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December 11, 2023by canonsphere0
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This blog is written by Sohini Chakraborty, a 3rd year law student of Amity University, Kolkata.


The Indian Partnership Act, of 1932, is a significant piece of regulation that oversees the development and activity of partnerships in India. It gives a legitimate system to organizations where at least two people meet up to maintain a business element mutually. The Act covers different parts of organizations, including their development, freedoms, obligations, and disintegration. In this article, we will dive into the critical arrangements and ramifications of the Indian Partnership Act, of 1932.


A legal structure was required to oversee partnerships in India during the colonial era, which is where the Indian Partnership Act, of 1932, got its start. Different laws and rules were put in place to regulate many sectors of business and economic activity in India when it was under British colonial authority. However, there was no comprehensive law that dealt with partnerships. Because different parts of India frequently followed distinct legal systems and customs, there were inconsistencies in the legal handling of partnerships before the passage of the Indian Partnership Act. Especially as trade and commerce increased, the lack of a consistent partnership statute caused uncertainty and disagreements in business dealings.

The Indian legislature took action to pass the Indian Partnership Act after realizing that a thorough and consistent legal structure for partnerships was required.

On October 1st of that year, 1932, the Indian Partnership Act was passed and put into effect. The Indian Contract Act, 1872’s Chapter XI, which dealt with partnerships, was replaced by the current Act as the governing authority.

As a result of the passing of the Indian Partnership Act, the partnership laws in Sections 239 and 266 of the Indian Contract Act of 1872 were repealed. These regulations had been founded on the rules contained in the report of the Indian Law Commission, which was presided by Lord Romilly in 1866. The current Partnership Act was based on the English Partnership Act of 1890, which was modified.


The Act’s main goal was to formally recognize partnerships as a unique type of economic organization. Partnerships pre-enactment were primarily based on accepted customs and agreements. The Act clarified and gave legal sanction to the idea of a partnership by outlining its fundamental elements.

The Act aimed to create consistency and uniformity in partnership legislation throughout India. Before its adoption, there were numerous instances of anomalies and disagreements in business transactions due to diverse regional legal systems and customs. The Act sought to establish a uniform legal system that would apply to the entire nation.

With a defined framework for creating partnerships, the Act aimed to make corporate collaborations easier. It created the idea of a partnership deed, enabling partners to put their agreement in writing. As a result, business initiatives may be undertaken with a sense of stability and regularity, enticing entrepreneurs and investors.

The Act discussed how to dissolve partnerships in a timely manner. In addition to outlining the rights and duties of partners in the event of a partnership dissolution, it also gave rules for the dissolution procedure. This facilitated conflict resolution and made sure that assets and liabilities were allocated fairly. By giving commercial activity a dependable legal framework, it has been essential in regulating partnerships in India and fostering economic growth.


