News By/Courtesy: Nikshetaa Jain | 28 May 2020 13:25pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Offer must not be vague
  • The offer must be communicated
  • All terms and condition of the offer must be communicated

An offer has been defined in section 2(a) of the Indian Contract Act, 1972 as when one person signifies to another his willingness to do or abstain from doing anything, intending to obtain the assent of that other to such act or abstinence, he is said to propose. The first essential of an offer is that it must be specific, definite, and not vague. A contract cannot come into existence if the terms of the offer are hazy and indefinite. The proposal must be so precise that the rights and obligations of the parties arising out of the contract can be easily fixed. 
In Taylor v Portington, the offer was that if the house was put through repairs and the drawing-room was handsomely decorated according to the contemporary style, a contract for the lease of a home for three years at 85 euros per annum would be formed. The terms "handsomely decorated" and "present style" was held to be vague and indefinite. 
The second essential is that the offer must be communicated. Section 4 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 states that the communication of a proposal is complete when it comes to the knowledge of the offeree. In Lalman Shukla v Gauri Dutt, the defendant's nephew ran away from home. He sent his servant to search for the boy. After the servant had left, the defendant offered to pay Rs 501 to anybody who would discover the boy. After tracing the missing child, the servant came to know about the offer. The court held that since the servant did not know about the offer, there was no acceptance. 
The third essential is that all terms and conditions of the offer must be communicated. Notice of all the terms and conditions should be given before or at the time of the contract. A subsequent notification will amount to a modification of the original agreement. In Olley v Marlborough Ltd., a couple hired a hotel room and pad a week's rent in advance. When they went to occupy the room, there was a notice on one of the walls stating, "The proprietors will not be held t responsible for the articles lost or stolen, unless handed to the managers for safe custody." Their property was stolen due to the negligence of the hotel staff. The defendant was held liable as the court held that the notice was not part of the agreement. 
The fourth essential is that the offer must not bind the other party to accept. An offeror cannot impose upon the offeree the burden of refusal. The offeror cannot say that if no answer is received within the specified time, the same shall be deemed to be accepted.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 03 Jun 2020 14:28pm IST


Tags : #proposal, section 2(a) of the Indian Contract Act

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