Acceptance is defined under Section 2(b) of the Indian Contracts Act, 1872 as giving assent to the proposal. A proposal, when accepted becomes a promise.
The acceptance must be communicated to the offeror or his agent.
Only the acceptor must communicate (Section 4).
If any procedure was given by the offeror to communicate offeree’s acceptance, then it must be communicated in the same way, unless until there’s a reasonable cause.
Acceptance must be absolute and unconditional.
Communication of acceptance should be made by acceptor himself to the offeree and not anyone else.
In the case of Boulton v. Jones, A, B, C are the Parties (Brocklehurst, Hones, Boulton). A had a business, he used to supply the goods demanded by B. Due to some circumstances A sold his business to C. B ordered some goods thinking the owner is A. Since C received the order of demand of goods, he supplied goods to B. Later B came to know about C. Since the transactions were made between B and C, B didn’t pay the amount for the goods received. C filed the case against B for the amount to be received for the goods supplied. It was held that there is no contract as the Parties are unknown to each other. Jones is not liable to pay the amount.
In the case of Powel v. Lee, it was stated that Acceptance must be given before the offer is revoked or offer lapses. Some school authorities gave an advertisement for Head Master post. ‘A’ applied for it and they selected him, but it was not conveyed to him, he knew it through his friend. Later, he told the news to everybody. The very next day, the school authorities announced that some other person was selected and appointed. So, ‘A’ filed a case against them. The court held that since no official appointment letter was given there is no contract between them and school authorities are not liable.
Acceptance by conduct: When communication is not necessary, acceptance can also be interpreted through conduct.
Acceptance by external manifestation or overt act.
In the case of Brogden v. Metropolitan Railway Co., Brogden and sons used to supply coal to the railway company. There was an oral agreement between them every time. Once, Brogden proposed to have a written contractual document. They made some new T & C and made a contract in a meeting. Brogden & Sons hiked the price. Railway Co. asked to change the means of transportation. When they wanted to file a case they should approach arbitrator as there was an arbitration clause in the contract. Due to some differences between them, Brogden stopped supplying coal to Railway Co. and Railway Co. filed a case on Brogden & Sons. Brogden filed an appeal. Both the parties signing the contract followed the new T & C for some time. Railway Co. stated that there was a standing offer in new T & C and Brogden can’t stop supplying coal.
Offeror cannot impose the Burden of Refusal. Provisional acceptance (conditional acceptance) is no acceptance.
Acceptance must be made in a prescribed manner. When no manner is prescribed usual and reasonable manner has to be followed.
Acceptance by Velanati Jyothirmai at Lex Cliq