S.NO Important provision Summary
1. Purpose of the Act The purpose of the Act is to define and  amend the laws relating to partnership.
2. Section-2 DefinitionsThis section defines Act of a firm to mean  any act or omission by partners or any agent  or any partner that gives rise to right against  the firm. Further business is defined to be  every trade, occupation and profession.  Third party in relation to partnership means  any person who is not a part of the firm. 
Chapter II
3. SECTION-4 DEFINITION OF  PARTNERSHIP, PARTENER,  FIRM AND FIRM NAME Partnership is the relation between people  who have agreed to share profits of a  business carried on by all or any of them.  Many judicial decisions have referred to  partnerships also share losses. People in the  partnership with one another are individual  partners and collectively the firm.
4. SECTION 5-9 PROPERTIES OF A  PARTNERSHIP Section 5 of the act says that partnership  arises from contract and not from status.  Section 6 of the Act says that the real  relationship between the parties is to  determine whether there is an existence of  partnership or not. Further partnership  remains in the duration when there is will of  the parties. A particular partnership can be  created between two people for a particular  business only. The partners are duty bound  to carry on the business of the firm ensuring  greatest common advantage.
5. SECTION 10 –15 Section 10 makes every partner liable to  indemnify for loss caused by it to the firm 
RESPONSIBILITIES TO  PARTNERS TO EACH OTHER due to his fraud in the conduct of the  business. The partners are duty bound to  follow the contract of partnership and make  disclosures to each other, the partners are  also duty bound to take care of each other’s  mutual rights and liabilities. Subject to the  contract between the parties the properties  of the firm include everything that has been  acquired by the firm during business.
4. SECTION 17 RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF  PARTNERSSubject to contracts between parties, when  a change occurs in the constitution of the  firm the mutual rights and duties of the  partners remain the same. If a firm has been  constituted for a fixed term and the business  is continued the rights and duties remain the  same. If additional undertakings are carried  out, then the rights and liabilities remain the  same.
5. SECTION 19 IMPLIED AUTHORITY OF  PARTNER AS AGENT OF THE  FIRM Unless contrary to the partnership contract a  partner has implied authority as agent over  the following: a. Submit a dispute relating to the  business of the firm to arbitration. b. Open bank account on behalf of the  firm in his own name. c. Compromise, relinquish claim,  withdraw suit, admit liability of the  firm. d. Acquire, transfer, immovable  property belonging to the firm. e. Enter partnership on behalf of the  firm.
6. SECTION 21 PARTNERS AUTHORITY IN  EMERGENCYA partner has all authority to do acts to  protect firm from loss during emergency.
7. SECTION 25 LIABILITY OF A PARTNER  FOR THE ACTS OF THE FIRM. Every partner is jointly, severally for all  acts of the firm done while he is a partner.
8. SECTION 26 LIABILITY OF THE FIRM FOR  WRONGFUL ACTS OF  PARTNER.The firm is liable of the wrongful act or  omission of the partner acting in the  ordinary course of business of a firm or  authority of his partners. 
9. SECTION 28 HOLDING OUTThe section defines holding out as  representing oneself as a partner of a firm  and therefore obtaining credit from a third 
party is liable as if he is member of the  firm. Though if a deceased partner’s name is still  used by a firm his legal representatives are  not liable for the acts of the partner.
10. SECTION 31  INTROUCTION OF A PARTNERSubject to the conditions of contract  between parties and provisions relating to  minorities and other such legal restrictions,  a person can be introduced as a partner in a  firm with the consent of all other partners. 
11. SECTION 32 RETIREMENT OF A PARTNERA partner may retire by consent of all other  partners after giving notice to the partner  and third parties as well as after giving  public notice.
12. SECTION 33 EXPULSION OF PARTNERA partner may be expelled only in good  faith by most partners as per the contract  between the parties in contract. 
13. SECTION 34-37 CERTAIN SPECIAL  LIABILITIES OF PARTNERSSection 34 provides when a partner  becomes insolvent, he ceases to be a partner  in the firm. Section 35 makes the estate of the deceased  partner liable for acts done by the firm  before his death.  Section 36 imposes liabilities on outgoing  partner from not using the old firm’s name  and representing himself as part of old firm  if engaged in competing business. Further  the outgoing partner may be restrained from  indulging in competing business for a  period or within certain local limits. 
Chapter VI
14. SECTION 39-45 DISOLUTION OF FIRM AND  LIABILITIES ON  DISSOLUTION.A firm may be dissolved with the consent  of partners or in accordance with contract  between parties. Moreover section 42 of the  partnership Act provides for dissolution of  the firm on expiry of a fixed term, death of  a partner, completion of a work and  insolvency of partner. Moreover, a court  can order resolution of a firm. Partners are  liable for Acts done to third parties before  the dissolution of the firm.
15. SECTION 54 AGREEMENTS IN RESTRAINT  OF TRADEPartners can make an agreement in restraint  of trade upon anticipation of dissolution of  firm. 
16. SECTION 56 POWER TO EXEMPT FROM  REGISTRATION The state government may by notification  in official gazette direct exemption from  registration of certain firms.
17. SECTION 57 APPOINTMENT OF  REGISTRARSThe state government has the power to  appoint a Registrar of a firm for the purpose  of this act and may define areas within  whose limits the power shall be exercised.
18. SECTION 58 APPLICATION FOR  REGISTRATIONThe registration of a firm is done as per the  provisions of this section.
19. SECTION 69 EFFECT OF NON REGISTRATIONThe effect non-registration is given in  section 69 and the effects are as follows a. Partners cannot sue each other for an unregistered partnership. b. An unregistered firm cannot sue  third parties.


Through the establishment of explicit guidelines, this framework aids partners in avoiding disagreements and conflicts. For the creation, administration, and dissolution of partnerships, the Act offers a thorough legal structure. It outlines the rights, duties, and liabilities of partners, providing legal certainty and clarity in commercial agreements.

