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As per Sec 10 legality of the object and consideration is an important requirement for a valid contract. Every agreement of which the object or consideration is unlawful is void. The term ‘Object’ means the purpose and ‘consideration’ means something in return. An agreement is valid only if both, object and consideration are valid.
According to Sec. 23 of Indian Contract Act, consideration or object of an agreement is unlawful under the following circumstances

If the object or the consideration is forbidden by law

If the object or the consideration of an agreement is doing of an act forbidden by the law, the agreement is void. An act or an undertaking is forbidden by law, when it is punishable by the criminal law of the country or when it is prohibited by a special legislation derived from the legislature.



Amar, a Hindu is already married and his wife is alive. He entered into a marriage agreement with Laxmi, another lady. This is a void agreement because second marriage is forbidden by, the Hindu Law. In this case, the object of the marriage is unlawful.



X promises Y to drop a prosecution which he has instituted against Y for robbery, and Y promises to restore the value of the things taken. X files a suit against Y for robbery and Y pleads that there was an agreement not to do the same. The agreement is void as its object is unlawful.

If it is of such a nature that, if permitted, it would defeat the provisions of any law

If the consideration or the object of an agreement is of such a nature that it would defeat the provisions of any statutory law, the agreement is void. These types of agreement may not directly violate any law, but if permitted defeats the provision of any law of the country.

If it is fraudulent

An agreement with an object to defraud the other person is void as fraud is considered as civil wrong, which is punishable under provisions of law.



Kapoor and Sharma entered into an agreement to divide the gains equally, earned by them by defrauding others. The agreement between Kapoor and Sharma is void due to the unlawful object.

If it involves or implies injury to the person or property of another

If the object of an agreement is to cause injury to the person or property or reputation of a person, it is void. Injury means harm or damage. Injury does not only imply physical injury but also includes injury to the reputation of the other.



Amar promises to pay ₹ 5,000 to Akbar if he sets Anthony’s house on fire. It involves damage to the property of Anthony. Hence it is also unlawful and void.


If the agreement is immoral or opposed to public policy

An agreement, in which the consideration or the object is immoral, is void. The word immoral has a wide meaning and includes anything which is corrupt or dishonest. The concept of immorality is been dealt by the court according to the time, place and society’s traditions about morality. The term Public policy refers to the acceptable societal standards and thus a contract which has a tendency to injure public interest or public welfare is against public policy.



An agreement between husband and wife for future separation is immoral as they are married to live together.

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A let a Flat to B, a woman whom he knew to be a prostitute. Held, the agreement was unlawful and A cannot recover any sum as B’s object was to use the flat for immoral purpose and furtherance of her trade.

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