Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Contract Act_Practical Problems_39

An artist offers to sell a painting to an industrialist for Rs. 10,000. The industrialist offers to buy it for Rs. 8,000, which is not accepted. The industrialist then sends a cheque for Rs. 10,000 and asks the artist to sell the painting to him. Comment on the legal position.

Section 7 of the Indian Contract Act requires that an acceptance to be valid must be absolute and unqualified. In other words, an offer should be accepted "as it is without any 'ifs' and 'buts'." An acceptance with a variation, however slight, is no acceptance, and amounts to a mere counter-offer which the offer or may or may not accept. Even where the offeree subsequently changes his mind and is prepared to accept the offer as per original terms, it shall be deemed as a fresh offer from him which may or may not be acceptable to the original offerer. Thus, in the given case, the artist shall have the option to accept or refuse the cheque for Rs. 10,000 since the sending of cheque for the original offer amount shall be deemed as a fresh proposal from the industrialist.

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