Contract of Guarantee

“A ‘contract of guarantee’ is a contract to execute the promise, or dispatch the liability of a 3rd individual in instance of his default. The individual who gives the warrant is called the ‘surety’ ; the individual in regard of whose default the warrant is given is called the ‘principal-debtor, ’ and the individual to whom the warrant is given is called the ‘creditor. ’ A warrant may be either unwritten or written.”[ 1 ]

This subdivision defines a contract of warrant as one in which the promiser promises to execute the promise of a 3rd individual, or to dispatch the liability of a 3rd individual, in the instance of the latter ‘s default. The contract of warrant is a three-party agreement between the Principle Debtor, Creditor and Surety. Principle Debtor is the 1 who owes the liability or who has to dispatch a liability which he owes against the Creditor. The Surety is the individual who acts as the surety or an indemnifier for the Creditor in instance the Principle Debtor defaults. A warrant need non be in written signifier, it can be in unwritten signifier besides.

Bank warrant is the signifier of warrant where the Surety is given by the bank, i.e. the bank gives the public presentation warrant. The contract of bank warrant, in kernel, is exceptionally rigorous contract of insurance. They are contractual projects, usually granted by Bankss, to pay, or to refund, a specified amount in the event of any default in public presentation by the principal-debtor of some other contract with a 3rd party, the creditor. [ 2 ] The term Bank Guarantee has been coined by the Indian tribunals to mention to such warrants.

Until and unless there is liability, there can be no contract of warrant whatsoever. The liability of a surety is contingent upon the default on the portion of the rule debitor. The liability of a surety comes into image merely when the rule debitor has failed to carry through his portion and has defaulted. [ 3 ]

Bank Guarantee

As already discussed in the above subdivision, a bank warrant is such a contract of warrant where the Bank takes the function of a surety in order to carry through the liability of a Principle debitor in instance of his default.

Autonomous Nature

InRD Harbottle ( Mercantile ) Ltd v. National Westminster Bank Ltd, [ 4 ] the Judge gave the elucidation with respect to the place of a bank when it assumes irrevokable duties:

“It is merely in exceeding instances that the Courts will interfere with the machinery of irrevokable duties assumed by Bankss. They are the life-blood of international commercialism. Such duties are regarded as collateral to the underlying rights and duties between the merchandisers at either terminal of the banking concatenation. Except perchance in clear instances of fraud of which the Bankss have notice, the tribunals will go forth the merchandisers to settle their differences under the contracts by judicial proceeding or arbitration as available to them or stipulated in the contracts. The tribunals are non concerned with their troubles to implement the claims ; these are hazards which the merchandisers take. In this instance the complainants took the hazard of the unconditioned diction of the warrants. The machinery and committednesss of Bankss are on a different degree. They must be allowed to be honoured, free from intervention by the tribunals. Otherwise, trust in international commercialism could be irreparably damaged.”

If we analyse the sentiment expressed by the tribunal in the instance ofRD Harbottle[ 5 ] it is pretty clear that until and unless there exists exceeding fortunes the tribunals will abstain from interfering with the irrevokable duties which the bank has assumed. The tribunal expressed these duties as the lifeblood of international commercialism. The tribunal considered the committedness of the Bankss at a different degree and was of the sentiment that there must be allowed to be honoured and should non be interfered by the tribunal. The tribunal related the duty of the Bankss as a tool or as a mechanism which creates a sense of security and a sense of trust in the instance of international commercialism.

The contract of warrant in which the bank serves as the surety is wholly a different, distinguishable and independent contract between the bank and the donee. A bank warrant is non affected by the primary contract which the rule debitor had at whose case the bank warrant is given. The nature of duty in instance of unconditioned bank warrant is absolute and is independent of any proceeding or difference originating between the rule debitor and creditor. [ 6 ] The contract of warrant entered into by the bank is wholly independent. The public presentation of the bank warrant comes into drama merely in the instance if the warrant makes its encashment itself, which is capable to cogent evidence of public presentation of former contract. If there are jobs with regard to the public presentation of the underlying contract so the liberty and independency of the contract of absolute warrant will be lost, the enforcement of the same will so depend upon the consequence of question with regard to the former underlying contract. [ 7 ] Bank warrant is an wholly distinguishable separate dealing and its payment can non be stopped even though there are differences between the donee and the individual at whose case the warrant has been given. [ 8 ] A bank warrant has to be realised and the donee is entitled for the same irrespective of whether there are any pending differences or non provided that such a warrant should be realised harmonizing to its footings. [ 9 ]

