18 Important Agreements which are Opposed to Public Policy in India – Explained!

2. Agreements interfering with course of justice:

Use of improper influence of any kind on the judges or officers of justice is unlawful.

3. Agreements in restraints of legal proceedings:

Under Section 23, “If a party to an agreement is restricted absolutely from enforcing his rights or in respect of any contract, by the usual legal proceedings in the ordinary tribunals, or it limits the time within which he may thus enforce his rights, is void.”

4. Agreements for stifling prosecution:

It is a fundamental principle that ‘one who has committed a crime, must be punished.’ Therefore, an agreement stifling prosecution is void, being opposed to public policy.

5. Agreements of maintenance and champerty:

Under the English Law agreements of maintenance and champerty are void being opposed to public policy. The former means the financial or otherwise to defend when one has no legal interest in the subject matter, while champerty is a bargain when one party helps the other in recovering the property and sharing the proceeds of the action. Under English Law, both these are void.

Under Indian Law these are not absolutely void. If the object of the contract is not to strip up the litigation, it is valid.

6. Agreements to oust the jurisdiction of courts:

An agreement to deprive the courts of their jurisdiction, which they otherwise have, is opposed to public policy.

7. Agreements varying periods of limitation:

Agreements curtailing or extending the periods of limitation prescribed by the Law of Limitation are void as their subject is to defeat the provisions of law.

8. Traffic in public offices and titles:

Agreements for sale or transfer of public offices and titles for monetary consideration are opposed to public policy and, therefore, void. If they are allowed at will, they will amount to inefficiency and corruption in public life.

9. Agreements to influence elections to public office:

Agreements with voters to procure their votes for monetary consideration or with the third persons to influence voters are void being opposed to public policy.

10. Agreements to create interest opposed to duty:

An agreement to do something which is against the professional duty is opposed to public policy and void.

11. Agreements to create monopolies:

Since monopoly is opposed to public policy, an agreement to create a monopoly is void.

12. Agreements to restrain parental rights:

An agreement to barter away the right of guardianship of parties to his/her minor child is void, being opposed to public policy.

13. Agreements restraining personal freedom:

Agreements unduly restraining personal freedom of the parties are opposed to public policy and, therefore, void.

14. Agreements restraining marriage:

An agreement to restrain marriage of any person, other than a minor, is void under Section 26 and also opposed to public policy.

15. Marriage brokerage agreements:

Marriage brokerage is the sum of money agreed upon by a party for procuring the marriage of a person. Such agreements are void being opposed to public policy, e.g., an agreement to sell a girl.

16. Agreements in fraud of creditors:

An agreement to defraud creditors is against public policy and void.

17. Agreements in restraint of trade:

Such agreements are void under Section 27.

18. Agreements interfering with marital duties:

An agreement interfering with marital duties is void, e.g.,:-

A promise by a married person to marry during the life time or after the death of his spouse;

An agreement in contemplation of divorce;

An agreement that the couple will stay at the wife’s parents’ house.