Agreement in restraint of legal rights are Void

Agreement in restraint of trade void.

  1. Every agreement by which anyone is restrained from exercising a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind, is to that extent void.

Saving of agreement not to carry on business of which goodwill is sold.—

Exception 1.—One who sells the goodwill of a business may agree with the buyer to refrain from carrying on a similar business, within specified local limits, so long as the buyer, or any person deriving title to the goodwill from him, carries on a like business, therein :

Provided that such limits appear to the Court reasonable, regard being had to the nature of the business.


Agreements in restraint of legal proceedings void.

28. [Every agreement,—

(a) by which any party thereto is restricted absolutely from enforcing his rights under or in respect of any contract, by the usual legal proceedings in the ordinary tribunals, or which limits the time within which he may thus enforce his rights; or

(b) which extinguishes the rights of any party thereto, or discharges any party thereto from any liability, under or in respect of any contract on the expiry of a specified period so as to restrict any party from enforcing his rights, is void to that extent.]

Savings of contract to refer to arbitration dispute that may arise.—

Exception 1.—This section shall not render illegal a contract, by which two or more persons agree that any dispute which may arise between them in respect of any subject or class of subjects shall be referred to arbitration, and that only the amount awarded in such arbitration shall be recoverable in respect of the dispute so referred.

Suits barred by such contracts.—When such a contract has been made, a suit may be brought for its specific performance, and if a suit, other than for such specific performance, or for the recovery of the amount so awarded, is brought by one party to such contract against any other such party, in respect of any subject which they have so agreed to refer, the existence of such contract shall be a bar to the suit.

Saving of contract to refer questions that have already arisen.—Exception 2.—Nor shall this section render illegal any contract in writing, by which two or more persons agree to refer to arbitration any question between them which has already arisen, or affect any provision of any law in force for the time being as to references to arbitration.


Agreements void for uncertainty.

  1. Agreements, the meaning of which is not certain, or capable of being made certain, are void.


(a) A agrees to sell to B “a hundred tons of oil”. There is nothing whatever to show what kind of oil was intended. The agreement is void for uncertainty.

(b) A agrees to sell to B one hundred tons of oil of a specified description, known as an article of commerce. There is no uncertainty here to make the agreement void.

(c) A, who is a dealer in coconut oil only, agrees to sell to B “one hundred tons of oil”. The nature of A’s trade affords an indication of the meaning of the words, and A has entered into a contract for the sale of one hundred tons of coconut oil.

(d) A agrees to sell to B “all the grain in my granary at Ramnagar”; There is nouncertainty here to make the agreement void.

(e) A agrees to sell to B “one thousand maunds of rice at a price to be fixed by C”. As the price is capable of being made certain, there is no uncertainty here to make the agreement void.

(f) A agrees to sell to B “my white horse for rupees five hundred or rupees one thousand”. There is nothing to show which of the two prices was to be given. The agreement is void.


Agreements by way of wager void.

  1. Agreements by way of wager are void; and no suit shall be brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager, or entrusted to a person to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event on which any wager is made.

Exception in favour of certain prizes for horse-racing.—This section shall not be deemed to render unlawful a subscription, or contribution, or agreement to subscribe or contribute, made or entered into for or toward any plate, prize or sum of money, of the value or amount of five hundred rupees or upwards, to be awarded to the winner or winners of any horse-race.

Section 294A of the Indian Penal Code not affected.—Nothing in this section shall be deemed to legalize any transaction connected with horse-racing, to which the provisions of section 294A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) apply.




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  • Kamal Sharma

    A person want to make agreement with me to sell me a second hand lathe machine, with the condition that I can not sell to any one else. In case of any dispute if the machine do not work satisfactory, I can not file a case in any court. He is selling the machine in 1/4th of its price. Kindly advise the risks.

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