A Review of the Doctrine of Agency by Necessity

1690 Words7 Pages
INTRODUCTION: The doctrine of ‘agency by necessity’ establishes that authority shall be assumed, in a necessitous situation, by a person who acts in the interest of the principal. The Indian Contract Act remains silent as to classification of the doctrine under any section, though many debate that it is to be under the head of Section 189. This is an extremely ambiguous area in the law of agency, as there are quite a few specific scenarios apart from the quintessential ‘shipmaster’, which are debatable as to assumption of authority. In this paper, the concepts of the conditions prerequisite to the assumption of authority shall be discussed, and then an analysis of the special situations of ambiguity with reference to cases shall be addressed. ANALYSIS Normally, the authority conferred to an agent by his principal stands as the limits, beyond which any action taken by the agent has no legal validity and makes the agent liable. But if the circumstances are so demanding, such that the interests of the principal are at stake due to a situation of emergency, the law confers certain extraneous rights on the agent which empower him to take certain measures, even those extending to changing the legal position of the principal, so as to protect the principal’s interests. Even in such cases, there are some conditions to be satisfied. These conditions are, (1) it must be impracticable for the agent to communicate with the principal, (2) the act of the agent must be absolutely
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