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This article was written by Karan Maurya, Classic College of Law Bareilly, B.A., LL.B., during his internship at Ledroit India.

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Key elements of a contingent contract
  • Types of contingent contracts
  • Enforcement and legality
  • Examples of contingent contracts
  • Circumstances and problems calling for felony
  • Case laws
  • Conclusion


A contingent agreement is a criminal concept that refers to an settlement between events in which the overall performance or fulfillment of contractual responsibilities is depending on the occurrence or non-prevalence of a selected occasion. The time period “contingent” implies uncertainty, because the contract’s execution is contingent upon the going on of an uncertain future event. This kind of contract is standard in various fields, inclusive of commercial enterprise, insurance, real estate, and regulation. In this discussion, we are able to delve into the key factors, sorts, enforcement, and examples of contingent contracts, exploring their importance in prison and business contexts.


1. Contingent Event:

– The essence of a contingent settlement lies in the presence of a selected occasion, frequently past the control of the events, that will decide the settlement’s enforceability. This occasion may be an occurrence or non-occurrence of some thing within the future.

2. Uncertainty:

– The prevalence of the contingent event have to be uncertain, growing a state of affairs where the fulfillment of contractual obligations depends on unpredictable occasions. The uncertainty provides complexity and hazard to the contractual relationship.

3. Legal Enforceability:

– For a contingent contract to be legally binding, the terms and situations should be in reality described, and the contingency should be lawful. The contract need to define the perfect conditions under which performance is required or excused.

4. Communication of Contingency:

   – The parties concerned have to talk and understand the contingent nature of the contract. The terms need to be specific, and the triggering event must be surely identified to keep away from misunderstandings.

5. Performance upon Contingency:

– Once the contingent event happens or fails to occur, the contractual responsibilities are either activated or discharged. The events need to adhere to the phrases stipulated in the settlement primarily based on the final results of the contingency.


1. Conditional Contracts:

– Those contracts are contingent upon the incidence of a particular condition. If the state of affairs is met, the settlement will become enforceable; if not, the agreement is void or unenforceable. As an example, a real belongings agreement can be contingent on the purchaser securing financing.

2. Contingent Liability Contracts:

– In those contracts, the events agree to positive terms, but the liability to perform is contingent upon the prevalence of a particular event. Until that occasion transpires, the birthday party may not be obligated to satisfy their contractual obligations.

3. Wagering Contracts:

– Those contracts involve agreements in which events speculate on the final results of unsure occasions. Whilst many jurisdictions restrict or restrict such contracts due to their association with playing, a few contracts with a contingent detail can be valid if they are no longer merely based on chance.

4. Insurance Contracts:

– Coverage contracts are traditional examples of contingent contracts. The insured pays premiums, and the insurer’s obligation to offer coverage is contingent upon the occurrence of a included occasion, consisting of an twist of fate or loss.

5. Government Contracts:

– Contracts with authorities entities regularly include contingent factors. For instance, a creation agreement with a municipality may be contingent on obtaining essential allows, climate conditions, or different unforeseen factors.


1. Legal Validity:

– For a contingent agreement to be legitimate, the contingency should be legal. If the contingent event entails illegal activities or is towards public coverage, the agreement can be deemed void. In such cases, the events concerned cannot put into effect the settlement or are trying to find any legal treatments. This guarantees that the regulation does no longer guide or encourage any illegal or unethical conduct. However, if the contingency is felony and now not towards public coverage, the contract remains valid and enforceable, permitting the events to meet their responsibilities and are seeking felony recourse if essential. The legality of the contingency is essential in figuring out the validity and enforceability of contingent contracts.

2. Communication of Contingency:

– The parties must speak the contingency truly in the settlement. Ambiguous or poorly communicated contingencies may also cause disputes and legal demanding situations. Additionally, each events ought to make sure that all information concerning the contingency are explicitly said and understood through both parties involved. This includes unique situations, timelines, and any potential consequences or remedies in case the contingency is induced. By using supplying clear and comprehensive conversation in the settlement, the parties can reduce the threat of misunderstandings and capacity conflicts, making sure a smoother and more a success commercial enterprise relationship.

