Define offer and acceptance. Explain rules regarding valid acceptance.

Category: Bank
Posted on: Monday, September 18, 2017


The term offer is also called proposal. It is defined under Indian Contract Act,1872 Section 2(a), “when one person signifies to another his willingness to do or to abstain from doing anything, with a view to obtaining the assent of that other to such act or abstinence, he is said to make a proposal.”

 Acceptance is defined under section 2(b) of Contract Act, 1872 i.e. when the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent thereto, the proposal is said to be accepted. A proposal when accepted becomes a promise.

 Rules regarding Valid Acceptance : A few important rules of acceptance are as follows in brief :

 (1) Acceptance must be absolute and unqualified {Section 7(1)}.

(2) It must be in prescribed manner/reasonable manner {Section 7(2)}.

(3) Acceptance may be given by performance of condition or act required by an offeror {(Section8)}.

(4) It may be given by acceptance of consideration (Section 8).

(5) Acceptance may be express or implied.

(6) It must be given within specified or reasonable period of time.

(7) Acceptance must be given while the offer is in force.

(8) It must be given only after the communication of offer is complete.

(9) Acceptance must be given by the person to whom offer is made.

(10) Acceptance must be communicated, only mental determination or intention to give acceptance is not sufficient.

(11) It must be from competent person/authorized person otherwise it will not be binding. Powell V. Lee (1908)

(12) It should be communicated to the offeror himself, other than him will not create legal obligation.

(13) Acceptance subject to contract is no acceptance. It will not create legal binding.

 Note :

(i) A rejected offer cannot be accepted.

(ii) Counter offer does not constitute acceptance.

(iii) Cross offer cannot be assumed as acceptance.

(iv) Silence does not generally amount to acceptance.

(v) Acceptance to offer means acceptance of all terms of offer.

(vi) Sometimes grumbling acceptance is a valid acceptance.

(vii) Enquiring/seeking clarification of offer is not to be assumed as acceptance.

(viii) Circumstances of the acceptance must show the ability and willingness to fulfill the terms of offer.