Pendency of proceedings—such as arbitration proceedings—or adjudication of differences on the underlying contract between the donee and the party at whose case the warrants were issued by the bank and the behavior of maintaining the warrants renewed during the pendency of arbitration, were non evidences for forestalling the donee from raising the warrants. [ 10 ] In instances where the bank unconditionally undertake to pay to the proprietor, on demand, any amount to the bound so specified in the project, the proprietor is entitled to the payment and demand the same and the same is independent of whether there had been want of due and faithful public presentation of the work. [ 11 ]

Liability to Account Later

It can be implied in the signifier of a term in a dealing affecting bank warrant that the beneficiary ought to account to the party who has provided the bond and merely that sum can be retained for which loss has been suffered because of breach by the donee. In the instance donee has non suffered any loss so the whole sum is recoverable by the surety. [ 12 ]

Inthe instance ofAustralasian Conference Assn Ltd v Mainline Constructions Pty Ltd ( in liq ), 87 a bank warrant was given by a builder in regard of keeping fund required to supply as security under a contract of edifice for the due public presentation of the duties of the builder under the contract. The footings of the contract stipulated that the proprietor had the right to take resort to the warrant if the builder’s employment was determined. The same was determined when a receiving system was appointed to the builder’s project. Receiver received the moneys from the bank under the warrant. The tribunal held that the proprietor was entitled to security money merely to fulfill the duty of the builder to the sub-contractors who did the work but were non paid by the builder. The excess sum after the payment was supposed to be released to the builder and no to the bank. [ 13 ]

Bank’s Duty

The bank is bound to honor an unconditioned Bank Guarantee, harmonizing to its footings.

Lord Denning, in the instance ofEdward Owen Engg Ltdsaid that,

“It is non concerned in the least with the dealingss between the provider and the client ; nor with the inquiry whether the provider has performed his contracted duty ; nor with the inquiry whether the provider is in default.”

Therefore, the bank shall pay, irrespective of presence of any difference on the portion of the individual on whose behalf the warrant has been given ; [ 14 ] the bank is non entitles to raise the contention with respect to no committedness of any breach by the principal-debtor. [ 15 ] The bank is non to be concerned about the extent of sums recoverable or outstanding between the parties to the implicit in contract. [ 16 ] The unconditioned warrant given by the bank given to cover progress given by a buyer to a certain bound can non be stopped from encashment based on the land that the buyer has non disbursed the full sum as agreed. [ 17 ] The liability in the instance of unconditioned bank warrant is non affected by any change or fluctuation in the footings of the contract effected by one of the parties. [ 18 ]

The payment under the unconditioned bank warrant may be refused, in instance on the portion of the donee there is wide, or if the paperss tendered for raising the bank warrant are non as per the footings of the warrant, or are forged. In the fortunes when the bank detects deceitful actions with minimum probe the bank may decline to honor the bank warrant ; [ 19 ] but even so the bank still remains obliged to pay the sum stipulated to the beneficiary even if the paperss contain within them a statement of stuff fact that was non accurate. [ 20 ] A bank set abouting the unconditioned bank warrant is non entitles to decline the payment on the land that the payment under the counter-guarantee was restrained by a foreign tribunal. [ 21 ]

In the instance ofGas Authority of India Ltd, New Delhi,[ 22 ] a bank warrant was given by a company, but later weaving up order was passed against the company. Honouring of the warrant was refused by the bank on the land at the bank was itself a secured creditor with consecutive company. The tribunal held that back warrant is an unconditioned independent contract, and it is non dependent on the settlement proceedings of a company. The bank was apt to honor the warrant.

