Define the term Reciprocal Promise. State the rules for the performance of reciprocal promises.

Reciprocal Promise.

According to Section 2(f) of the Indian Contract Act, defines reciprocal promises as promises which form the consideration or part of the consideration for each other. In other words, when the parties to an agreement make mutual promises to do or to abstain from doing something, these are referred to as reciprocal promises. Thus, there is an obligation on each party to perform his promise and to accept performance of the other’s promises.

Reciprocal Promises:

Mutual and Independent: When the promises are to be performed by each party independently, without waiting for the other party to perform his promise.

Conditional and Dependent: When the performance of one party depends on the prior performance of the other party.

Mutual and Concurrent: When the promises are to be performed simultaneously.

Rules for the Performance of Reciprocal Promise:

Mutual and Concurrent: According to Section 51, when reciprocal promises are to be performed simultaneously. That is, if the promisee is not ready or willing to perform his part then the promisor should not perform his part either. For example: A and B agree that A shall deliver goods to B to be paid for by B willing to pay for the goods on delivery; and.B need not pay for the goods unless A is ready, and willing to deliver them on payment.

Mutual and Dependent: The performance of the promise by one person Is dependent on the prior performance by the other party. In other wards, if the party who is liable to perform first, fails to perform, then he cannot claim performance from the other parts and thus the party at fault needs to pay compensation to the other party for the loss caused by the non-performance by the party at fault.

For example: A contracts with B to execute certain building work for a fixed price. B is to supply the scaffolding and timber necessary for the work. B refuses to furnish the work and B gets responsible for making compensation to A for any loss caused to him as regards the non-performance of the contract.

Mutual and Independent: Each party need to perform this contract independently, which is with out waiting for the other party to perform his promise.

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