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The contract that requires application of personal skill cannot be performed by the agent of the promisor or his legal representatives is discharged on the death of the promisor.


Note: Any benefit received before the performance will be returned by the legal representative of the deceased person.



A contract to sing or paint come to an end with the death of the promisor as it involves use of personal skill and ability.


When a person’s debt exceeds his assets then he may be adjudged insolvent. Thus in certain cases, the person is declared insolvent by the Court of Law and all the assets of the insolvent person are taken over by the official assignee appointed by the court. In such cases, the insolvent is discharged from all the liabilities on all the contracts entered into by him, up to the date of insolvency.


Note: The contractual liabilities which were created before insolvency shall be taken over by the Official Assignee and satisfied out of the assets available in the proportion of debts outstanding.

Unauthorized material alteration

Sometimes, a contract is contained in a written document, and if a party unilaterally makes significant changes in the body of the deed without the consent of the other party, this will be called an unauthorized material alteration in the contract. In such a case, effect of alteration would be the same as that of cancellation of the document. Thus, a unilateral material alteration by one party discharges the other party from the performance of their respective obligations under the contract.



Dravid contracted to sell his plot of 500 sq. yards to Kumble for ₹ 10,00,000. The sale deed which was in possession of Dravid was executed. Before the registration of the sale deed, Dravid altered the deed and made it a deed for the sale of 300 sq. yards plot for ₹ 10,00,000. In this case, the contract is discharged and Kumble is not bound to purchase the plot.


Note: If the alteration is minor or clerical in nature, the contract remains unaffected.


Sometimes two persons may, after having made a contract, make another contract which confers to the other party superior rights. In such cases, the inferior rights merge into the superior rights. On merger, the inferior rights vanish and are not required to be enforced.



Stephan gave a land on lease to Fleming. Subsequently, Fleming bought the land which he holds under the lease. In this case, Fleming becomes the owner of the property and his rights as a lessee merge into his rights as the owner. Thus, his rights as a lessee merge and are not to be enforced.

When Rights and Liability are vested in the same party

If Rights and liabilities under the contracted in the same party then the other parties to the contract are discharged. In other words the same person becomes the promisor as well as the promisee.

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