As per the section 2(h) of Indian Contract Act, 1872 the term “Contract” means an agreement
which is enforceable by law. The contract must satisfy all the essential elements mentioned in the
Act to become a valid Contract.
One of the essential elements of a valid Contract is competent parties.
The term Competent parties mean a person who is major not a minor. Minor is an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years and the attaining majority is one of the essential condition
precedents for every contract. As per the Indian law, a minor’s agreement stands void, and it has
no stand in the eyes of the law. So a contract with minor stands null and void and either party can
not impose it. And even after the minor person attains majority, the same agreement cannot be ratified by him. The difference here is that a minor’s contract is null or void; So a contract
however, it is not illegal as there is no statutory provision regarding this. And the minors cannot
be held liable under contract law.
Liability in criminal law:
Section 82 and section 83 of the Indian Penal Code confer a special immunity from criminal
liability to children up to 12 years of age. Children below 7 years of age get a complete defense
from criminal liability whereas, for children from 7 to 12 years, the immunity conferred will depend on their maturity level of understanding during the commission of the crime.
Section 82: According to this section, Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven
years of age.
Section 83: According to this section, Nothing is an offence which is done by a child above
seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient level of maturity in
understanding the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion of crime.