Communication of Offer, Acceptance and Revocation in Contracts

Communication of Offer: In simple terms, when people make a deal or promise that can be backed up by the law, it’s called a contract under Section 2(h) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. This agreement could be written down or just spoken. The key is that there’s something legal that ties everyone involved. So, whether it’s a rental agreement, a job contract, a loan deal, a sale agreement, or an insurance policy, these are all examples of contracts that the law recognizes and can enforce. It’s like a way of making sure everyone sticks to their word in a way that the law understands.

What is an Offer

In simple terms, when someone suggests to another person that they’re willing to do something or not do something, with the hope of getting the other person’s agreement to act or not act in return, that’s called making an offer. The person making the offer is called the offeror or promisor, and the person it’s made to, the one who accepts it, is the offeree or promise. So, for instance, if your friend X says, “Hey, want to buy my car for Rs. 5,00,000?” – that’s an offer. It’s like putting the idea out there to start a deal between you two.

Types of Offers

An offer can be of four types:

Expressed Offer: When someone writes down an offer and then talks about it, that’s what we call an expressed offer. So, if they put it on paper and then spill the details in a conversation, that’s the deal.

Implied Offer: No paperwork, no chit-chat, but the person’s actions scream, “I’m up for it!” That’s an implied offer. They might not say it outright, but their behavior says they’re ready to commit.

Specific Offer: If someone makes an offer and it’s meant for a particular person or a group, that’s a specific offer. It’s like a personal invite just for them.

General Offer: A general offer is like tossing an invitation to the whole town square. It’s out there for everyone to see, but only the person who actually grabs it and says, “I’m in!” is the one entering the deal, not the entire crowd.

What is meant by Acceptance

In simple terms, acceptance in the context of contracts is like saying “yes” to a deal. According to the Indian Contract Act, 1872, when someone makes an offer (let’s call them the offeror), and the other person (the offeree) agrees to it, that agreement is termed acceptance. It’s like when X offers to sell a car to Y for Rs. 5,00,000, and Y says, “Sure, I’m in!” Once there’s acceptance, it transforms the offer into a promise, creating a valid contract between X and Y.

Now, this acceptance thing can be communicated in different ways. If Y puts it in writing or says it out loud, that’s expressed acceptance. So, if Y writes a letter saying, “I want to buy the book for Rs. 200,” that’s expressed acceptance. But here’s the cool part – acceptance isn’t always about words. If Y does something that shows he’s keen on buying the book, even without explicitly saying it, that’s implied acceptance. It’s like actions speaking louder than words. So, whether it’s a clear “yes” on paper or just a nod through actions, acceptance seals the deal and makes the contract a real thing.

Elements of a Valid Acceptance

The following are the most important elements where an acceptance made by the offeree/promise is deemed to be valid:

  • The agreement becomes official only when the person accepting it does so without any conditions. In simpler terms, you can’t change the deal and still consider it accepted.
  • The acceptance has to be given willingly and without any pressure, tricks, or threats. It’s important that both parties agree without feeling forced.
  • It’s not just about saying yes; the person accepting the offer should really mean it. Their actions should show that they genuinely want to be a part of the deal.
  • Acceptance needs to be properly communicated back to the person who made the offer. Whether it’s through words or actions, it’s important that both parties are on the same page.
  • If there’s a deadline mentioned in the offer, the acceptance must happen within that time frame. Punctuality matters in the world of agreements!
  • Acceptance should be wholehearted and without any additional conditions. You can’t say yes, but… or agree with some changes. It’s a straightforward “yes” or “no.”
  • Just because someone doesn’t say no doesn’t mean they’re saying yes. It’s crucial to actually communicate your acceptance instead of assuming that silence means agreement. Communication is key!

Communication of Offer and Acceptance

In order for a deal to be legit, both sides need to talk it out. If someone proposes something but doesn’t tell the other person, it doesn’t count. And vice versa, if you agree to something but keep it to yourself, it doesn’t really mean anything legally between you two. So basically, you gotta keep the conversation going for a contract to be real and binding.

