A contract as we all know is an agreement enforceable by law. An agreement between two or more people creating obligations is regarded as a contract in a legal sense. However, there are certain relationships which resemble a contact but are not contracts in the pure legal sense. The best civil lawyers in Delhi often differentiate contracts with quasi-contracts and people even talk to a lawyer online to understand their rights and obligations. The obligation which does not resemble a contract is regarded as quasi-contract or constructive contract under the English Law.
The quasi-contractual obligations are based on the principle that law, as well as justice, should try to prevent unjust enrichment. The term unjust enrichment means the enrichment of one person at the cost of another or to prevent a man from retaining the money off or some benefit derived from another which it is against conscience that he should keep. The principle of natural justice and equity is thus the determining factor in such obligations. The basic characteristic of quasi-contracts is the absence of mutual consent of the parties.
Minor’s agreement as is known to all is void ab initio and therefore a minor cannot be asked to pay for the services rendered or goods supplied. However, the law permits that one who supplies necessaries to a minor or a lunatic to reimburse the same. It is important to mention that for the reimbursement no personal action can lie against the minor but the reimbursement is permitted from the property or estate of such an incapable person.
Necessaries in a legal sense do not mean just the bare necessities of life but mean such things which may be necessary to maintain a person according to his conditions in life. Things and articles of luxury are excluded from the ambit of necessaries.
In case a person is interested in paying on behalf of the minor and he/she is not legally bound to do the same then such a person is entitled to be reimbursed. The Indian Contract Act talks about Non-Gratuitous Acts but the law also prescribes that when a person lawfully does something for another or delivers something and in doing so he does not act to do so gratuitously and the other person must enjoy the benefits of the same then there lies an obligation on such a person to pay for such things or services.
It is often witnessed that quasi-contracts and implied-in-fact contracts are confused to have the same meaning. Supreme Court lawyer in Delhi often educate people about the difference between the two and even talk to people online on various other legal issues. The two are often confused to have the same meaning because of the reason that neither a quasi-contract is a contract within the legal sense nor implied-in-fact contracts are not contracts within true legal sense. The difference between the two can be best understood by means of an example:
Suppose a person namely X visits a Doctor A for a treatment now a mutual consent exists between the Doctor and the patient as X the patient expects treatment from the doctor while the Doctor A in return expects that X the patient would pay for his services. This is an example of an implied-in-fact contract as the conduct of parties suggests mutual consent. While as in quasi-contracts the parties who are at disputes do not necessarily know each other and consent is not present.
Various similarities, however, do exist between Contracts and Quasi-Contracts. Firstly, both contracts and quasi-contracts are similar in the legal sense and secondly, the Indian Contract Act provides remedies for both breach of contract as well as the breach of quasi-contracts