Question

Given below is a statement of legal principle followed by a factual situation. Apply the principle to the facts given below and select the most appropriate answer.Legal Principle: Contract is an agreement freely entered into between the parties. But when consent to an agreement is obtained to undue influence, the contract is voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so obtained.Factual Situation: The pragya had been worked for a business man Anurag since the age of $$18$$, working for a range of Anurag's businesses. In $$2000$$, (aged $$21$$) Pragya purchased a flat. In $$2005$$, Mr. Anurag's business was facing financial difficulties, and he asked Pragya to offe up her flat as financial security against an overdraft facility for the business. In July of that year, the banks solicitors wrote to Pragya, advising that she should take Independent legal advice before putting her property up as a security for the debt. The bank also notified Pragya that the guarantee was unlimited in both time and financial amount. Having discussed the arrangement with Anurag, Pragya was unaware of the extent of the borrowing, but was assured that her mortgage would not be called upon, and that his own properties which were also used as security would be looked at first. A charge was executed over the Pragya's property in August $$2005$$. In $$2009$$, Mr.s Anurag's business went into liquidation and the bank formally demanded $$Rs. 60,24,912$$ from Pragya. Pragya raised the defence of undue influence - stating that Mr. Anurag had induced her to enter into the agreement, and the bank had full knowledge/ notice of this undue influence which should set aside the banks right to enforce the debt recovery against Pragya. Bank is contending that there is no undue influence.Legal Principle: Employers/ Principles are viscariously liable under the respondeat superior doctrine, for negligent acts or omissions by their employees/ agents in the course of employment agency. A servant/. agent may be defined as any person employed by another to do work for him on the terms that he, the servant/ agent, is to be subject to the control and directions of his employer/ principal in respect of the manner in which his work is to be done.Factual Situation: A motor car was owned by and registered and insured in the name of A (wife) but was regarded by her and her husband (B) as "our car." B told used it to go to work, and A for shopping at the weekends. B told A that if ever he was drunk and unfit to drive through, he would get a sober friend to drive him or else telephone her to come and fetch him. On the day in question the husband telephoned the wife after work and told her that he was going out with friends. He visited a number of public houses and had drinks. At some stage, he realised that he was unable to drive safely and asked a friend C, to drive. C drove them to other public houses. After the last had been visited C offered the three friends (X, Y and Z) a lift and they got in, together with B who was in a soporific condition. C then proceeded, at his own suggestion, to drive in a direction away from the B's home to have a meal, On the way, due to C's negligent driving, an accident occurred in which both B and C were killed and the other friends got injured. X, Y and Z brought an action against the wife both in her personal capacity and as administratrix of the husband's estate. Decide whether A is liable.

A
Yes, she was vicariously liable for the negligent driving of C as the principle of vicarious liability was to put responsibility on to the person, namely, in the case of a motor car, the owner, who ought in justice to bear it, and that in the case of a "family car" the owner was responsible for the use of it by the other spouse
B
No, C had not been the wife's agent in driving the husband about as he had been doing at the time of the accident. To fix vicarious liability on the owner of a motor car in a case such as the present, it must be shown that the driver was using it for the owner's purposes under delegation of a task or duty
C
No, because this is a case of volenti non fit injuria as X, Y and Z voluntarily took the lift knowing that C was also drunk
D
No, because C was not employed by A to drive her husband back to the home on the day of accident

Solution

The correct option is D No, C had not been the wife's agent in driving the husband about as he had been doing at the time of the accident. To fix vicarious liability on the owner of a motor car in a case such as the present, it must be shown that the driver was using it for the owner's purposes under delegation of a task or dutyNo, C had not been the wife's agent in driving the husband about as he had been doing at the time of the accident. To fix vicarious liability on the owner of a motor car in a case such as the present, it must be shown that the driver was using if for the owner's purposes under delegation of a task or duty.Accordingly to law, there are two conditions for Vicarious Liability. One is that there must be a master (owner) and servant (agent) relationship and the other is that the act occurred must be during the course of employment.In the current question, C was neither the authorised driver of the A not her agent. C was not performing a duty of A nor was delegated a task to drive the car. A will not be liable. (Life Insurance Corporation vs Kasturben Naranbhai Vadhia AIR $$1973$$ Guj $$216$$).Legal Studies

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