May 28, 2024

Kanishka Jaisinghani

The author is a first-year student at SLS Noida.



A part of the Indian Contract used to contain an Indian Partnership Act. This chapter dealt with the eleventh chapter under the Indian Contract Act. Sections 239 to 266 from the Indian Partnership Act was involved within the Act’s provisions. After that, the Indian Contract Act divided it. According to the Indian Partnership Act of 1932, the partnership seems to be an arrangement in which multiple parties agreed to split the earnings of a firm controlled through themselves or through any or even more persons responsible for governance. Let’s all examine the Partnership’s qualities using a definition[1]. These are following as:


  1. To analyze the concept of Modes of determining the existence of Partnership: comprehensive Study.
  2. To explain through it various case laws

Features of Partnership

A contract is required.

The relationship between the individuals is usually referred to as a partnership. It is spelled forth in the partnership contract. Therefore the question is whether such constitutes a legally enforceable implied contract or rather this would act as a guideline establishing a contract. For such reason, a Partnership agreement has always been a contract between the collaborators. All partner agreement must maintain a good relationship, that necessitates the performance of such an agreement, either verbally or in writing.

Established involving two or more people

The collaboration of two or more two individuals is referred to as a partnership. In this sense, the word “legal person” applies including both natural and artificial entities. In such a way, both actual and artificial entities could become stakeholders together in a partnership firm.

Profit sharing

Profits are the goal of business. As a result, gains do need to be distributed over the agreed ratio, and losses do need to be suffered in such a ratio.

Mutual agency

Everyone acts as an agent for the other built around the principle of agency.   

 It discusses Section 6 of the Indian Partnership Act of 1932, which concerns to the mode of determining partnership. This decides whether or not partnerships exist. A cause for such issue is because occasionally individuals spend all their money together and divide their gains, however, the partnership doesn’t quite occur there, hence the issue of how to recognize whether a partnership exists and where it really doesn’t exist occurs[2].

To establish the presence of a partnership, these must be proven: –

  • The people involved should come to an agreement.
  • The original deal required that gains to be divided.
  • The partnership should be governed by the law of agency.


The agreement, not the designation, builds a partnership, as per Section 5 of the Indian Contract Act. This signifies that a contract, never a status, determines the formation of a partnership[3]. For instance, a Jain husband and wife operating a Hindu Undivided Family Firm really aren’t partners in such a business since no partnership agreement is in this place among either.

Sharing of profit

Profit distribution becomes one component for this utmost partnership benchmark. Profit distribution, on the contrary side, simply only evidence to a partnership. Nevertheless, due to a obvious presence from specific profit-sharing conditions wherein profit-sharing had been considered be utterly opposite here to partnership, a legislation would never generally recognise this as substantive evidence. Let’s really look at a historical example when profit sharing was insufficient enough been considered a true indicator of partnership.

Cox v. Hickman (1860)

FACTS: Benjamin Smith and Josiah Timmis Smith conducted a business as iron specialists and maize merchants under the names B Smith & Son. Individuals were obliged to return a large portion of payment towards respective borrowers because they were agreed to seek out a line of credit. For an outcome, the meeting took place, including both Cox and Wheatcroft attended. In regard of total value, significantly around six-sevenths all creditors finalised an agreement contract[4]. Every trustees were vetted, as well as the rental period has been established at 21 years. Each one of them intended to run a corporation using the title “The Stanton Iron Company.”

ISSUE:– The issue now was if the defendants (creditors), included Cox as well as Wheatcroft, constituted liable towards the Hickman.

JUDGEMENT:- A House of Lords determined as there were none partnership as well as, so a result, Cox hadn’t even been held accountable. “Participation in profits isn’t always the ultimate outcome of a partnership,” Lord Cranworth stated. A judge further noted the this assignment seems to be to reimburse the borrowers all of the firm’s current profits plus future profits. At a conclusion, such relationship seems inadequate for establish the principle-agency relationship.

Other conditions it’s been shown to be incompatible with the partnership include:

  • Profits derived from asset of individuals with a shared as well as similar interest in a certain assets would not imply that even those individuals are partners.
  • If a profit sharing is provided to the an agent as well as servant, they aren’t regarded a partner.
  • When a partner dies although his spouse as well as children obtains a portion of the profit, his spouse as well as children cannot seek to be a partner.
  • Whereas if former owner was given a portion of the earnings for goodwill or as some kind of consideration, then he would not be considered as partner.
  • There is already an express agreement among all partners on the distribution of profits, as well as the law of agency regulates it; thus, recognizing the presence of partnership would be straightforward under view of the rules of section.

Mutual Agency

The primary component for a partnership agreement would be mutual agency. It’s indeed incredibly useful in determining if or no like a connection exists.

Mutual agency is sometimes formed while a partner serves as both an agent and even the principle on its own. As a result, where really is hardly a doubt about the relationship that exist between people, seek for an appearance of mutual agency. Although when mutual agency develops within partners who keep the partnership and share benefits, the existence of this connection should be acknowledged.

The case of Santiranjan Das Gupta vs. Murzamull[5], a well-known Supreme Court case in which the court considered a number of criteria before concluding that there really is no partnership: –

  • The individuals involved retain none evidence of a partnership’s terms and conditions.
  • Partnership companies has kept none documents of their own that can be seen by any partners.
  • Partnership companies don’t even have any bank accounts.
  • The Deputy Director of Procurement had provided no formal details about the recently formed partnership.


A partnership, in my view, is extremely significant, as well as the function of Section 6, namely recognizing the existence of a partnership, is a fundamental component of it. We engage in partnership agreements on a frequent basis, although there could be situations that seem to be a partnership arrangement and are not really. As a result of the numerous case laws as well as scenarios which emerged throughout times, it must be decided that the mutual agency has been the most important factor in identifying the existence of partnerships.

As a result, we may surmise that indeed Section 6 must have demonstrated effectiveness of preserving the interests of the parties involved. But it’s not as straightforward as it looks, and yet practically every case that has created difficulties in identifying a mode of existence of a Partnership has been discussed.

[1] The Indian Partnership Act, 1932, no. 9, 1932 (India)

[2] The Indian partnership act, 1932, No. 9, 1932 (India)

[3] The Indian contract act, 1872, No. 9, 1872

[4] Cox v. Hickman (1860) 8 HLC 268

[5] Santiranjan Das Gupta vs. Murzamull,  AIR 1973 SC 48, (1973)

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