Sec. 68-72 of the act deal with, what are called in English law “Quasi Contract ”, i.e. certain types of transaction in which, there being in fact no “contract ” between the parties, the law, by a special rule creates rights and obligation between them which are analogous or similar to those created by a “contract ” . The chapter is described as “of certain relations resembling those created by contract” for this reason.
The “quasi contract ” included are (i) a minor’s liability to pay for necessaries supplied to him(sec. 68)(ii) payment of money due by another(sec. 69); (iii) doing a non-gratuitous act for another(sec. 70);(iv) the case of a finder of goods(sec 71);(v) case of moneys paid by mistake or under coercion(sec 72.)
(I) Necessaries supplied to a “minor” (sec. 68): Under the sec., if a person incapable of entering into a contract (which would include both a minor and a lunatic) or anyone whom he is legally bound to support, is supplied by another with “necessaries” suited to his condition in life, such person is entitled to recover the value thereof from the property of such incapable person.
Two points must be noticed here: (i) the amount is recoverable only from the property (if any) of the incapable person and not from him personally. (ii) The objects supplied must be “necessaries”.
The word “necessaries” is used here in a technical sense. It covers not only the bare necessities of existence, e.g. food, and clothes but all things which are reasonably necessary to the minor having regard to his station in life, e.g. a watch, a golf club, a bicycle may been included therein, but not articles of luxury or mere adornments; e.g. buttons are necessaries but that would not include diamond or gold buttons. Recently, an engagement ring for one’s finance has been held in England to be included under the term but not a vanity bag.
In India, the term has been held to cover costs of defending a suit on behalf of a minor, where his property was in jeopardy, money advanced to a minor for the marriage expenses of himself and other whose marriages he has bound to perform, e.g. his sisters and a loan to a minor to save his property from execution . Goods bought by a minor for purpose of trade, however are not included in the term. Three conditions must be satisfied before things supplied to a minor can been called “necessaries”: they must been suited to his condition in life; (ii)they must been necessary for the minor’s requirements when actually sold or delivered; and (iii) the minor must not be already sufficiently supplied with them at the time.
Thus where a minor Cambridge under-graduate brought eleven fancy waist-coats, when he was already will provided with clothing , held that the trader could not recover the price thereof against the minor.