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What is the Doctrine of Frustration?
In Contract Awareness Forum
Nitya Prasad
Feb 06, 2021
When a contract is initially valid but becomes subsequently void, due to happening of a certain event. These circumstances are outside the control of the parties to the contract. Such a contract becomes void contracts. The parties to the contract are discharged due to impossibility of performance of the contract. This is known as doctrine of frustration. Certain instances where parties to a contract are discharged by supervening impossibility are as follows: Destruction of Subject Matter:- Parties to a contract are discharged when subject matter, essential to the contract is destroyed. The subject matter is destroyed without the fault of any party to the contract. Death or Incapacity to Contract:- According to section 37 of the Indian Contract Act, when promisor dies before the performance of the contract, the representatives of the promisor are liable to discharge the contract. One exception to this law is when the personal skill of the promisor is required for the performance of the contract. In cases, the contracts are discharged due to impossibility as to the performance of the contract. Change of Law:- A valid contract becomes a void contract when the laws governing the subject matter of the contract are changed. For instance, a ban on the sale of liquor in a particular state would make all the contracts related to the purchase and sale of liquor void. Declaration of War:- If a war is declared against a country then all the contracts with that country becomes void. Even if the contracts are valid before the outbreak of war, they become void subsequently Non-existence or non-occurrence of an event:- When certain things essential to the contract ceases to exist the parties to the contract are discharged from the performance of the contract.
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