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Report No. 66

2.7. Contracts.-

We have so far discussed property rights in general. As regards contracts, at common law,1 a married woman possessed no contractual capacity whatever, and could not, therefore, make a binding agreement either with her husband or with any other person. This general rule was subject to certain exceptions, which are not important now. Further, the marriage automatically vested in the husband the benefit of all contracts already made by the wife, and during marriage both spouses were liable to be sued on them. At equity, a wife could bind separate property effectively on contract-that is, upto the extent of the property; but she could not render herself personally liable.2

1. See also para. 2.10, infra.

2. Pollock Contracts, 20th Edn., pp. 557-561.

Married Womens Property Act, 1874 Back

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