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Difference between coercion and undue influence, the Undue Influence and Coercion has been already discussed. Today, Coercion and Undue Influence difference are discussed in this article and the effects of coercion and undue influence.

Coercion and Undue Influence can be found under section 15 and section 16 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 respectively.

Meaning of Coercion 

The meaning of coercion in contract law is defined under section 15 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. Definition of coercion is defined as ‘Coercion is committing or threatening to commit, any act is forbidden by Indian Penal Code or the unlawful detaining or threatening to detain any property to the prejudice of any person to cause any person to enter into an agreement.’

So, the coercion can be defined as;

1. Committing or threatening to commit an act
2. Such act is forbidden by the Indian Penal Code or any other special laws or
3. Unlawful detaining or threatening to detain any property of the person
4. With intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement.

Meaning of Undue Influence

Undue influenced meaning is defined under section 16 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 as 

1) A contract is said to be induced by “Undue Influence” where the relations subsisting between the parties are such that one of the parties is in a position to dominate the will of the other and uses that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the other.

2) In particular and without prejudice to the generally of the foregoing principle, a person is deemed to be in a position to dominate the will of another –

a) where he holds a real or apparent authority over the other, or where he stands in a fiduciary relation to the other; or

b)  where he makes a contract with a person whose mental capacity is temporarily or permanently affected because of age, illness, or mental or bodily distress.

3) Where a person who is in a position to dominate the will of another enters into a contract with him, and the transaction appears, on the face of it or on the evidence adduced, to be unconscionable, the burden of proving that such contract was not induced by the undue influence shall be upon the person in a position to dominate the will of the other.

So, let’s see distinguish between undue influence and coercion.

Difference Between Coercion And Undue Influence

Difference between coercion and undue influence is given below;

Coercion
Undue Influence

The general meaning of coercion is forcing a person by threatening to give consent to enter into a contract.

The general meaning of an undue influence is using the power of position against the person or dominating the will of the person to obtain consent to enter into a contract.

The coercion is defined under section 15 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

The undue influence has been defined under section 16 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

Coercion is defined as, “Coercion is committing or threatening to commit any act which is forbidden by the Indian Penal Code, or the unlawful threatening to detain any property to prejudice of any person, whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement.”

Undue influence is defined as,
 1) A contract is said to be induced by “Undue Influence” where the relations subsisting between the parties are such that one of the parties is in a position to dominate the will of the other and uses that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the other.
 2) In particular and without prejudice to the generally of the foregoing principle, a person is deemed to be in a position to dominate the will of another – a) where he holds a real or apparent authority over the other, or where he stands in a fiduciary relation to the other; or b) where he makes a contract with a person whose mental capacity is temporarily or permanently affected because of age, illness, or mental or bodily distress.
 3) Where a person who is in a position to dominate the will of another enters into a contract with him, and the transaction appears, on the face of it or on the evidence adduced, to be unconscionable, the burden of proving that such contract was not induced by the undue influence shall be upon the person in a position to dominate the will of the other.

The consent of a person is obtained by the use of physical force.

The consent of a person is obtained by using the power of position against the weaker person.

Illustration: A shows the gun and threatens to shoot B if B does not agree to sell his property to A at the price stated by A. Here, B’s consent to sell his property is obtained under coercion.

Illustration: A being an employer influences his employee to enter into a contract with him otherwise he will fire him from the company.

In coercion, the relationship between the contracting parties is not necessary.

Whereas, in undue influence, the relation between the contracting parties is considered.

In coercion, physical force is used against the person or property.

In undue influence, mental or moral pressure is used to dominate the will of the person.

The criminal act against the body or property is involved in the coercion.

Civil wrong is involved in undue influence.

Who commits coercion can be punished under the Indian Penal Code.

Whereas, who commits undue influence does not be punished under the Indian Penal Code.

Effects of Coercion and Undue Influence

Coercion is a use of force against the body of a person or any property of a person to enter into a contract against his will and consent, whereas undue influence is a wrongful use of position to pressure the person to enter into a contract against his will and consent.

According to section 19A of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, the consent of a person obtained by coercion or undue influence is a voidable contract at the option of a person who suffered by coercion or undue influence.

The effect of coercion and undue influence is the suffered person has the option to make a contract either a valid contract or a void contract.

Conclusion

Coercion and undue influence are used against the person to obtain the consent of that person to enter into a contract in a wrongful manner. That is why such agreements are voidable at the option of a person whose consent was obtained in a wrongful way i.e. coercion or undue influence.

Referred Books:

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