Absolute Acceptance of Contract

Forums The Indian Contract Act, 1872 Absolute Acceptance of Contract

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  • #3067

    As per Section. 7 of the Indian Contracts Act, “Acceptance must be absolute.—In order to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must— (1) be absolute and unqualified”
    Ques: How is the ‘absoluteness’ defined?

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    • #3068

      Acceptance of a particular offer requires obedience of the words written or implied. An agreement involves acceptance in two ways – Conditional or Absolute. Either the terms are echoed or some twists are tied with them.
      Section 7 of the Indian Contract Act 1872, states that Acceptance by the promisor must be absolute and unqualified which means that clarity and unambiguity is a must in order to accept terms stated by the party in an absolute contract.
      If the words used in the offer accepted are beyond simplicity, it may lead to contingency which eliminates the firm identity of the offer. If the offer is accepted in relatively same way or words by the promisor, it makes the contract absolute. For instance if X offers to sell his car for 1 lakh rupees, then the acceptance is absolute when Y accepts to buy that car for 1 lakh rupees leaving no hidden clues or confusion.
      The word absolute means something which is definite and outright. Anything which is absolute means a path with no bypasses or diversions. Stating it in contractual terms, every contract has terms to agree upon contributing to its immortality. When a contractual relationship is established it is important that the terms are a one way street i.e not attached with certain conditions. The conditions attached to the primarily formulated terms make it a counter offer. As such any offer made must have terms with no conditions attached to it.
      Every contract commences with the introduction of an offer by a party. Acceptance of the terms of offer relies on the other party offered with a proposal. The other party can exercise its own discretion in order to accept the proposal only when he/she is satisfied with the terms offered. In case any variations are attached with the particular offer, the party has the choice either to stick with the current offer along with the conditions or reject the whole offer.
      Absoluteness of the contract strengthens the very objective of signing a contract. It ensures rigidity of the terms and values agreed leaving no ambiguity and confusions in the minds of the parties. Also it enables parties to have their interests alive even after the contract is concluded.

    • #3069

      To convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must be absolute which means it must be without any ambiguity so that the second party can understand it easily.

      Absolute acceptance represents the unconditional expression of the will of a person to conclude a contract on the terms offered by the other party. The acceptance must be absolute and without any room for doubt. If an acceptance contains additional terms, it becomes a conditional acceptance, as the person to whom the offer is made tells the offeror that he/she is willing to agree to the offer provided if some changes are made in its terms and conditions or some event. It becomes a counter offer as the offeree is offering to make changes in the contract.

    • #3070

      Acceptance must be ABSOLUTE as per the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
      It means that the acceptance should be without any condition. Acceptance with a condition does not count to mere acceptance but is termed as a counteroffer or a counter-proposal.
      If the offeree has signed acceptance with a condition, then in such a case the contract is not enforceable till the proposer accepts the variance. This is an example of a counter-proposal but is not considered as acceptance.
      Absoluteness also means that the offer must be communicated without any variation, so then acceptance made is considered absolute. If an offer has not been communicated, then in such case the acceptance can be revoked and the acceptance is not absolute.
      Acceptance must also be done without any duress or any kind of undue influence. In such cases, the contracts are voidable, if the acceptance is done while being kept under some kind of duress or influence. And the acceptance can also be not considered as absolute acceptance.
      If acceptance is given with false conditions then the contract is not enforceable and since the acceptance was given under false conditions, the acceptance cannot be considered absolute and the acceptance is revoked.
      In conclusion, acceptance can be considered as absolute when acceptance has been given without any variance, the conditions have been communicated between the parties, the acceptance has been given without any party being kept under duress or any undue influence, and also when the acceptance is given without any party being under pretenses.

    • #3776

      Indian contract act 1872 States few rules governing acceptance of an offer that include:
      Acceptance must be absolute and unqualified ( section 7)
      Unqualified here means unconditional which is the basic principle of acceptance. The offer and acceptance of an offer must be absolute without giving any room for doubt; i.e. the offree should assent to all the terms of the offer and not just a part of offer.
      Absoluteness also means there must be no variation or reservation including any counter-offer or cross-offer. Unless there is an absolute and and qualified acceptance, first stage of negotiation has not yet passed and no legal obligation is imposed. For example
      • X offers to sell his house for ₹ 50 lakhs to Y. Y agrees to accept the offer only if X buys his car for ₹ 5 lakhs.
      Here it cannot be considered that Y has accepted the proposal, since it imposes a condition.
      Acceptance of a proposal with conditions and reservation is no acceptance at all.
      For a valid acceptance there must be Consensus ad idem, which means that both the parties to the contract should agree on the same thing and in the same sense.
      Absoluteness of an acceptance is a very fundamental requirement of a contract, it makes sure that the terms and values agreed stays clear leaving no ambiguity and confusion in the minds of both the offeror as well as the offree. It also fullfills the actual purpose for which the parties entered into the said contract.

    • #4138

      Section 7 of the Indian Contract, 1872 states that in order to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must be absolute and unqualified. The offer and its acceptance must be absolute and unconditional, and should not be ambiguous. It should not create any room for doubt. The acceptance should not lack clarity at all.
      The offeree should agree to all the terms of the contract, not just a part of the contract. If the offeree makes any amends to any part of the contract, it does not amount to acceptance, as it is not absolute- it imposes a condition. In such cases, the first stage of negotiation has not passed. Hence, no legal obligation is imposed, unless there is absolute and unqualified acceptance. For example, X offers to sell his car to Y for 3 lakhs, Y agrees to the offer but wants to change the amount to 2.5 lakhs. This amounts to a counter-offer, which is not acceptance, since it is conditional.
      The basis of offer and acceptance can be summarised in three elements: certainty, commitment and communication. In the absence of any one of the elements, a valid contract cannot be made. Moreover, for valid acceptance, there must be consensus ad idem- both the parties to a contract should agree to the same thing in the same sense. For example, X owns 5 houses. X offers to sell a house to Y. While making the contract, X means to sell the house at 2nd Avenue, but Y thinks that X will sell the house at 5th Avenue. Here, the parties to the contract are not on the same page, they are not agreeing to the same thing in the same sense. Besides, acceptance must not be given under any undue influence or coercion. The offeree should accept the contract, on his own free will; otherwise, it would not amount to absolute and valid acceptance.

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