Communication of Offer

Section 4 of the Indian Contract Act says that the communication of an offer is complete when it comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made and when the letter containing the offer is received and acknowledged by the offeree. For example, X of Agra has sent his offer via letter by post to Y of Lucknow, offering to sell his property for Rs. 10 lakhs.

The letter is posted on March 5, and this letter reaches Y on March 7. Thus, it can be said that the communication of the offer made by the offeror/promisor was completed on March 7. And if, by any chance, the letter containing the offer never reaches Y, but Y comes to know about the proposal from some of the other sources and thereafter sends his acceptance to X, it will not amount to any proper communication of the offer, and thus there will be no valid contract.

Communication of Acceptance

When it comes to accepting an offer, the rules play out a bit differently for the person making the offer and the one receiving it. According to Section 4 of the Indian Contract Act, the communication of acceptance is considered complete in two stages. First, for the person making the offer (the proposer), acceptance is complete when the message is sent in a way that is beyond the control of the acceptor.

Second, for the person receiving the offer (the offeree), acceptance is only binding when the proposer becomes aware of it. In simple terms, the offeror is bound by the acceptance once the acceptor sends the acceptance letter, but the acceptor is only bound when the letter reaches the offeror. It’s crucial for the acceptor to ensure the acceptance letter is correctly addressed, properly stamped, and actually posted, as failure to do so means the acceptance won’t be considered binding upon the offeror.

Revocation of Offer and Acceptance

The term ‘revocation’ basically means ‘taking back’ or ‘withdrawing.’ It’s like changing your mind or saying, “Oops, never mind!” Interestingly, both the offer and acceptance in a deal can be taken back, but there’s a catch – you can only do it up to a certain point. It’s like having a window of time where you can change your decision, and after that, it’s a bit like closing the door on the option to change your mind.

Revocation of Offer

In simpler terms, if you make an offer to someone in India, you have the right to change your mind and take back the offer before the other person accepts it completely. Once the person has accepted your offer by, let’s say, posting a letter, you can’t change your mind anymore. So, if you decide to cancel your offer, you have to do it before the other person gets their acceptance letter.

It’s important to be clear and straightforward in telling them that you’re canceling the offer—you can’t just assume they’ll figure it out. And if your offer was something like a general announcement, you have to cancel it in the same way you made it in the first place. So, communication is key in these situations!

Revocation of Acceptance

According to Section 5 of the ICA (Indian Contract Act), once you’ve accepted an offer, you can change your mind and cancel your acceptance as long as the acceptance letter hasn’t been sent out yet. Simply put, the person accepting the offer gets the upper hand in terms of timing—it’s all about when the offeror finds out. So, if you’re the one accepting, feel free to withdraw your acceptance anytime before the person making the offer gets your acceptance letter. Once they’ve got it in their hands, though, you’re committed, and there’s no turning back.

Communication of Revocation

In simpler terms, according to Section 4 of the Indian Contract Act, when you decide to cancel or revoke something (let’s say an offer or agreement):

  1. If you’re the one revoking, your message is considered delivered when you’ve sent it on its way and you can’t take it back. Once it’s in motion to the other person, you can’t change your mind.
  2. If you’re on the receiving end, the revocation is official when you actually find out about it. So, it’s not official until you know what’s going on.


So, think of making an offer or saying yes to a deal like having a conversation. You can change your mind before everything’s set in stone. It’s like suggesting something can be taken back before the other person agrees, and even if they agree, they can still change their mind before telling you. Now, with all this tech stuff, like e-contracts and smart contracts, it’s like we’re updating the rulebook. We probably need to tweak the laws a bit to catch up with how we talk and make deals online. You know, make it all modern and easy to understand.

Read Also: Mental Incompetency and Contracts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Article

Get the best CLAT Coaching in India

CLAT NEXT programs are meticulously designed to emphasize the finest details, foster a problem-solving environment, and master all the techniques necessary to achieve the desired score.


CLAT NEXT is renowned as the premier coaching institute for law entrances, offering specialized training for CLAT and AILET. Their comprehensive approach and personalized resources empower students to excel in these competitive exams, ensuring a path to success for aspiring law professionals.

Copyright © 2023 | All Rights Reserved.

This website is managed by Digit Innovation Private Limited.