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Consideration Must Move At The Desire Of The Promisor


To make a contract binding and enforceable the consideration must be supplied at the desire of the promisor. If it is done at the desire of the third party or without the desire of the promisor, it will not be a good consideration. On the other hand, an act done on the promisor’s desire gives a good consideration even through it may be of an personal significance or benefit to him.

Consideration May Move From The Promise Or Any Other Person

As long as there is a consideration for a promise, it is immaterial who has furnished it. It may move from the promise or any other person. “Any other person” is technically referred to as “stranger to consideration”. A person strange to consideration can sue but strange to contract cannot sue.

Consideration May Be Past, Present Or Future

The definition of consideration clearly states that the consideration may be past, present or future.


Pat consideration: Past consideration is said to be past consideration when something is provided to or done for the promisor before he gives the promise.

Present/Executed consideration: When the consideration is given simultaneously with the promise, i.e., at the time of making the promise, it is said to be present or executed consideration. Example, cash sales.

Future/Executory consideration: When the consideration from one party to another is to move at some future date after making the promise, it is called future or executory consideration.

Consideration Need Not Be Adequate

The law simply provides that a contract should be supported by a consideration. However, it is not concerned about the adequacy of the consideration, provided it is of some value. Indequacy of consideration does not invalidate contract provided the consent of the party getting lesser consideration is free.

Consideration Must Be Real And Not Illusory


Consideration, although need not be adequate, must be real, competent and of some value in the eyes of law. It must not be impossible or illusory. The following are not real consideration:

  a. Physical impossibility

  b. Legal impossibility

  c. Uncertain consideration

  d. Illusory consideration

Consideration Must Be Legal

The consideration should not be illegal, immoral or opposed to public policy. Every agreement whose consideration is unlawful is void.

Consideration Must Not Be Something Which The Promisor Is Already Bound To Do

If a person is already bound to do something under law or as an official duty or under some contract and he promises to do the very same thing to form an agreement then this promise would not from any consideration for the other person’s promise.

Forbearance To Sue

Forbearance to sue means abstaining from exercising the right to file a case. Such forbearance of non existing claims would be no forbearance at all.

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