagged in: "talented"
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