The contract of guarantee is also known as the Contract of Suretyship. Section 126 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 defines the Contract of guarantee - a "contract of guarantee” is a contract to perform the promise, or discharge the liability, of a third person in case of his default. The person who gives the guarantee is called the “surety”. Surety is also known as Guarantor.
   
Rights of Surety :

1) Rights of surety on payment or performance : 

            According to Section 140 of the Indian Contract Act 1872, where a guaranteed debt has become due, or default of the principal debtor to perform a guaranteed duty has taken place, the surety upon payment or performance of all that he is liable for, is invested with all the rights which the creditor had against the principal debtor.


2) Surety's right to benefit of creditor's securities (Section 141) :

        According to Section 141 of the said Act, a surety is entitled to the benefit of every security which the creditor has against the principal debtor at the time when the contract of suretyship entered into, whether the surety knows of the existence of such security or not; and if the creditor loses, or without the consent of the existence of such security or not; and if the creditor loses, or without the consent of the surety, parts with such security, the surety, the surety is discharged to the extent of the value of the security.

Illustrations 

(a) C, advances to B, his tenant, 2,000 rupees on the guarantee of A. C has also a further security for the 2,000 rupees by a mortgage of B’s furniture. C, cancels the mortgage. B becomes insolvent and C sues A on his guarantee. A is discharged from liability to the amount of the value of the furniture.

(b) C, a creditor, whose advance to B is secured by a decree, receives also a guarantee for that advance from A. C afterwards takes B’s goods in execution under the decree, and then, without the knowledge of A, withdraws the execution. A is discharged.

(c) A, as surety for B, makes a bond jointly with B to C, to secure a loan from C to B. Afterwards, C obtains from B a further security for the same debt. Subsequently, C gives up the further security. A is not discharged.


3) Right of Indemnity : 

      According to Section 145 of the Indian Contract Act,1872 In every contract of guarantee there is an implied promise by the principal debtor to indemnify the surety, and the surety is entitled to recover from the principal debtor whatever sum he has rightfully paid under the guarantee, but no sums which he has paid wrongfully.

Illustrations 

(a) B is indebted to C, and A is surety for the debt. C demands payment from A, and on his refusal sues him for the amount. A defends the suit, having reasonable grounds for doing so, but he is compelled to pay the amount of debt with costs. He can recover from B the amount paid by him for costs, as well as the principal debt.

(b) C lends B a sum of money, and A, at the request of B, accepts a bill of exchange drawn by B upon A to secure the amount. C, the holder of the bill, demands payment of it from A, and, on A’s refusal to pay, sues him upon the bill. A, not having reasonable grounds for so doing, defends the suit, and has to pay the amount of the bill and costs. He can recover from B the amount of the bill, but not the sum paid for costs, as there was no real ground for defending the action.

(c) A guarantees to C, to the extent of 2,000 rupees, payment for rice to be supplied by C to B. C supplies to B rice to a less amount than 2,000 rupees, but obtains from A payment of the sum of 2,000 rupees in respect of the rice supplied. A cannot recover from B more than the price of the rice actually supplied.

     
4) Right against Co-Sureties (Section 146): 

      In a contract of guarantee if there are more than one surety, they are called co-sureties. Co-sureties are equally liable Creditor can sue one or all. If only one surety is sued and he has to paid the debt then he may demand co-sureties to contribute.

          According to Section 146 of the said Act, Co-sureties liable to contribute equally. where two or more persons are co-sureties for the same debt or duty, either jointly or severally, and whether under the same or different contract, and whether with or without the knowledge of each other the co-sureties, in the absence of any contract to the contrary, are liable, as between themselves, to pay each an equal share of the whole debt, or of that part of it which remains unpaid by the principal debtor.

Illustrations 

  (a) A, B and C are sureties to D for the sum of 3,000 rupees lent to E. E makes default in payment. A, B and C are liable, as between themselves, to pay 1,000 rupees each.

  (b) A, B and C are sureties to D for the sum of 1,000 rupees lent to E, and there is a contract between A, B and C that A is to be responsible to the extent of one-quarter, B to the extent of one-quarter, and C to the extent of one-half. E makes default in payment. As between the sureties, A is liable to pay 250 rupees, B 250 rupees, and C 500 rupees.


5) Right to Request :

        In a contract of guarantee surety has a right to request the creditor to choose the principal debtor to sue before he is called upon to pay the debt .


See also 

1) When is Surety Discharged from his Liability

2) Continuing Guarantee : Modes of Revocation of Continuing Guarantee

3) .When condition to be treated as warranty

4) Remedies for Breach of a Contract

5)  Kinds of Consideration



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