The Indian Contract Act, 1872
43. Any one of joint promisors may be compelled to perform
When two or more persons make a joint promise, the promise may, in the absence of express agreements to the contrary, compel any 1one or more of such joint promisors to perform the whole promise.
Each promisor may compel contribution : Each of two or more joint promisors may compel every other joint promisor to contribute equally with himself to the performance of the promise, unless a contrary intention appears from the contract.
Sharing of loss by default in contribution : If any one of two or more joint promisors make default in such contribution, the remaining joint promisors mus bear the loss arising from such default in equal shares.
Explanation : Nothing in this section shall prevent a surety from recovering, from his principal, payments made by the surety on behalf of the principal, or entitle the principal to recover anything from the surety on account of payments made by the principal.
(a) A, B and C jointly promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. D may compel either A or B or C to pay him 3,000 rupees.
(b) A, B and C jointly promise to pay D the sum of 3,000 rupees. C is compelled to pay the whole. A is insolvent, but his assets are sufficient to pay one-half of his debts. C is entitled to receive 500 rupees from A’s estate, and 1,250 rupees from B.
(c) A, B and C are under a joint promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. C is unable to pay anything, and A is compelled to pay the whole. A is entitled to receive 1,500 rupees from B.
(d) A, B and C are under a joint promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. A and B being only sureties for C. C fails to pay. A and B are compelled to pay the whole sum. They are entitled to recover it from C.
1. Subs. by Act 12 of 1891, sec. 2 and Sch. II Pt. I, for “one”.