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Coercion in Indian Contract Act: Understanding its Meaning and Implications

Coercion is a term used in the Indian Contract Act, 1872, that refers to the act of compelling a person to do something against their will. When it comes to contracts, coercion can have serious implications, which is why it is important to fully understand what it entails.

Under the Indian Contract Act, coercion refers to the use of force or threats, physical or otherwise, to make a person enter into a contract. This can include anything from threats of violence to blackmail, extortion, or even psychological pressure.

The Act defines coercion as “the committing, or threatening to commit, any act forbidden by the Indian Penal Code, or the unlawful detaining, or threatening to detain, any property, to the prejudice of any person whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement”.

Coercion can also be classified into two types. The first is actual coercion, which involves the use of physical force or the threat of it. This includes cases where a person is physically restrained or threatened with violence if they do not enter into a contract. The second is constructive coercion, which is when a person is compelled to enter into a contract due to circumstances that are beyond their control. This can include economic coercion or a situation where a person is under duress due to a relationship of dependency.

It is important to note that coercion does not have to be successful for it to be considered a violation of the law. Even if a person is not ultimately forced to enter into a contract, the mere attempt or threat of coercion can be enough to make it illegal.

In case of coercion, the person who has been coerced has the right to rescind the contract. They can do this by giving notice to the other party that they are rejecting the contract due to coercion. The notice must be given within a reasonable amount of time from when the coercion occurred.

In conclusion, coercion in the Indian Contract Act is a serious violation of the law, as it goes against the fundamental principle of free and voluntary consent in contractual agreements. As a professional, it is important to convey this information to readers in a clear and concise manner. It is crucial that businesses and individuals fully understand the implications of coercion and work to ensure that all contracts are entered into freely and without any form of pressure or undue influence.

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