Contract by a Minor

The Indian Contract Act of 1872 addresses a fundamental aspect that distinguishes the legal ability of individuals to enter into agreements. Among the various categories of parties, minors occupy a unique position as they are considered to lack full legal capacity due to their young age. The Act recognizes the need to protect minors from entering into contracts that they might not fully comprehend, or that could be disadvantageous to them.

A minor’s capacity to contract revolves around whether a minor can be legally bound by an agreement and the extent of their rights and responsibilities in such situations. This area of law delves into the intricacies of minors’ rights, the enforceability of agreements with minors, and the protection of their interests.

Bare Act PDFs

This law note explores the provisions outlined in the Indian Contract Act that deal with a minor’s capacity to contract. By understanding the legal framework surrounding minors and contracts, individuals and businesses can make informed decisions when dealing with minors’ agreements.

Contract by a Minor

A minor’s contract refers to an agreement or transaction involving an individual who has not yet reached the age of majority.

According to the Indian Contract Act of 1872, agreements made by minors are void ab initio or void from the start. This suggests that a minor cannot be held accountable for upholding the contract’s terms in court. A kid can withdraw from a contract without incurring any legal repercussions.

However, certain exceptions exist where a minor’s contract may be enforceable, which we will discuss in this article.

Who Can’t Enter Into a Contract

Every person is competent to contract who is of the age of majority according to the law to which he is subject, and who is of sound mind and is not disqualified from contracting by any law to which he is subject.

In simpler terms, section 11 of the Indian Contract Act clarifies that any person who has reached the age of majorityis of sound mind, and is not disqualified from contracting by any law, is competent to enter into a contract.

Bare Act PDFs

Conversely, minors who have not attained the age of majority are considered incompetent to contract. Their agreements are treated as void ab initio, meaning they are null and void from the beginning, and they cannot be held legally responsible for fulfilling the terms of the contract.

This provision aims to protect minors from entering into agreements that they may not fully understand or could be detrimental to their interests due to their limited legal capacity. It ensures that minors are shielded from the potential risks and consequences of contracts until they attain the age of majority and have the legal capacity to make informed decisions.

Effects of Minor’s Agreement

The effects of a minor’s agreement, which is considered void ab initio under the Indian Contract Act, are as follows:

  1. Void and Unenforceable: A minor’s agreement is deemed void from the beginning, meaning it is not legally binding on the minor. As a result, the minor cannot be compelled to fulfil the contract terms.
  2. No Liability: Since the agreement is void, the minor is not liable for any breach or non-performance of the contract. Minor cannot be sued for damages or any other legal remedies by the other party.
  3. Restitution of Benefits: Despite the agreement being void, the law allows for the restitution of any benefits received by the minor under the contract. If the minor has received any money or property, they must return it to the other party.
  4. No Obligation to Perform: The minor is not obligated to perform their part of the contract. They can walk away from the agreement without facing any legal consequences.
  5. Protection of Minor’s Interests: By declaring a minor’s agreement void, the law aims to protect the interests of minors and prevent them from being bound by contracts that they may not fully comprehend or that could be disadvantageous to them.
  6. Exceptions: There are certain exceptions where a minor may be held liable for certain contracts. For example, contracts for necessities, essential goods and services required for the minor’s maintenance are enforceable against the minor.
  7. Right to Avoid Contract on Attaining Majority: Once the minor reaches the age of majority, they can ratify the contract or avoid it altogether. If they choose to avoid it, the agreement remains void, and both parties are released from their obligations.

Overall, the effects of a minor’s agreement emphasize the need to protect minors from entering into contracts that they may not fully understand, which could be detrimental to their rights and interests. The law ensures that contractual obligations do not unduly burden minors until they attain the age of majority and can make informed decisions.

Exceptions of Minor Agreement

Under the Indian Contract Act of 1872, certain exceptions exist where a minor’s agreement may be enforceable despite lacking full legal capacity. These exceptions are as follows:

  1. Contract for Necessaries: A minor can be held liable for contracts for necessities, goods and services essential for their daily life and well-being. These include items like food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. A minor must pay for these goods and services if they enter into a contract for necessities.
  2. Beneficial Contracts: If a contract is for the minor’s benefit or is entered into for their welfare, it may be enforceable. For example, a contract that provides minors with educational opportunities or enhances their well-being may be valid.
  3. Contracts of Employment: A minor can enter into employment contracts, such as a job agreement, and be held responsible for their job-related duties and obligations.
  4. Minor Acting as an Agent: If a minor acts as an agent on behalf of a principal (a competent person) and enters into a contract within the scope of the agency, the principal can be bound by the contract. However, the minor remains exempt from personal liability.
  5. Minor’s Ratification After Attaining Majority: Once the minor reaches the age of majority, they can ratify the contract. If they choose to do so, the agreement becomes enforceable, and both parties must fulfil their obligations.


The legal framework surrounding minors’ contracts seeks to protect minors from exploitation and unfair obligations until they attain the age of majority and can make informed decisions.

It is crucial for individuals and businesses to be aware of these provisions when dealing with minors in contractual matters and to act responsibly to protect the rights and welfare of young individuals.

By upholding the principles of fairness and justice, the law aims to create a harmonious environment where contracts are entered into with the full understanding and consent of all parties involved.

Read Next: Position, Status and Rights of a Minor in a Partnership Firm

Suhani Dhariwal
WritingLaw » Law Notes » Contract by a Minor and Its Legality, Effects, and Exceptions Law Study Material
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