Question: A wrote to B offering to purchase his car for a particular price and also added that in the event of B not replying to him, A would consider the proposal to have been accepted. B does not reply. Is there a contract? Will B succeed? [HJS 1996] Find the answer to the mains question only on… Read More »

Question: A wrote to B offering to purchase his car for a particular price and also added that in the event of B not replying to him, A would consider the proposal to have been accepted. B does not reply. Is there a contract? Will B succeed? [HJS 1996] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A wrote to B offering to purchase his car for a particular price and also added that in the event of B not replying to him, A would consider the proposal to have been accepted. B...

Question: A wrote to B offering to purchase his car for a particular price and also added that in the event of B not replying to him, A would consider the proposal to have been accepted. B does not reply. Is there a contract? Will B succeed? [HJS 1996]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A wrote to B offering to purchase his car for a particular price and also added that in the event of B not replying to him, A would consider the proposal to have been accepted. B does not reply. Is there a contract? Will B succeed?]

Answer

A contract being the result of a proposal made by one party and, acceptance of that very proposal by the other, acceptance of proposal and intimation of acceptance by some external manifestation that the law regards as sufficient is necessary. As a general rule, an offeree who does nothing in response to the proposal is not bound by its terms.

The acceptance of an offer cannot be implied from the silence of the offeree or his failure to answer, unless the offeree has by his previous conduct indicated that his silence means that he accepts.

Silence is not an effective expression of intention, nor is inaction. The reason is that silence and inaction are by their nature equivocal, as there can be more than one reason for a person to be silent and inactive. Apart from not wanting to accept, an offeree may simply be forgetful or slow in responding to the proposal.

A publisher may, for example, without previous order, send a book to a prospective customer with a letter saying, in effect, ‘If you do not return the book by a certain day, I shall presume that you have bought it. It is clear that he cannot by these means impose a contract on the unwilling recipient.

The landmark case is of Felthouse v. Bindley [(1862) 11 CBNS 869], in which F offered by letter to buy his nephew’s horse for £30 15s, adding, ‘If I hear no more about him I shall consider the horse mine at £30 15s’. No answer was returned to this letter, but the nephew told B, an auctioneer, to keep the horse out of a sale of his farm stock, as he intended to reserve it for his uncle F. B sold the horse by mistake, and F sued him for conversion of his property.

The Court held that as the nephew had never signified to F his acceptance of the offer before the auction sale took place, there was no bargain to pass the property in the horse to F, and therefore he had no right to complain of the sale.

Therefore, applying the above logic and as sufficiently clear from the examples, it is clear that in the present case at hand, where A wrote to B offering to purchase his car for a particular price and also added that in the event of B not replying to him, A would consider the proposal to have been accepted. B does not reply. There is no conclusion of the contract as we can’t consider the silence of B amounting to acceptance of the offer of A. Thus, the claim of B will succeed because there is no acceptance from his side to the offer made by A.


Law of Contract Mains Questions Series: Important Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2022-01-06T06:20:38+05:30
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