Are Quasi contracts same as contracts?

Home Forums Quasi-Contracts v Contracts Are Quasi contracts same as contracts?

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    • #915
      Vinisha Bhavnani

      There are many situations in which the law requires that a certain person be required to comply with an obligation, although he has not broken any contract or committed any tort. Therefore, when A leaves certain goods at B’s house by mistake, the latter is bound to restore them. Such obligations are called quasi-contractual obligations. In such contracts, there is no contract between both parties, but the law deems such obligations as contracts. Quasi contracts arises when one person has received a benefit, which the law regards as belonging better to another and compels the former to account for such benefit through compensation. The essentials for the formation of a quasi contract are:
      • The defendant has been enriched by receiving the benefit,
      • The enrichment is at the cost of the plaintiff, and
      • The retention of this enrichment is unjust.

      Ss. 68 to 72 of the Indian Contract Act deal with these types of quasi-contracts:
      1. Necessities supplied to a person who is incapable of contracting or on his account. Sec. 68,
      2. Reimbursement of a person paying money which is due by another. Sec. 69,
      3. Liability of a person enjoying a non-gratuitous act. Sec. 70,
      4. Rights and liability of finder of goods. Sec. 71, and
      5. Liability of a person to whom money is paid or a thing has been delivered by mistake or under coercion. Sec. 72.

      Therefore quasi contracts are not a contracts, they merely consists of certain relations that resemble those created by a contract. The essentials required for the formation of the contract are missing in quasi contracts, i.e. proposal and acceptance, but the result resembles those of a contract. Contracts are right in rem as well as right in personam, as against quasi contracts, which are only right in personam, i.e available to one person only and not the whole world. However, the rights and liabilities of parties to a quasi contract are the same as those of parties who have entered into a contract.
      In quasi contracts the liability in exists independent of the agreement and rests upon the principle of equity and unjust enrichment. Lord Mansfield, who is considered the founder of such obligations explained that the law, as well as justice should try to prevent unjust enrichment, i.e. enrichment of a person at the cost of another.

    • #2030

      Contract is defined in section 2(h) of Indian Contract Act, 1872. It is formed between two competent parties through offer and acceptance and there should be a valid consideration. It is right in personam and Contract can be formed with only that person who has accepted the offer and is ready to give the consideration. For example- A agrees to sell his house to B for 10 lakhs and they sign an agreement for the same, this is a contact.
      Quasi Contract on the other hand is enforceable by law and is not based on offer and acceptance, rather, it is based on justifiability and equity and doesn’t require consent. Quasi contract is based on the concept that no one should benefit from other person’s loss. It is right in rem i.e., can be exercised only against people who has suffered loss due to that person. For Example X used a perfume bottle completely thinking it to be his. Whereas, it was a gift for his friend Y. X is obliged to gift Y another perfume bottle.

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