Quid pro quo

Quid pro quo

Literal Meaning

A favour or advantage granted in return for something.


The key to a quid pro quo business agreement is a consideration, which may take the form of a good, service, money, or financial instrument. Such considerations equate to a contract in which something is provided and something of equal value is returned in exchange. Without such considerations, a court may find a contract to be invalid or nonbinding.


Natalie needs to have her air conditioning unit repaired, and discusses the matter with her neighbor, Ralph. Ralph, who is an HVAC professional, agrees to do the repairs, including labor and the cost for parts, if Natalie will keep his dogs at her home while he goes on a Florida vacation for two weeks. Although this agreement does not involve the exchange of money, the fact that the parties have agreed to exchange things of value (quid pro quo), one of which depends on the other, makes this a valid contract.[1]

Indian Law Position

Under Indian law, Quid Pro Quo is one of the essential elements of a valid contract. Under Indian Contract Law ‘Quid Pro Que’ means the ‘Consideration’. Section 2(d) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 defines the word ‘Consideration’ as following – 

“When, at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any other person has done or abstained from doing, or does or abstains from doing, or promises to do or to abstain from doing, something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise;”[2]

Further, Section 25 of the same act renders a contract without consideration as ‘void’. It states the following –

“An agreement made without consideration is void, unless-

(1) It is expressed in writing and registered under the law for the time being in force for the registration of 1*[documents], and is made on account of natural love and affection between parties standing in a, near relation to each other; or unless

(2) it is a promise to compensate, wholly or in part, a person who has already voluntarily done something for the promisor, or something which the promisor was legally compellable to do ; or unless

(3) it is a promise, made in writing and signed by the person to be charged therewith, or by his agent generally or specially authorized in that behalf, to pay wholly or in part a debt of which the creditor might have enforced payment but for the law for the limitation of suits.”[3]

Case Laws

The Hingir-Rampur Coal Co., Ltd. v. The State Of Orissa And Others

In the above-mentioned case, honourable Supreme Court of India referred the maxim of ‘Quid Pro Quo’.[4]

Kewal Krishan Puri & Anr v. State Of Punjab & Others

In the above-mentioned case, honourable Supreme Court of India referred the maxim of ‘Quid Pro Quo’.[5]

I.T.C. Ltd. Etc. vs State of Karnataka & Ors

In the above-mentioned case also the maxim ‘Quid Pro Quo’ was referred.[6]

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1] Quid Pro Quo, Legal Dictionary (July 7, 2019, 6:40), https://legaldictionary.net/quid-pro-quo/.

[2] Indian Contract Act 1872, s. 2(d).

[3] Indian Contract Act 1872, s. 25.

[4] The Hingir-Rampur Coal Co., Ltd. v. The State Of Orissa And Others, 1961 AIR 459.

[5] Kewal Krishan Puri & Anr vs State Of Punjab & Others, 1980 AIR 1008.

[6] I.T.C. Ltd. Etc vs State Of Karnataka & Ors, 1985 SCR, Supl. (1) 145.

Vishwa Patel
I am 2 nd Year B.A LL.B (Hons.) student at Gujarat National Law University. I like to explore and write on topics of Cyber Laws, Intellectual Property Laws and Competition Laws. Further, to enhance my knowledge of Law I like to participate in moot court competitions. You can reach me at: vishwapatel683@gmail.com