Question: What are the various Duties of Agent?


Note: this post is a part of our important question answer series on Contract Law. You can read other questions by clicking here.



Section 182 of ICA defines agent as:

An “agent” is a person employed to do any act for another, or to represent another in dealing with the third person. The person for whom such act is done, or who is so represented, is called the “principal”. The duties of an agent can be discussed in following heads:


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1.    Agent’s duty to work under the authority of his principal: Section 211

An agent is bound to conduct the business, in accordance with:

A.      Within the authority confer on him,

B.      As per the directions given by his principal,

C.      In absence of directions, according to prevailing customs.


2.    Work should be done with the proper skills and diligence: section 212

Unless the nature of the agent’s profession requires him to possess a special skill, an agent is bound to conduct the business of the agency with reasonable skills and diligence, as any other similar prudent person acts in that particular situation.

An agent can be held liable for compensation to his principal in respect of the direct consequences of his own neglect, want of skill or misconduct, but not in respect of loss or damage which are indirectly or remotely caused by such neglect, want of skill or misconduct.


3.    Duty to render proper accounts: section 213

Whenever needed, an agent is bound to render proper accounts to his principal.


4.    Duty to communicate with principal: Section 214

It is the duty of an agent, in cases of difficulty, to use all reasonable diligence in communicating with his principal, and in seeking to obtain his instructions.


5.    Not to make Secret Profits, and if made, return it to the principal: 216 and 218

An agent shall not make any secret profit and shall disclose any extra profit he makes to the principal.


6.    Not to disclose the secrets:

It is duty of an agent to maintain secrecy of the business of agency and should not reveal the confidential matters.


Test your Knowledge

Question: Abhishek employed Neelam, a transporter, to consign certain good to Jaipur. After covering half the distance,   Neelam found that the apples will perish before reaching Jaipur. Without communicating to the principal, she sold the same at half the market price. Abhishek sued Neelam. Will Abhishek succeed?

Mention your answers in comment box.



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