Agency

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Agency

Unread postby Admin » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:42 pm

Agency
In law, the relationship that exists when one person or party (the principal) engages another (the agent) to act for him, e.g. to do his work, to sell his goods, to manage his business. The law of agency thus governs the legal relationship in which the agent deals with a third party on behalf of the principal. The competent agent is legally capable of acting for this principal vis-à-vis the third party. Hence, the process of concluding a contract through an agent involves a twofold relationship. On the one hand, the law of agency is concerned with the external business relations of an economic unit and with the powers of the various representatives to affect the legal position of the principal. On the other hand, it rules the internal relationship between principal and agent as well, thereby imposing certain duties on the representative (diligence, accounting, good faith, etc.).

Under section 201 to 210 an agency may come to an end in a variety of ways:
(i) By the principal revoking the agency – However, principal cannot revoke an agency coupled with interest to the prejudice of such interest. Such Agency is coupled with
interest. An agency is coupled with interest when the agent himself has an interest in the subject-matter of the agency, e.g., where the goods are consigned by an upcountry constituent to a commission agent for sale, with poor to recoup himself from the sale proceeds, the advances made by him to the principal against the security of the goods; in such a case, the principal cannot revoke the agent’s authority till the goods are actually sold, nor is the agency terminated by death or insanity.

(Illustrations to section 201)
(ii) By the agent renouncing the business of agency;
(iii) By the business of agency being completed; 9
(iv) By the principal being adjudicated insolvent (Section 201 of Contract Act. 1872).

The principal also cannot revoke the agent’s authority after it has been partly exercised, so as to bind the principal (Section 204), though he can always do so, before such authority has been so exercised (Sec 203). Further, as per section 205, if the agency is for a fixed period, the principal cannot terminate the agency before the time expired, except for sufficient cause. If he does, he is liable to compensate the agent for the loss caused to him thereby. The same rules apply where the agent, renounces an agency for a fixed period. Notice in this connection that want of skill continuous disobedience of lawful orders, and rude or insulting behavior has been held to be sufficient cause for dismissal of an agent. Further, reasonable notice has to be given by one party to the other; otherwise, damage resulting from want of such notice, will have to be paid (Section 206). As per section 207, the revocation or renunciation of an agency may be made expressly or impliedly by conduct. The termination does not take effect as regards the agent, till it becomes known to him and as regards third party, till the termination is known to them (Section 208).

When an agent’s authority is terminated, it operates as a termination of subagent also (Section 210).
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