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Undue influence

Definition: The term ‘undue influence’ means the unfair use of one’s superior position in order to obtain the consent of a person who is in a weaker position. It can be understood as applying moral pressure to gain the consent of the other party. It is defined in Sec. 16(1) of the Indian Contract Act, as under:
“A contract is said to be induced by ‘undue influence’, where the relation subsisting between the parties are such that one of the parties-
  • Is in the position to dominate the will of the other and
  • Uses that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the other”
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  • The dominant party must have obtained an unfair advantage over the weaker party: If the dominant party uses his superior position and obtains an unfair advantage over the weaker party, undue influence is said to be employed.

    Example: Raj had advanced money to his son, Kumar, during his minority. Upon Kumar’s attaining majority Raj executed a bond from Kumar for a greater amount than the sum due, in respect of the advance. Here, Raj has employed undue influence.

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