Nemo cogitur suam rem vendere, etiam justo pretio

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Nemo cogitur suam rem vendere, etiam justo pretio

Literal Meaning

No one is bound to sell his own property, even for a just price.

Explanation

Consent is one of the most important things to create a valid contract. As per this maxim no one can be forced to enter into a contract to sell his/her property, even for a fair price. In order to constitute a legally enforceable contract both parties to a contract must willingly consent to the terms and conditions of the contract in order to make the contract valid.

Illustration

‘A’ was forced by ‘B’ to sell his house by pointing a gun; however, ‘B’ paid a fair value for the house. Afterwards, ‘A’ sued ‘B’ and pleads in the court for getting back his property. The plea was accepted by the court by providing that No one is bound to sell his own property, even for a just price. 

Indian Law Position: 

Section 13 of the Indian Contract Act defines ‘Consent’ in the following manner – 

“Two or more person are said to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense.” [1]

Further, Section 14 of the Indian Contract Act provides states following regard to ‘Free Consent’– 

“Consent is said to be free when it is not caused by –

(1) Coercion, as defined in section 15, or

(2) Undue influence, as defined in section 16, or

(3) Fraud, as defined in section 17, or

(4) Misrepresentation, as defined in section 18, or

(5) Mistake, subject to the provisions of section 20, 21, and 22.

Consent is said to be so caused when it would not have been given but for the existence of such coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation, or mistake.”[2]

Thus, free consent of the parties is a very essential component of forming a legally binding contract. 

Further, Section 420 of the Indian Contract Act states the following – 

“Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.—Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person de-ceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine”.[3]

After considering the above mentioned statutory provisions the position of the principle laid down by the maxim Nemo cogitur suam rem vendere, etiam justo pretio under the Indian Law is clear

Case Referred

Emperor v. John Mcive

Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code use considered by the honorable Madras High Court in the above mentioned case.[4]

Gorantla Venkateswara Rao v. Kolla Veera Raghava Rao And Anr.

In the above mentioned case the Andhra Pradesh High Court considered Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. 

Hira Lal Hari Lal Bhagwati vs. C.B.I.

In the above mentioned case Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code was considered by the honorable Supreme Court of India.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference

[1] Indian Contract Act 1872, s. 13.

[2] Indian Contract Act 1872, s. 14

[3] Indian Penal Code 1860, s. 42.

[4] Emperor v. John Mcive, AIR 1936 Mad 353.

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