Misrepresenting facts

Misrepresentation is a term in contract law which refers to deceitful means used by a party to induce another party to enter into a contractual agreement.

In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that, as regards a contract for the sale of land, the seller has the right to nullification of the contract if an incident of grave misrepresentation occurred.

In this case, the claimant was an old Omani man who met a younger Omani individual at a function in his village.

The defendant was aware of land which the claimant owned. The defendant told the claimant that (i) the land was worth a great deal and that (ii) he knew a foreign investor who would be willing to buy it.

Based on these twin misrepresentations, the claimant allowed the land to be transferred into the name of the defendant. The claimant was relying on the defendant to finalise the onward transaction with the supposed foreign investor. However, there was no foreign investor.

The legal argument revolved around whether the transfer from the claimant to the defendant should be upheld.

The Supreme Court’s position was very clear: A grave misrepresentation had occurred and therefore the contract was null and void. The Supreme Court ordered the parties to be restored to the position they were in prior to the contract.