Case name: Upton Rural District Council vs Powell (1942) All E.R. 220
Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal
What is the case about?
The case of Upton Rural District Council vs Powell discusses the legality of implied contracts.
It deals with the question that when services are deemed to be delivered on an implied promise to pay, what is the obligation of the service receiver?
Facts of the case
In the case of Upton Rural District Council vs Powell, a fire broke out on the farm of Powell. He called upon the fire brigade as soon as possible to suppress the fire and to prevent any damage from being occurred. The fire was extinguished by the Upton fire brigade.
Even though Powell’s farm did not come under the service zone, he believed it to be so.
Not being under the service zone of the District Council, he was charged for the services of the Upton fire brigade.
Now, in this case, the question arose as to whether Powell was liable to pay for the services rendered by the Upton fire brigade.
Judgement of the Court in Upton Rural District Council vs Powell
The Court held that Powell was liable to pay for the services rendered by the Upton fire brigade. There was an implied promise to pay in this case.
Some contracts may not be expressed, yet they put the parties under an obligation to fulfill their promise. Such contracts are called implied contracts as they are made otherwise by words spoken or written.
An implied contract is inferred from the conduct of the parties or from the circumstances of a particular case.
In the instance case, even though there was no express contract between Upton Rural District Council and Powell, Powell was liable to pay for the services rendered by Upton Rural District Council.
The Court concluded that the defendant wanted to obtain the services of Upton, asked to provide them and in response to the request, Upton offered the services. Hence, the services were rendered on an implied promise to pay for them. Thus, the defendant was liable to pay the plaintiff for the services rendered.
Conclusion drawn from Upton Rural District Council vs Powell
In contrast to an implied contract, which is created as a result of actions, an express contract is created by the use of words, either written or verbal (Section 9 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872). As far as the law is concerned, any contract that has been voluntarily entered into by the parties involved through an offer and acceptance is considered to be legally binding. This is true regardless of the form of the contract.
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