The biggest problem faced by our textile industry right now is not the coronavirus. Rather, it is a small term in a sales contract that was initially created to protect contracting parties is now being misused by foreign buyers as a deadly weapon to avoid liability. It has become the worst nightmare for about 15 million Bangladeshis, without their knowledge.

Essentially, centuries ago when the first contract was made, the most imperative element that the parties relied on was trust—a trust that the parties will fulfil their obligations, come what may. But as society progressed, this trust was codified into a document and a number of clauses were invoked to protect all the parties involved. One such clause is “force majeure”, a concept exhibited in Bangladeshi law under Section 56 of The Contract Act 1872.