Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo : a General Introduction and Meaning

This maxim forms an important part in the sphere of mercantile law specially the consideration.

Quid Pro Quo defined

This is a Latin maxim. The meaning of this is “consideration”, in real sense. The literal meaning of the maxim “quid pro quo” is :”something in return of something” or “something in exchange of something” or simply “something for something”.

In every contract there should be consideration flowing from each side for each other, the Latin maxim “quid pro quo” signifies that part of the contract. The consideration will make both the parties oblige to do something or abstains from doing something as per the wish and/or desire of the other. According to general practice quid pro quo means giving passing of one valuable thing for other. Therefore the term “quid pro quo” signifies the consideration part of contract which passes from one party to the other, of a contract thereby rendering the agreement valid and binding.

Quid Pro Quo and English common law

Under the English Common law, quid pro quo refers that a thing of value or an act and/or service has been given and/or performed for something of value, generally when the equity of the transaction is in question.The maxim upholds, defines the rule that a contract must involve consideration: that is, the exchange of something of value for something else of value. The maxim makes estopple works.

Quid Pro Quo in India under Indian Contract Act, 1872

Sec 2(d) of the Act defines consideration.

Consideration under section 2(d) :- When at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any other person
.has done or
.abstained from doing something or
.does or
.abstains from doing something or
.promises to do or
.abstain from doing something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise.
The aforesaid definition basically echos the maxim Quid pro quo.

Case Law

  1. Sreenivasa General Traders & Ors. … vs State Of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. Etc on 6 September, 1983
    There should be an element of quid pro quo present for each service rendered in the sphere of a contractual relationship.

  2. Krishi Upaj Mandi Samiti vs Orient Paper & Industries Ltd on 9 November, 1994
    There is no quid pro quo between the taxpayer and the public authority.There must be an element of quid pro quo between the person who pays it and the public.
    Supreme Court of India- Cites 25 – Cited by 39 -1995 SCC (1) 655.

  3. Jaganmohan Reddy and N. Srinivasan case
    In September 2013, the Central Bureau of Investigation summonsed Jaganmohan Reddy and N. Srinivasan, by holding a special court, to appear before o1 November 2013 in the “Quid Pro Quo case”. On 12 February 2014, N. Srinivasan appeared before the court.

Quid Pro Quo in United Kingdom under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

In the United Kingdom, the one-sidedness, partial nature and/or absence of Quid Pro Quo of a contract is covered by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and various revisions and amendments thereto. A clause and/or the entire contract can be held void in the absence of quid pro quo and it is deemed unfair. However this comes under the perview of civil law and not common law.

Quid Pro Quo in Sexual Harassment cases

In the case of sexual harassment, quid pro quo defines a type of sexual blackmail in certain cases. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is a situation where a employee in power complies a subordinate, for his employment benefits on an employee’s sub-mission to unwelcome sexual conduct.

Title VII of the civil rights act (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000 (e)-2 [1988]) provides a recourse and/or remedy for quid pro quo in sexual harassment cases. Most courts follow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines and hold that the necessary quid pro quo exists if submission to unwelcome sexual advances “is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment” or if submission to unwelcome sexual advances “is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual” (29 C.F.R. § 1604.11(a)(1)-(2) [1997]).

see – http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/quid+pro+quo

Quid Pro Quo and Politics

In politics quid quo pro can refer to the use of political office for personal benefit. For instance, an elected official might promise favorable governmental treatment to a person in exchange for something of value. This form of quid pro quo would be a violation of the law. On the federal level, the Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 1951 [1994]) makes it a felony for a public official to extort property under color of office. Trading campaign contributions for promises of official actions or inactions are also prohibited under the act.

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