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1.A Contract may be:

(i). An absolute contract or
(ii). A Contingent contract.

An absolute contract is one in which the

promisor binds himself to performance in
any event without any conditions.

A contingent contract is a contract to do or

not to do something if some event,
collateral to such contract, does or does
not happen.
Example: A Contracts to pay Rs. 10,000 if
Bs house is burnt. This is a contingent

2. Essential Characteristics of contingent contract:

1. Its performance depends upon the happening
or non-happening in future of some event.
2. The event must be uncertain.
3. The uncertain future event must be collateral
to the contract.
Note: Contracts of insurance, indemnity and

guarantee are the most common instances of

a contingent contract.

Rules regarding contingent


Contingent contracts dependent on the happening of an

uncertain future event cannot be enforced until the
event has happened. If the event becomes impossible,
such contracts become void (Sec. 32)
Example: A contracts to pay B on sum of money when B
marries C. C dies without being married to B. the
contract becomes void.


Where a contingent contract is to be performed if a

particular event does not happen, its performance can
be enforced when the happening of that event becomes

Example: A agrees to sell his car to B if C dies. The

contract cannot be enforced so long as C is alive.

Rules regarding contingent

3. If a contract is contingent upon how a person will

act at an unspecified time, the event shall be

considered to become impossible when such
person does anything which renders it impossible
that he should so act within any definite time, or
otherwise the under further contingencies. (Sec
Example: A agrees to pay B a sum of money if B
marries C. C marries D. the marriage of B to C
must now be considered impossible, although it
is possible that D may die and that C may
afterwards marry B.

Rules regarding contingent

4. Contingent contracts to do or not to do

anything, if a specified uncertain event

happens within a fixed time, become void if
the event does no happen or its happening
becomes impossible before the expiry of that
5. Contingent agreements to do or not to do
anything, if an impossible event happens,
are void, whether or not the fact is known to
the parties. (sec 36)

Difference between wagering

agreement and a contingent
1. A wagering agreement consists of reciprocal




promises whereas a contingent contract may not

contain reciprocal promises.
A wagering agreement is essentially of a
contingent nature whereas a contingent contract
may not be of a wagering nature.
A wagering agreement is void whereas a
contingent contract is valid.
In a wagering agreement, the parties have no
other interest except the winning or losing of the
amount of wager.
In a wagering agreement the future event is the
sole determining factor.