In Narandas Karsondas vs. S.A. Kamtam and Another (1969) the court stated that the Partnership Act provides a comprehensive code for the regulation of partnerships in India, the Supreme Court of India stated in this judgement, underscoring the importance of the Act. The Act clearly lays forth standards for the dissolution of partnerships and stipulates the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of partners, the Court emphasized. This case emphasized the importance of the Act in regulating partner interactions and partnership breakup.

The Act regulates how partners interact, including how they share profits and make decisions. By reflecting the goals and agreements of the partners, it aids in creating a fair and equitable partnership structure. The concept of limitless liability for partners is established, guaranteeing that partners are liable for the partnership’s debts on a personal level. This clause safeguards creditors and promotes openness in business transactions. By outlining the rights and responsibilities of partners, the Act protects their interests.

In Maniben Devraj Shah vs. Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay (1990) decision made clear that under the Partnership Act, partners are subject to unlimited liability. Partner liability for the firm’s debts and obligations was determined by the court. It emphasized how crucial this principle is for safeguarding creditors’ rights and making sure that all financial transactions are open and transparent.

The Act allows the registration of businesses and the upkeep of accounting records. As a result, financial transactions are made more transparent and the partnership’s specifics are open to third parties to confirm. Additionally, it makes certain that partners may obtain accurate financial data. Even though the Act offers a uniform structure, it also permits flexibility. The Act is designed to support a variety of business arrangements, and partners can modify their partnership agreements to meet their unique needs and goals.


Despite being an essential foundation for governing partnerships in India, the Partnership Act, 1932, has come under fire and has its limitations over time.

The Act has been criticized mostly for having provisions that are deemed out-of-date and out-of-step with contemporary corporate practices. Since the Act’s enactment in 1932, there haven’t been any significant revisions to take into account modern concerns and the complexity of partnership structures.

 R.M. Arunachalam Chettiar vs. V.S. Loganatha Mudaliar (1986): The significance of following the Partnership Act’s rules was highlighted in this instance, particularly with relation to the registration of businesses. It alludes inadvertently to potential difficulties brought on by the Act’s specific provisions.

Minority partners may be at a disadvantage in partnerships where there is a considerable power differential because the Act predominantly relies on majority decisions. Minority partners may not receive enough protection under the Act. Professionals who join partnerships, such as attorneys and accountants, have occasionally criticized the Act for its lax supervision of their particular professional practices. They contend that certain regulations may be required for business partnerships.

The Act may conflict with other laws, such as the Income Tax Act, which could complicate the law for partnerships. It is believed that harmonizing the Act with other pertinent laws is a crucial first step.

Critics contend that the Act falls short in areas like decision-making procedures, conflict resolution, and partner removal since it does not provide appropriate governance tools for partnerships. Partner conflicts and disagreements may result from this. Although the Act contains dissolution rules, there may not be enough clarity in more complicated dissolution cases. More complex legal requirements may be necessary for partnerships with complex assets, liabilities, and disputes.


As a basic piece of legislation, the Partnership Act, 1932, supervises and regulates the creation, operation, and dissolution of partnerships in India. It has been essential in enabling commercial operations over the years, establishing the legal parameters for partnerships, and safeguarding the rights of partners and other parties participating in these economic connections.

According to Section 1(3), the Act takes effect on October 1st, 1932. The Act is prospective and does not apply in the past. According to Section 74 of the Act, which specifies that nothing done before to the Act’s commencement will be impacted, the same has been made clear. The Act establishes a fundamental governance framework, but it also gives partners the option to modify their partnership agreements to meet their unique needs. It’s crucial for a variety of company arrangements to strike a balance between standardization and flexibility.

The Partnership Act of 1932 has some restrictions, nevertheless, and that must be acknowledged. Some clauses could be seen as archaic, inflexible, and unfit for dealing with the complexity of contemporary industry. The Act needs to be revised in order to be in line with modern business practices, according to critics. Given these factors, the Act’s continuous importance highlights the necessity of routine evaluations and future revisions to guarantee that it remains applicable in India’s changing business environment. Although it offers a solid foundation for partnerships, it will need to be improved upon and addressed in order to continue to be useful and effective in the years to come.

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