Law of Contract (1872):Nature of contract; Classification; Offer and acceptance; Capacity of parties to contract; Free consent; Consideration; Legality of object; Agreement declared void

Kinds of offer/ Classification of offer

1. Express Offer

The offer made by using words spoken or written is known as an express offer.

2. Implied Offer

The offer which could be understood by a conduct of parties or circumstances of case is called the implied offer.

3. Specific Offer

The offer made to a specific person or a particular person or two or more than two specific persons. The specific offer is made to an ascertained person.

4. General Offer

It is not necessary that the offer should be made to a specific person. The offer can be made to the world at large. If the offer is made to the world at large, it is known as the general or public offer.

5. Cross Offer

When two parties exchange identical offers in ignorance at the time of each other’s offer, the offers are called cross offers. There is not binding contract in such a case, as one’s offer cannot be construed as acceptance by the other.

6. Continuous Offer

It is the offer which is open for a continuous period of time, it is also known as the open offer or the standing offer.

7. Counter Offer

When the offeree offers to qualified acceptance of the offer subject to modifications and variations in the terms of original offer, he is said to have made a counter offer. Counter-offer amounts to rejection of the original offer.

ii. Acceptance

A proposal or offer is said to have been accepted when the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent to the proposal to do or not to do something [Section 2 (b)].

Rules governing acceptance

1. Acceptance must be absolute and unqualified: As per section 7 of the Act, acceptance is valid only when it is absolute and unqualified and is also expressed in some usual and reasonable manner unless the proposal prescribes the manner in which it must be accepted. If the proposal prescribes the manner in which it must be accepted, then it must be accepted accordingly.

2. The acceptance must be communicated

An acceptance must be communicated to the person who made the offer. An offer made by the intended offeree without the knowledge that an offer has been made to him cannot be deemed as an acceptance thereto.

3. Acceptance must be in the prescribed mode

 Where the proposal prescribes the mode of acceptance, it must be accepted in that manner. Where the proposal does not prescribe the manner, then it must be accepted in a reasonable manner.

4. Mere silence is not acceptance

 The acceptance of an offer cannot be implied from the silence of the offeree or his failure to answer, unless the offeree has in any previous conduct indicated that his silence is the evidence of acceptance.

5. The proposer cannot prescribe the method of refusal

The proposer needs to be informed if the offer made by him is accepted, but he cannot insist on him being informed of its non-acceptance. It is the right of the offeree to accept the proposal or not to accept it.

6. An offer once rejected cannot be accepted until it is renewed.

A rejected offer is dead offer and needs to be revived before it can be considered for acceptance.

7. Acceptance may be express or implied

Express acceptance may be written or by word of mouth whereas implied acceptance could be reflected by the action or behavior of the person accepting the offer. The later is also called tacit acceptance. According to Section 8 of the Act,tacit acceptance can be acceptance by performing conditions or acceptance by receiving consideration.

8. An action without the knowledge of the proposal is no acceptance

Without the knowledge of the proposal, even if the action conforms to the conditions of the proposal, it does not constitute an acceptance. Acceptance can be given only by the person to whom the proposal is made.

9. Acceptance can only be given by the person to whom the offer is made

This  is true of a specific proposal which  can only be accepted by the person to whom it is made.

10. Acceptance must be made before the lapse or withdrawal of an offer.

If the person making the offer has set a time limit for its acceptance, the offer must be accepted within that time.

Law of Contract (1872):Nature of contract; Classification; Offer and acceptance; Capacity of parties to contract; Free consent; Consideration; Legality of object; Agreement declared void

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