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smu assignments answer Q1) “Freedom to contract is a myth or an illusion”. Discuss


The freedom of the parties is limited by two factors. There are certain laws for the protection of the employees, and an employer cannot, therefore, induce his employees to enter into any contract favourable to the employer.

What is a standard form contract?
A standard form contract is a document which is generally printed, containing terms and conditions,
with certain blanks to be filled in. It is prepared by the business people. The customer has only to sign it. Therefore, from his standpoint, the freedom to contract is restricted. Many of the contracts now being entered into by consumers are not the result of individual negotiations; rather they are one-sided contracts.

The law of contract in India is contained in the Indian Contract Act, 1872. This Act is based mainly on English common law, which is to a large extent made up of judicial precedents. (there being a separate contract act in England). It extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir and came into force on the first day of September 1872 (Sec.1 Indian Contract Act, 1872). The act is not exhaustive.

Essentials of a contract
Sec.10 provides that all agreements are contracts, if they are made by free consent of parties, competent to contract, for a lawful consideration, and with a lawful object, and are not expressly declared by law to be void. To constitute a contract, there must be an agreement between two or more than two parties. No one can enter into a contract with himself. An agreement is composed of two elements – offer or proposal by one party and acceptance thereof by the other party.

Effect of absence of one or more essential elements of a valid contract: If one or more essentials of a valid contract are missing, then the contract may be either voidable, void, illegal or unenforceable.

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