Agent, Principal, Agency appointment & revocation

 

Appointment and Authority of Agents

“Agent” and “principal” defined.

  1. An “agent” is a person employed to do any act for another or to represent another in dealings with third persons. The person for whom such act is done, or who is so represented, is called the “principal”.

 

Who may employ agent.

  1. Any person who is of the age of majority according to the law to which he is subject, and who is of sound mind, may employ an agent.

 

Who may be an agent.

  1. As between the principal and third persons any person may become an agent, but no person who is not of the age of majority and of sound mind can become an agent, so as to be responsible to his principal according to the provisions in that behalf herein contained.

 

Consideration not necessary.

  1. No consideration is necessary to create an agency.

 

Agent’s authority may be express or implied.

  1. The authority of an agent may be express or implied.

 

Definitions of express and implied authority.

  1. An authority is said to be express when it is given by words, spoken or written. An authority is said to be implied when it is to be inferred from the circumstances of the case; and things spoken or written, or the ordinary course of dealing, may be accounted circumstances of the case.

Illustration

A owns a shop in Serampore, living himself in Calcutta, and visiting the shop occasionally. The shop is managed by B, and he is in the habit of ordering goods from C in the name of A for the purposes of the shop, and of paying for them out of A’s funds with A’s knowledge. B has an implied authority from A to order goods from C in the name of A for the purposes of the shop.

 

Extent of agent’s authority.

  1. An agent having an authority to do an act has authority to do every lawful thing which is necessary in order to do such act.

An agent having an-authority to carry on a business has authority to do every lawful thing necessary for the purpose, or usually done in the course, of conducting such business.

Illustrations

(a) A is employed by B, residing in London, to recover at Bombay a debt due to B. A may adopt any legal process necessary for the purpose of recovering the debt, and may give a valid discharge for the same.

(b) A constitutes B as his agent to carry on his business of a shipbuilder. B may purchase timber and other materials, and hire workmen, for the purposes of carrying on the business.

 

Agent’s authority in an emergency.

  1. An agent has authority, in an emergency, to do all such acts for the purpose of protecting his principal from loss as would be done by a person of ordinary prudence, in his own case, under similar circumstances.

Illustrations

(a) An agent for sale may have goods repaired if it be necessary.

(b) A consigns provisions to B at Calcutta, with directions to send them immediately to C at Cuttack. B may sell the provisions at Calcutta, if they will not bear the journey to Cuttack without spoiling.

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