Gauri dutta Vs Laman Shukla

Case Law Analysis: Gauri dutta Vs Laman Shukla.

Case law – Lalman Shukla Vs Gauri Dutta 

By Arman Singh Parihar,  pursuing B A LL.B , Law student at Jiwaji University, Madhya Pradesh. 

Lalman Shukla V Gauri Dutt is touted as a corner judgment for the validity of the contract under the Indian Contract Act, 1872. The case was filed in the Allahabad high court in the time 1913 and was presided over by Justice Banerji at the Allahabad High Court. 

Facts Of the Case 

In this case, the defendant Gauri Dutt’s Whoreson had lammed and was nowhere to be set up. After the defendant came apprehensive of the same, Dutt had transferred all the retainers in hunt of the missing whoreson. The complainant Lalman Shukla was one of the retainers who had gone out in hunt of the whoreson. The complainant ultimately set up him and brought him back. When Lalman Shukla had left the house to leave for Haridwar from Kanpur he was handed some plutocrat for his road chow and other charges. As soon as Lalman Shukla had left the house, the defendant blazoned a price of Rs. 501 for whosoever set up Dutt’s whoreson. Shukla had no idea that such an advertisement was made. The complainant set up the missing whoreson and brought him back to his home in Kanpur. Six months after the said incident passed, Dutt sacked the complainant. After being removed from the job, the complainant claimed the plutocrat from the defendant and the ultimate denied to pay the said remuneration. As a result the complainant Lalman Shukla filed a case against Gauri Dutt, his master, for not awarding him as he was entitled to. 

Arguments On Behalf of The Plaintiff (Lalman Shukla)

The complainant Lalman Shukla explosively affirmed that the veritably performance of him chancing the missing boy was sufficient enough for him to be entitled to the price. Since according to Gauri Dutt’s condition whoever set up the misplaced boy and brought him back would get the price. thus, as per the condition of the defendant, the complainant had traced the boy and brought him back. He stated that it isn’t important to have previous knowledge about the price, especially under this circumstance. He also emphasized the fact that section 8 of the ICA 1872, states that ‘ the performance of the act or the acceptance of any consideration of a offer is an acceptance of the offer ’. And in this present case, the condition as stated by the defendant Gauri Dutt was to find the missing child to be awarded Rs 501. He stated that it was immaterial that the person who has performed the act must have the knowledge of the condition to claim the price.

Arguments On Behalf of The Respondent 

The defendant asserted and explosively argued that the complainant Lalman Shukla wasn’t apprehensive of the offer and had no knowledge about it before chancing the defendant’s whoreson. So an offer without the knowledge of the offeree or the pledge can not be accepted and also there was no similar possibility for the complainant to accept the offer without indeed knowing about it. Gauri Dutt argued that according to section 2( a) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, “ When one person signifies to another his amenability to do or to hesitate from doing anything, with a view to carrying the assent of that other to similar act or abstinence, he’s said to make a offer ”. farther under section 2( b), “ When the person to whom the offer is made signifies his assent thereto, the offer is said to be accepted. A offer, when accepted, becomes a pledge ” thus, the defendant contended that assent was essential to produce a contract between both parties. This means that before accepting the offer the offeree must have complete knowledge about the data to give assent or blessing. But in this particular case, the complainant was fully ignorant of the price which was associated with it and the complainant was simply doing his duty. thus, according to section 2( h) of the ICA, since there was no acceptance there was no agreement that can be enforceable by law. So according to the defendant Gauri Dutt, Lalman Shukla wasn’t entitled to get the price and hence he could not claim it. 

Rate Decidendi-

In the present case of Lalman Shukla vs Gauri Dutt, it’s deduced that in order to enter into a contract, two critical aspects should be considered, 

  1. To have complete knowledge of the data of the offer or offer.
  1. Acceptance of the offer. 

A person to whom the offer is made, the offeree, must accept the offer. The communication regarding the offer is also veritably important as mentioned in section( 4) of the ICA. It states that communication can only be complete when it comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it’s made.

To convert a offer into an agreement both knowledge and assent must be present. Then, in the given case, both were missing. 

As the complainant had no knowledge and had n’t given his blessing or accepted the offer there didn’t live a valid contract between the two. 

At the time when the complainant was searching for the boy, his scores and duties were as a menial. thus the complainant Lalman Shukla wasn’t entitled to get the award. 

The Judgement 

In the said case, the pleaders ’ appeal against the replier Gauri Dutt was dismissed by the court. After assaying all the data of the case, the honourable high court held that for creating or entering into a valid contract there has to be knowledge and assent to the offeree made by the proposer. Then, the complainant didn’t know the price before performing his act. He only came to know about it latterly, in which case there was no possibility of accepting the offer. Hence, there was no contract. thus, Lalman Shukla wasn’t entitled to get or claim the price. The judge reiterated that the complainant was fulfilling his scores as a menial of tracing the missing boy which was a part of his duty. thus, the complainant’s suit against the defendant was fully dismissed by the court. 

Affiliated Cases 

The supplicant in presenting his case had reckoned upon Gibbons v. proctor( 1891) in the English Contract Law. In this case, the court had held that if any person performs certain conditions of the contract, indeed if he’s not apprehensive of the price or he doesn’t have the knowledge of the price, he’s entitled to get the price. 

The replier on the other hand reckoned on the notorious U.S. case Fitch v Snedaker( 1868). 

In this case, Fitch after giving the information about the killer’s identity set up out about the price and also claimed it. The court in the said case had held,

“The form of action in all similar cases is an supposition. The defendant is progressed against as upon his contract to pay, and the first question is, was there a contract between the parties? To the actuality of a contract, there must be collective assent, or, in another form, offer and concurrence to the offer… without that there’s no contract. How, also, can there be concurrence or assent to that of which the party has noway heard?.. The offer could only operate upon complainants after they heard of it ” 

thus, Fitch wasn’t entitled to the price as he accepted the offer in ignorance. And the person accepting the offer, the offeree, must have all the information regarding the price before claiming for prices associated with that action. 

In The End 

The case between the complainant Lalman Shukla and the defendant Gauri Dutt examined the validity of the contract in the absence of previous acceptance. According to the judgement given by the Allahabad high court, a contract without acceptance is void. 

Thus, despite his services, the complainant Lalman Shukla wasn’t entitled to get the price as the bare performance of the act doesn’t mean an assertion to the contract. also, to turn an agreement into a offer, it has to be enforceable by law. And incipiently, the communication of the proffers means that the person to whom the offer or the offer is made must come to the knowledge of the acceptor before accepting the offer. 

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