Section 40 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872
Title: Person by whom promise is to be performed.
If it appears from the nature of the case that it was the intention of the parties to any contract that any promise contained in it should be performed by the promisor himself, such promise must be performed by the promisor. In other cases, the promisor or his representatives may employ a competent person to perform it.
(a) A promises to pay B a sum of money. A may perform this promise, either by personally paying the money to B or by causing it to be paid to B by another ; and, if A dies before the time appointed for payment, his representatives must perform the promise, or employ some proper person to do so.
(b) A promises to paint a picture for B. A must perform this promise personally.
Title: Effect of accepting performance from third person.
When a promisee accepts performance of the promise from a third person, he cannot afterwards enforce it against the promisor.
Title: Devolution of joint liabilities.
When two or more persons have made a joint promise, then, unless a contrary intention appears by the contract, all such persons, during their joint lives, and, after the death of any of them, his representative jointly with the survivor or survivors, and, after the death of the last survivor, the representatives of all jointly, must fulfil the promise.
Title: Any one of joint promisors may be compelled to perform.
When two or more persons make a joint promise, the promisee may, in the absence of express agreement to the contrary, compel any 1[one or more] of such joint promisors to perform the whole of the promise.
Each promisor may compel contribution.Each of two or more joint promisors may compel every other joint promisor to contribute equally with himself to the performance of the promise, unless a contrary intention appears from the contract.
Sharing of loss by default in contribution.If any one of two or more joint promisors makes default in such contribution, the remaining joint promisors must bear the loss arising from such default in equal shares.
Explanation. Nothing in this section shall prevent a surety from recovering from his principal, payments made by the surety on behalf of the principal, or entitle the principal to recover anything from the surety on account of payments made by the principal.
(a) A, B and C jointly promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. D may compel either A or B or C to pay him 3,000 rupees.
(b) A, B and C jointly promise to pay D the sum of 3,000 rupees. C is compelled to pay the whole. A is insolvent, but his assets are sufficient to pay one-half of his debts. C is entitled to receive 500 rupees from A's estate, and 1,250 rupees from B.
(c) A, B and C are under a joint promise to pay D 3,000 rupees. C is unable to pay anything, and A is compelled to pay the whole. A is entitled to receive 1,500 rupees from B.
(d) A, B and C are under a joint promise to pay D 3,000 rupees, A and B being only sureties for C. C fails to pay. A and B are compelled to pay the whole sum. They are entitled to recover it from C.
1. Subs. by Act 12 of 1891, s. 2 and the Second Schedule, Pt. I, for "one".
Title: Effect of release of one joint promisor.
Where two or more persons have made a joint promise, a release of one of such joint promisors by the promisee does not discharge the other joint promisor or joint promisors neither does it free the joint promisors so released from responsibility to the other joint promisor or joint promisors1.
1. See s. 138, infra.