No Injunction to Restrain Payment under the Bank Guarantee

When a warrant is given by a bank to pay on ‘first demand’ , and ‘without contestation’ and ‘without mention to such party’ or ‘notwithstanding any differences between the parties’ the bank who is the surety is obliged to pay harmonizing to the contractual duty, and the tribunal will non keep the bank from payment by giving an injunction. [ 23 ] If the warrant issued by the bank is wider in footings than that agreed between the debitor and the bank, this fact can non be a land to allow injunction keeping payment under bank warrant. [ 24 ]

An irrevokable committedness, in the signifier of either irrevokable missive of recognition or confirmed bank warrant, except when there is a instance of fraud or there is an apprehensiveness of unretrievable hurt is made out, the same can non be interfered with by the tribunals. In order to keep the public presentation of the same, there ought to be serious difference and there should be leading facie instance of fraud and particular equities in the signifier of forestalling unretrievable hurt between the party. If the tribunals start allowing injunctions usually in the instance of bank warrant so the whole intent of bank warrants would be defeated and the really fabric of trading operations will acquire jeopardised. [ 25 ]

It is a well-settled jurisprudence that the contract of warrant is a three-party understanding and is a complete and separate contract in itself. The jurisprudence sing enforcement of bank warrant is besides really clear. The tribunals are non to interfere with the enforcement of bank warrant until and unless there is any fraud or the supplication is against the footings of the warrant. [ 26 ]


The followers are the exclusions when the payment under abank guaranteemay be refused or restrained:

  1. where the bank knows that the paperss presented by the donee for seeking enforcement are forged or deceitful. [ 27 ]
  2. where a fraud by one of the parties to the underlying contract has been established, and the bank has notice of the fraud. [ 28 ]
  3. where a instance of apprehensiveness of unretrievable unfairness is made out ;
  4. where the warrant is conditional, and the status has non been complied with. [ 29 ]
  5. where the conditions necessary for raising a conditionalbank guaranteehave non arisen. [ 30 ]
  6. where the intent for which a conditional warrant was given has been accomplished. [ 31 ]
  7. where the period stipulated for supplication of the warrant has expired. [ 32 ]


The nature of fraud in which the public presentation of the bank warrant can be restrained should be of an ‘egregious nature as to corrupt the full implicit in transaction’ . Such a fraud should be the fraud of the donee and non person else [ 33 ] and that would be in the instance where the beneficiary claims payment to which he was cognizant that he had no claim to. [ 34 ] The being of a mere intuition or possibility of a fraud is non plenty to keep the public presentation of the bank warrant. [ 35 ] The nature of bank warrant is as such that the tribunals will non interfere with the public presentation of the same simply on the allegation of fraud or unretrievable unfairness traveling to happen, until and unless a really strong Prima facie instance is made in support of the contention that fraud has been committed or unretrievable unfairness is traveling to go on. [ 36 ] With respect to fraud, the grounds must be clear both as to the fact of fraud and as to the bank’s cognition that the demand for the payment is or will be deceitful. [ 37 ]

Irretrievable Injury

In order to decline the enforcement or public presentation of a bank warrant, the injury or unfairness which is being contemplated should be such an exceeding and unretrievable nature that it would overrule the footings of the warrant, and the resulting effects of such an injunction would non impact the commercial traffics of the state. [ 38 ] In the instance ofUttar Pradesh Co-op Federation Ltd. ,[ 39 ] it was held that the exceeding fortunes doing it impossible for the surety to reimburse himself, if he finally succeeded, have to be resolutely established ; ‘a mere apprehensiveness that the other party will non be able to pay, is non enough’ .

Therefore, the tribunals have clip and once more refrained from keeping the enforcement of bank warrant. Bank warrant is considered to be the life line of the commercial minutess. It brings about the sense of security in the heads of the individuals come ining into commercial minutess, the nature of bank warrant is as such that in the modern-day epoch it is considered to be one of the safest signifier of securities. If the tribunals restrain the enforcement of the bank warrant is ordinary fortunes so the commercial minutess in absence of any security will take a really serious hit. Thus the function of tribunals with respect to bank warrant is pretty clear.