3. Good Faith:

– Each events are predicted to behave in top religion in contingent contracts. Tries to control or intervene with the prevalence of the contingent occasion in terrible faith may result in prison effects. For instance, if party A and celebration B enter right into a contingent settlement wherein birthday party A has the same opinion to promote their residence to celebration B if celebration B secures a mortgage, each parties must act clearly and fairly during the procedure. If birthday celebration A deliberately sabotages birthday celebration B’s mortgage application or misrepresents statistics about the house in horrific religion, celebration B may have grounds to pursue legal action for breach of agreement or fraudulent behavior. Therefore, it’s far crucial for both parties to uphold their duties in excellent religion to keep away from potential legal results.

4. Specificity of Terms:

   – The terms and conditions associated with the contingent event should be unique and unambiguous. Indistinct or unclear terms may also lead to disputes and problems in enforcing the contract. It’s far important for both events to have a clear know-how in their duties and responsibilities in the occasion of a contingency. Moreover, having unique phrases can assist prevent any misinterpretations or misunderstandings that may rise up. By way of making sure clarity within the agreement, capability disputes may be averted, and the agreement can be successfully enforced if necessary.

5. Performance in Accordance with Terms:

– Upon the occurrence of the contingent event, the events are expected to carry out in accordance with the phrases unique within the agreement. Failure to do so may additionally bring about a breach of settlement.

This breach of agreement can have serious consequences and can require prison movement to clear up. In such cases, the celebration that has been stricken by the breach can are trying to find treatments which include damages or unique overall performance. It’s miles vital for each events to cautiously review and apprehend the phrases of the settlement to avoid any capability breaches and make sure a smooth and successful enterprise transaction.

6. Remedies for Breach:

   – Remedies

Breach of a contingent contract might also consist of damages, unique performance, or Other remedies special in the agreement or to be had under relevant laws.

Within the event of a breach of a contingent settlement, damages may be presented to compensate the non-breaching birthday party for any losses suffered as a end result. Precise overall performance, on the other hand, can be sought if the breach includes the failure to perform a completely unique or uncommon obligation. Moreover, the contract itself can also outline unique remedies in order to be to be had in the event of a breach, and if no longer, the non-breaching celebration may also have recourse to remedies furnished via the governing legal guidelines.


1. Real estate Contingencies:

   – In actual estate transactions, buyers often consist of contingencies of their gives. As an example, a customer can also make an offer contingent at the successful inspection of the belongings, obtaining financing, or the sale in their cutting-edge home.

2. Insurance Contracts:

   – Coverage regulations are conventional examples of contingent contracts. The insured pays premiums frequently, and in return, the insurer’s duty to offer insurance is contingent upon the incidence of specific activities, together with injuries, illnesses, or belongings harm.

3. Employment Contracts with performance conditions:

   – Employment contracts may additionally encompass performance conditions, inclusive of reaching certain sales goals or completing unique tasks. The worker’s entitlement to bonuses or different advantages is contingent upon meeting those conditions.

4. Production Contracts:

– Construction contracts regularly have contingencies primarily based on elements including obtaining essential permits, climate conditions, or the availability of substances. If those situations aren’t met, the settlement can be not on time or terminated.

5. Wagering Contracts:

   – Even as wagering contracts may additionally have felony regulations, they represent a classic instance of contingent contracts in which events speculate on the final results of unsure events, consisting of sports activities outcomes or lottery consequences.

6. Government Contracts with Contingencies:

   – Authorities contracts may additionally include contingencies related to regulatory approvals, environmental effect tests, or different unforeseen factors. These contracts may most effective end up binding upon the delight of those contingencies.


