Report No. 108
Introduction-Consideration & Promissory Estoppel
Under section 2(h) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, a 'contract' is an agreement enforceable by law. Under section 2(e), every promise is an agreement. But, unless the agreement is supported by 'consideration', the agreement would be void except in the three instances mentioned in section 25. Therefore, unless a promise is supported by 'consideration' it will not, ordinarily, be enforceable by law. Section 2(d) defines 'consideration' as follows:-
"When, at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any other person has done or abstained from doing, or does or abstains from doing, or promises to do, or abstain from doing, something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise."
Hence, when a person makes a promise, unless the promisee does, has done or promises to do something, at the desire of the promisor, the promise would be without consideration and the promise cannot be enforced in a court of law.