Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Invitation to Offer

 INVITATION TO OFFER

An offer is distinct from statement short of being an offer made during negotiations; an expression of intention, and an invitation to offer/treat. The person accepting the invitation to offer is said to make the offer.

Invitation to offer/treat: Not an offer

  • Pre contractual representations

  • Required for information

  • Statement of intention

Examples of invitation to offer

  • Catalogue and display of goods

  • Railway timetable

  • Quotation of lowest price

  • Announcement to hold auction

  • Hotel menu card

  • Price tags

  • An advertisement inviting tenders

  • Loud speaker announcements

  • A price list of goods for sale

  • Banker's catalogue of charges

  • Prospectus issued by company.

Section 8 of the Contracts Act, 1872 deals with the Acceptance by performing conditions, or receiving consideration.

In the case of Har Bhajan Lal v. Har Charan Lal, a boy went missing. His father published about him in pamphlets and circulated it. Har Bhajan Lal received one of it and one day he went to railway station. He saw a boy speaking to a Kooli and identified him and took him to the police station. In the pamphlets father stated that he will award Rs. 500 to whoever finds his son. When police gave telegram about his son to the father, he came to the police station. When Har Bhajan Lal asked to give Rs. 500, he (boy’s father) refused. Har Bhajan Lal filed a case before the court against boy’s father. Court held that when an offer comes into public and refers to public in general, even though it is hand bill/placard/pamphlets it becomes a general offer. So, the father was made liable to pay Rs. 500.

Where a General offer is of continuing nature, as it was, it will be open for acceptance to any number of persons until it is retracted. But where an offer requires some information as to a missing thing it is closed as soon as the first information comes in.

In the case of Henderson v. Stevenson, ‘H’ is a traveler and ‘S’ is the owner of a ship. Ship is going from Dublin to whit heaven. ‘H’ wanted to travel and took tickets. On the face of the tickets, it was written as ‘Dublin’ to white heaven and on the back of the ticket it was written we are not responsible for passengers’ luggage. During the travel due to the negligence of the servant, H lost luggage. The T & C weren’t notified in the proper way. Here, it was mentioned on the backside of ticket and there’s no indication to look at the back. Defence was taken stating that it was printed in the back side of the ticket and its passenger duty to check. The Court held that it was the duty of the ship owner to properly notify it to the passenger.

The court gave some guidelines.

  1. It must be printed on the face of ticket.

  2. Some implication must be made to look at the back side of the ticket.


Invitation to Offer by Velanati Jyothirmai at Lex Cliq


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