1. Ambiguity and Interpretation:

   – Ambiguous phrases associated with the contingent event may lead to disputes. Courts can also want to interpret the contract to determine the parties’ intentions, and this will be difficult if the language is unclear.

2. Illegality and Public coverage:

   – Contingent contracts involving illegal or unethical contingencies may be deemed void as towards public coverage. For instance, contracts contingent on undertaking criminal sports or violating laws are typically unenforceable.

3. Correct faith and honest Dealing:

   – The precept of properly religion and fair dealing applies to contingent contracts. Events are expected to behave genuinely and no longer engage in movements that might undermine the reason of the contingency.

4. Enforceability of conditions:

   – Courts might also scrutinize the enforceability of conditions in contingent contracts. If a circumstance is deemed unreasonable or impossible to meet, it can impact the overall enforceability of the settlement.

5.Breach of Contingent Contracts:

   – Breach of a contingent settlement may also arise if a party fails to carry out upon the prevalence of the contingent occasion. Treatments for breach will rely on the terms of the contract and relevant laws.


Nandkishore Lalbagh vs New technology fabric Pvt.Ltd.& Ors [1]., a agreement for the sale of land with a manufacturing facility become to be carried out most effective if the labor unions agreed to the sale and similarly if the trade of land use turned into authorized via the ideal authority. None of these contingencies could be fulfilled due to the fact neither there has been approval by using the labor union nor by using the relevant authority. The agreement changed into as a consequence no longer allowed to be enforced in opposition to the vendor.

Satyabrata Ghose v. Mugneeram Bangur & Co. (1954)[2]:This Indian case is often stated in discussions about contingent contracts. The courtroom emphasized the difference among contingent contracts and agreements to agree. It clarified that a contingent contract is valid even supposing the achievement of the settlement relies upon on an unsure destiny occasion, whilst an agreement to agree may additionally lack the certainty essential for enforceability.

Gian Chand Vs Gopala and Ors[3], in this example, there has been an agreement to promote the land that provided that the earnest money would be again in case the land is notified for acquisition. Unknown to the parties, the land become already underneath notification. The settlement became impossible for overall performance and consequently void on statement under phase 6 of the Land Acquisition Act.

Jacob & Youngs v. Kent (1921)[4]: This the big apple case involved a production agreement wherein the specifications required the use of a specific logo of iron pipe. The contractor, Jacob & Youngs, established a distinct emblem, and the difficulty become whether this deviation constituted a fabric breach. The courtroom held that the failure to comply with the specs did no longer go to the basis of the contract, and the proprietor couldn’t reject the complete work. This situation illustrates the courts’ method to materiality in contingent contracts.


In conclusion, contingent contracts play a pivotal position in the legal panorama, supplying a dynamic framework for agreements inside the face of uncertain destiny activities. These contracts, governed by clean and enforceable phrases, provide parties flexibility in handling dangers and allocating duties. The legal validity of contingent contracts is based on factors such as communique readability, appropriate faith dealings, and adherence to prison concepts, with courts gambling a critical role in decoding and enforcing these agreements.Through outstanding instances like Hochster v. De la excursion and Ewing & Thomas, Inc. V. Edward A. Tallman Lumber Co., the legal machine has furnished steerage on the interpretation and alertness of contingent agreement ideas. The evolution of case regulation underscores the significance of specific conditions, lawful contingencies, and the need for parties to behave according with contractual duties.In exercise, contingent contracts empower parties to navigate uncertainty across diverse sectors, from real estate and coverage to employment and construction. As corporations and relationships adapt to converting occasions, contingent contracts remain an essential device for crafting agreements that stand resilient inside the face of unpredictable events, fostering adaptability and mitigating dangers within the ever-evolving panorama of contractual relationships.

Tags: Indian contract act 1872, Contingent Contract, Law, LedroitIndia, LL.B

[1] (2015) 9 SCC 755

[2] 1954 AIR 44

[3] 1995 SCC (2) 528

[4]  230 N.Y. 239 

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