Reciprocal Promises- Section 2(f) of the Indian contract defines a reciprocal promise as Promises which form the consideration or part of the consideration for each other, are called reciprocal promises. In simple words, a reciprocal promise means, a promise in exchange for another promise. Section 51 to 58 of the Indian contract act provides for the various laws applicable over the reciprocal promises.
Examples- (1) In a transaction between a shopkeeper and consumer, after bargaining a shopkeeper agrees to give you 2 kg Rice for 10 Rs. Here a reciprocal promise takes place as you both come to a conclusion for the price of 10Rs and he agrees to provide you the rice at that price and you agree to pay him Rs.10 after he gives you the 2kg rice. However, either of you is not willing to perform your promise then the other one can treat the contract ended.
(2) Vaishali hires a car for a month and promises to pay the car rental company a certain amount. The company promises to send the car to her house within 24 hours of receiving the advance payment. Vaishali does not make the payment and fails to perform his promise. The company does not send the car either.
Types of reciprocal promises –
1. Independent and mutual reciprocal promise:
When the parties perform their individual promises on their own irrespective of the fact whether the other party has performed, or is willing to perform his promise or not, the promises are independent and mutual.
2. Dependent and Conditional reciprocal promises:
The performance of a promise is dependent upon the prior permission of the other party, it will be a conditional and dependent promise.
3. Concurrent and Mutual or Simultaneous reciprocal promise:
When two contracts are to be performed simultaneously.