Tag Archives: Duty

Delegation of Power vis-à-vis Authorisation

Delegation of power is made by an authority to do an act for which the authority himself is competent, by any other officer whereas authorization is made by the authority empowered to do so under a statute or any other lawful instrument. The ordinary dictionary meaning of the word “Delegate” is to send or authorize a person as a representative to depute (Oxford Concise English Dictionary). The word ‘Delegate’ in Black’s Law Dictionary has been defined to mean to entrust another with the authority or empower another to act as an agent or a representative. The word “Authorise” as defined in Oxford Concise English Dictionary means to give an authority to a person or a body or to sanction or commission a person to do some act. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines the word “Authorise” to mean to give legal authority or to empower the authorized person to act for the person giving such an authority.
Thus, it is clear that delegation is done by an authority to a person or a body or a subordinate to do an act which the delegate is himself otherwise empowered or authorized to do under the statute or any other legal instrument. Whereas authorization would mean empowering an officer to do something for which the authority authorizing the person or body to do an act is empowered. Ranbir Singh v. State of U.P., 2018 (126) ALR 227.

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Pre – Existing Duty Doctrine

Pre-existing duty doctrine is a principle under the Contract Act and states that if a party to a contract is under a pre-existing duty to perform, then no consideration is given for any modification of the contract and the modification is therefore voidable. In the 13th edition of Pollock and Mulla Indian Contract and Specific Relief Act in Vol. 1, it is mentioned at page 101 about the pre-existing obligation under law, which provides that:
“The performance of what one is already bound to do, either by general law or by a specific obligation to the other party, is not a good consideration for a promise; because such performance is no legal burden to the promisor, but rather relieves him of a duty. Neither is the promise of such performance a consideration, since it adds nothing to the obligation already existing.” Anuradha Samir Vennangot v. Mohandas Samir Vennangot, (2015) 16 SCC 596.

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