There are two aspects to the issue of uncertainty.
(1) The language used may be too vogue in which case, the court is likely to hold that there is no concluded agreement , the contract is void for uncertainty. (2) Failure to reach agreement on a vital or fundamental term of an agreement. SECTION 30
1. Agreements, the meaning of which is not uncertain, or capable of being made certain, are void. * If A agrees to sell to B ‘a hundred tons of oil’ , there is nothing whatever to show what kind of oil was intended and thus , the agreement is void for uncertainty.
2. Where the meaning is unclear but it is capable of being made certain, the agreement is not void for uncertainty. * A agrees to sell to B ‘one thousand gantangs of rice at a price to be fixed by C’. As the price is capable of being made certain, there is no uncertainty here to make the agreement void.
KARUPPAN CHETTY v SUAH THIAN
In Karuppan Chetty v. Suah Thian (1916) 1 F.M.S.L.R. 300 , the contract was declared void for uncertainty because the parties agreed to lease of $35 per month ‘for as long as he likes’. The terms are uncertain as the duration of the lease is not specified or capable of being made certain.
To form a valid contract, it is important that parties agree to contract freely and without any form of force or external influence which clouds a person’s mind.
* All agreements are contracts if they are made by the free consent of parties competent to contract, for a lawful consideration and with a lawful object are not hereby exspressly declared to be void - Free consent is the basis of a contractual relationship. There must be a meeting of the minds as to the nature and scope of the contract, a consensus ad idem. - The consent of the parties must be given freely and voluntarily.
* Two or more persons are said to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense. SECTION 14
* Consent is said to be free when it is not caused by:
- undue influence
EFFECT OF VOID AND VOIDABLE CONTRACT
* According to section 2 (g), an agreement not enforceable by law is said to be void. * When the agreement is void, no rights are given to the parties, and no obligations are imposed on them. * An agreement which is void has no legal effect ab initio
* According to section 2 (i) states that an agreement not enforceable by law at the option of one more of the parties thereto, but not at the option of the other or others, is a voidable contract. * In a voidable contract, one of the parties is given the choice, either to continue the contract or to discontinue the contract. * The agreement is valid and binding until the party who is entitled to rescind the contract chooses to do so. * When the party who is entitled to rescind a voidable contract exercises his option to rescind the contract, the consequence is as stated in:
* When a person at whose option a contract is voidable rescinds it, the other party thereto need not perform any promise therein contained in which he is promisor. The party rescinding a voidable contract shall, if he has received any benefit thereunder from another party to such contract, restore the benefit so far as may be, to the person from whom it was received. * On the other hand, the consequence of a void contract is stated in:
* When an agreement is discovered to be void, or when a contract become void, any person who has received any advantage under the agreement or contract is bound to restore it, or to make compensation for it, to the person from whom he received it. * If the contract...