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Report No. 13

163. Section 212.-

This section demands a higher standard of skill than the English or American law. According to the section an agent, whether gratuitous or for reward, is bound to possess skill generally possessed by persons engaged in similar business and is bound to use such skill as he possesses. In England, a distinction is drawn between the gratuitous agent and an agent for reward. The former is bound to use only such skill as he has, while a higher standard is exacted in the case of the latter. In the case of an agent for reward the skill required is not merely that which he in fact possesses, but such as is reasonably necessary for the due performance of his undertaking or such as is usual for the ordinary or proper conduct of the business in which he is employed.1 In America, the law has been stated as follows:

1. Halsbury; Op. Cit, 3rd Ed., Vol. I, p. 185.

(1) Unless otherwise agreed, a paid agent is subject to a duty to the principal to act with standard care and with the skill which is standard in the locality for the kind of work which he is employed to perform and, in addition, to exercise, any special skill that he has.

(2) Unless otherwise agreed, a gratuitous agent is under a duty to the principal to act with the care and skill which is required of persons not agents performing similar gratuitous undertakings for others.'

No injustice, however, appears to have been experienced by maintaining the higher standard in India and we propose to leave the section unaltered.

164. Sections 213-214.-

No change is recommended in sections 213-214.

Indian Contract Act, 1872 Back

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