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War-Induced Dissolution of Affreightment Contract

Fox & Mandal War-Induced Dissolution of Affreightment Contract

Madhoram Hurdeo Das


G.C. Sett

Decided on February 7, 1917, [Last Heard on: 07.02.1917]


In this case, A entered into a contract to sell goods to B, with terms including shipment in three monthly lots. The goods were shipped on a German vessel, but war between Britain and Germany broke out while the ship was at sea. The ship was captured and condemned by the Prize Court. A argued that the outbreak of war rendered the contract impossible to perform due to the dissolution of the contract of affreightment and the illegality of trading with an alien enemy. The Court concluded in favour of Respondents, represented by Fox & Mandal that the contract of affreightment became dissolved due to war, making the performance impossible and unlawful. The contract of sale, being closely tied to the contract of affreightment, also became void under Section 56 of the Indian Contract Act. Therefore, the appeal was allowed, and B’s claim for damages was dismissed.

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