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Principal - Agent Relation


  • Principal-Agent governed by the ICA, 1872 under S.182.
  • Defines Agent as a person employed to do any act for another or to represent another in dealings with a third person. The person for whom such act is done, or who is represented, is called the principal.


  • S.227 & S.228 discuss the liability of the agent's action.
  • A principal cannot be held responsible for an agent's actions performed beyond their authorized powers. If the agent exceeds the authority given, then the principal is not liable for the agent's action.

Civil Liability

  • Civil Liability: Vicarious Liability
  • If the agent operates within the scope of and authority granted by the principal or undertakes the actions reasonably necessary to fulfill its duties, the principal will be held liable for any such civil liabilities arising from the matter.
  • Civil Liabilities include but are not restricted to:
    1. Breach of Contract,
    2. Tortious Actions,
    3. Negligence,
    4. Or any other civil Wrong Committed

In Harish Chandra Bangla V. Emperor, The court stated that "In a civil action the master is liable for damages for injury caused to another by the negligence of the servant while acting within the scope of his authority or in the course of his employment. But the master is not criminally responsible for his servant's negligence and still less for an offence depending on the servant's malice".

Criminal Liability

  • � The character is well delineated
  • � The character has consistent, widely identifiable traits
  • � The character constitutes a critical part of the story being told
  • � The character is unique
  • � The character is well expressed and is not merely an idea
  • � Copyright registration in the characters is obtained as far as possible
In conclusion, the principal is not held criminally liable for the actions of its agents, unless the principal directly participates in, authorizes, or connives at the criminal acts. The principal cannot be guilty by association with the agent's illegal acts unless they have given the agent authority, directly or indirectly, to engage in those acts.

On the other hand, when it comes to civil liability, the situation is different. In a civil action, the principal can be held liable for damages caused by the negligence of the agent while acting within the scope of their authority or in the course of their employment.

This is based on the principle of vicarious liability in civil law, where the actions of the agent are imputed to the principal, making them responsible for the agent's negligence. However, the civil liability of the principal does not extend to offenses that rely on the servant's malice or intentional wrongdoing.

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