The idea of ratification is an essential part of contract law, and it is defined by the Latin adage “Omnis ratihabitio retrorahitur et mandato priori aequiparatur,” which says that every ratification is pulled back and considered as equal to a command or previous authority. When a person does something on behalf of another person without their knowledge or agreement, the idea of ratification comes into play. The other person on whose behalf they act is performed has the choice of ratifying the act or entirely disowning it.
Ratification is specified in Section 196 of the Indian Contract Act of 1872, where the right of the person on whose behalf the ratification has been done is stated, as well as the consequence of ratification. It goes on to explain that if the person ratifies the act done on his behalf, the identical results will occur as if the acts were performed by his authority.
This doctrine only applies to voidable contracts, not void or invalid ab initio contracts, because they cannot be legally enforced. Furthermore, section 197 of the act provides that ratification may be stated or implied by the conduct of the person on whose behalf they act is performed. Acts performed where there is an excess of power have the same legal standing as acts performed without the person’s permission or awareness.
Communication of contract ratification is crucial; it may also be demonstrated by future transactions. If the ratification is made by someone whose knowledge of the facts of the case is materially flawed, the ratification will be invalid, as stated in section 198 of the act. Section 199 states that if a person ratifies unlawful conduct done on his behalf, he ratifies the whole transaction, not just that portion.
Essentials of Doctrine of Ratification
- The act must be performed on behalf of another person, and the individual must state that the act was performed not for himself but for the benefit of another person.
- The act must be performed without the other person’s knowledge or authorization.
- The ratifier must be contract-competent.
- The ratifier may be a natural or a legal person, and he or she must exist at the time of the transaction.
- The person for whom the act was performed must be the ratifier.
- the contract must be in existence at the moment of ratification.
- Ratification might be explicit or oblique.
- Ratification must be based on complete knowledge of the facts; there can be no ratification unless there is an intention to ratify.
- Ratification must be done for the entire act and not for any part of it, ie the ratifier cannot ratify one part of the contract while rejecting the other. However, under English law, ratification of one component constitutes acceptance of the entire treaty.
- The act to be ratified must be legal; a voidable contract, but not a void contract, can be ratified.
- Any conduct carried out in accordance with Section 23 of the Act cannot be ratified.
- Any third party shall not be harmed as a result of the ratification.
- When a minor reaches the age of adulthood, he cannot ratify an agreement he entered into while still a minor, because the contract is void ab initio.
Evolution of the Doctrine
INTENTION- Ratification can be made without an intention, and no intention to ratify any unlawful or irregular conduct can be formed without awareness of its illegality. To bind the principal or owner under the concept of ratification, it must be demonstrated that the ratification was performed by a person who had complete awareness of all relevant facts pertaining to the transaction in question.
ACT THAT IS NOT LEGAL IN NATURE- If a contract is made that was non-legal in nature and when it was legally impossible to carry out the same contract, it cannot be enforced even if it is now legally feasible to carry out the same contract. Ratification and acceptance of a transaction that is invalid or unlawful are not possible.
RATIFICATION FOR ACTS OF PUBLIC SERVANTS- Acts carried out by the government Officials can be validated in the same manner that private transactions are, by simple declarations or through conduct, but officers must behave in line with their duties.
RATIFICATION BY MINOR-A contract with a person under the age of 18 is null and invalid. Furthermore, it was emphasized that a person under the age of 18 cannot even enter into a contract through a guardian or any other agent since it would be an invalid contract that could not be ratified by a person under the age of 18.
COMMUNICATION OF RATIFICATION- Ratification must be communicated to another party, or the contract, if ratified, can be demonstrated by additional later transactions as valid.
RATIFICATION AFTER PRINCIPAL’S DEATH- If an agent acting under written authority of the principal or owner holds himself out as an agent in and of itself when the principal or owner dies, and if a person competent to formalise his action when the principal or owner dies formalise identical in a manner recognised by law, then the agent ought to be deemed to own acted within the boundaries of authority which he with validity holds out as the next proprietors.
According to the principle of ratification, the agent may do some actions in the absence of authorization, but the true power rests with the principal only to the extent that he has the authority to approve or reject the same. If the act is approved, it will be considered as if it was done with the principal’s consent. If not, the contract will be null and void.