Section 19 of the Indian Contract Act pertains to the capacity of parties to a contract. It addresses the question whether the parties involved in a contract have the necessary capacity to enter into a lawful agreement.
According to this section, every person has the capacity to enter into a contract if they are of ‘sound mind’, are not disqualified from entering into a contract by any law to which they are subject, and are not minors.
The term ‘sound mind’ as used in the section refers to the mental capacity of a person to understand the nature and consequences of their actions. A person who is insane or inebriated cannot enter into a contract as they lack the capacity to understand or express their intentions.
Another condition for a person’s capacity to enter into a contract is that they should not be disqualified by any law. For instance, a person who has been declared bankrupt cannot enter into a contract as their legal capacity to enter into a contract has been terminated by law.
Finally, minors are not considered to have the necessary capacity to enter into a contract. This is because they lack the legal capacity to understand the nature of a contractual agreement and the consequences of their actions.
If a minor enters into a contract, the contract is considered to be voidable. This means that the minor has the option to either affirm or reject the contract after they attain the age of majority.
In conclusion, Section 19 of the Indian Contract Act outlines the necessary conditions for parties to enter into lawful contracts. It ensures that only those who are capable of understanding and expressing their intentions can enter into a contractual agreement. As a result, this section plays a crucial role in protecting the interests of parties involved in a contract.