Question: When can acceptance be revoked? [RJS 1988] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When can acceptance be revoked?] Answer If a contract is to be made, the offeree must accept the offer. Acceptance of an offer is the expression, by words or conducts, assent to the terms of the offer in the… Read More »

Question: When can acceptance be revoked? [RJS 1988] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When can acceptance be revoked?] Answer If a contract is to be made, the offeree must accept the offer. Acceptance of an offer is the expression, by words or conducts, assent to the terms of the offer in the manner prescribed or indicated by the offeror. According to English law an acceptance once made is irrevocable. In the words of Anson: “Acceptance is to offer what...

Question: When can acceptance be revoked? [RJS 1988]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When can acceptance be revoked?]

Answer

If a contract is to be made, the offeree must accept the offer. Acceptance of an offer is the expression, by words or conducts, assent to the terms of the offer in the manner prescribed or indicated by the offeror.

According to English law an acceptance once made is irrevocable. In the words of Anson: “Acceptance is to offer what a lighted match is to a train of gunpowder. Both do something which cannot be undone.”

This rule is obviously confined in its operation only to postal acceptance. It is suggested in Anson that in other cases “an acceptance can be revoked at any time before acceptance is complete, provided, of course, that the revocation itself is communicated before the acceptance arrives”. In India, on the other hand, acceptance is generally revocable. An acceptor may cancel his acceptance by a speedier mode of communication which will reach earlier than the acceptance itself.

Section 5 of The Indian Contract Act provides that acceptance may be revoked at any time before the communication of the acceptance is complete as against the acceptor, but not afterwards. He should adopt a speedier mode of communication which will reach earlier than the acceptance of the offer. However, if they reach at the same time, the acceptance will be deemed to have been revoked.

For example, ‘A’ proposes, by a letter sent by post, to sell his house to ‘B’. B accepts the proposal by a letter sent by post. A may revoke his proposal at any time before or at the moment when B posts his letter of acceptance, but not afterwards.

Since the general rule is that acceptance is not complete until it has been communicated to the offeror, it follows that an acceptance can be revoked at any time before this occurs, provided, of course, that the revocation itself is communicated before the acceptance arrives.

That this should be the principle is further borne out by Countess of Dunmore v. Alexander [(1830) 9 Shaw 190] a proposal of service made by a letter was sent through an agent. The agent received the acceptance and forwarded it to the principal, but the principal was away that day. The next day the agent received the revocation and forwarded it to the principal, who received the two letters together. The revocation was held to be effective, the court saying that “the admission that the two letters were received together puts an end to the case.”


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 7 Jan 2022 1:41 AM GMT
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