The Supreme Court Virender Khullar vs. American Consolidation Services Ltd., has reiterated that defence under Section 230 of Indian Contract Act, 1872 is available in the cases under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by the agents of the principal with whom the complainant had the agreement.
Section 230 of the Contract Act says that in the absence of any contact to that effect an agent cannot personally enforce contracts entered into by him on behalf of his principal, nor is he personally bound by them.
The Apex Court Bench comprising of Justices R.K. Agrawal and Prafulla C. Pant made this observation while dismissing an appeal against NCDRC order wherein it had held that an opposite party was simply acting as an agent and in view of Section 230 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 it cannot be held personally liable to enforce the contract entered between its principal and the appellants.
The Court referred to its judgment in Marine Container Services South Pvt. Ltd. v. Go Go Garments wherein it had that, even under proceedings under Consumer Protection Act, an agent is entitled to invoice the provisions of Section 230 of the Contract Act and, if the facts found support him, his defence based thereon cannot be brushed away.
Read the Judgment here.