By Dr. Y. SRINIVASA RAO, Judicial Officer.
‘Bond’ dictionarily means a certificate or evidence of debt. A bond is a promise to pay money at a future date. It is an instrument in writing or written acknowledgement for the payment of debt. “A bond is a deed wherein a party acknowledging himself to be bound or indebted to another in a certain sum of money. It is sometimes called an obligation in a special sense of the word; and the parties are called respectively the obligor and the obligee”. (Leak’s Law of Contract). The word ‘obligation’ used in the Stamp Act is in the special sense and not in the ordinary sense. It is further clear from use of the word ‘whereby’. It means, “in consequence of which” or “in accordance with which”. (Para 4), State of Kerala v. McDowell & Co. Ltd., 1994 Supp (2) SCC 605.
Bond includes— (a) any instrument whereby a person obliges himself to pay money to another, on condition that the obligation shall be void if a specified act is performed or is not performed, as the case may be; (b) any instrument attested by a witness and not payable to order or bearer, whereby a person obliges himself to pay money to another; and (c) any instrument so attested, whereby a person obliges himself to deliver grain or other agricultural produce to another, Section 2 (5) of Stamp Act, 1899.
Bond includes any instrument whereby a person obliges himself to pay money to another, on condition that the obligation shall be void if a specified act is performed or is not performed, as the case may be, Section 2 (d) of Limitation Act, 1963.
A written acknowledgment of binding of a debt under seal. A bond conditioned either to do something which is malum in se or malum prohibitum or to omit the doing of something which is a duty or to encourage such crimes and omissions, is void. A bond may be valid in part and void in part, if such parts are separable. There are two kinds of post obit bonds: (1) Where the sum secured is greater than the sum borrowed, but to be payable only upon a contingency, such as the obligor-expectant surviving his ancestor. (2) Where the sum secured is greater than the sum borrowed, but it is to be paid on the death of a particular person, the time of payment being contingent, only. Bond to procure marriage (or marriage brocage bonds) or to restrain marriage or for immoral considerations, such as future, but not past, cohabitation and also in total restraint of trade, are void.