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Report No. 13

144. Section 190.-

The law on the subject of delegation may be stated as follows:

An agent cannot delegate his powers or duties without the express or implied authority of the principal. Nor can there be any delegation where personal confidence is reposed or personal skill required in the execution of the work so that it can be said that the agent has expressly or impliedly undertaken to perform the acts personally.

Briefly stated, the exceptions to the above rule are:

(i) Where the employment of a sub-agent is justified by usage of the particular trade or business in which the agent is employed, provided such a usage is neither unreasonable, nor inconsistent with the express terms of the agent's authority;

(ii) Where in the course of the agent's employment unforeseen emergencies arise which render it necessary to delegate his authority;

(iii) Where the authority conferred is of such a nature as to necessitate its execution wholly or in part by means of a sub-agent;

(iv) Where the act done is purely ministerial and does not involve confidence or discretion.1

1. See Halsbury: Op. Cit., 3rd Edn., Vol. I, pp. 169-170; Bowstead: Op. Cit., 11th Edn., p. 69.

Exception No. (ii) as stated above, is already covered by section 189. The remaining exceptions should be incorporated in the section.

Indian Contract Act, 1872 Back

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