THE CONTRACT ACT, 1872
PRELIMINARY. CHAPTER I. CHAPTER II. CHAPTER III. CHAPTER IV. CHAPTER V. CHAPTER VI. CHAPTER VII. CHAPTER VIII. CHAPTER IX. CHAPTER X. CHAPTER XI. SCHEDULE. Of The Communication, Acceptance And Revocation Of Proposals. Of The Contracts, Voidable Contracts Ad Void Agreements. Of Contingent Contracts. Of The Performance Of Contracts. Of Certain Relations Resembling Those Created By Contract. Of The Consequences Of Breach Of Contracts. Sale Of Goods. Of Indemnity And Gurantee. Of Bailment. Agency. Of Partnership.
CHAPTER I OF THE COMMUNICATION, ACCEPTANCE AND REVOCATION OF PROPOSALS
CHAPTER I OF THE COMMUNICATION, ACCEPTANCE AND REVOCATION OF PROPOSALS 3. Communication, acceptance and revocation of proposals. The communication of proposals, the acceptance of proposals, and the revocation of proposals and acceptances, respectively, are deemed to be made by any act or omission of the party proposing, accepting or revoking, by which he intends to communicate such proposal, acceptance or revocation, or which has the effect of communicating it. COMMENTS What is communication?---As the words of this section stand it would seem that some sort of communication of a proposal, etc., is made by an act which is intended to communicate it, but in fact has not that effect, and that such an inchoate communication fails to have legal effect only because the specific provisions of S. 4 prevent it from being complete. It would seem both simpler and more rational to say that an act intended to communicate a proposal, etc., but failing to do so, is not a communication at all. To get this sense from the section before us we should have to read "and" for "or" in the last clause. There are not any corresponding words in the Commissioners’ draft. It is matter of the commonest experience that the communication of intentions may be effectually made in many other ways besides written, spoken, or signalled words. For example, delivery of goods by their owner to a man who has offered to buy them for a certain price will be understood by every one, unless there be some indication to the contrary, to signify acceptance of that offer. No words are needed, again, to explain the intent with which a man steps into a ferryboat or a tramcar, or drops a coin into an automatic machine. It is also possible for parties to hold communication by means of prearranged signs not being any form of cipher or secret writing, and not having in themselves any commonly understood meaning. This does not often occur in matters of business. Means of communication which a man has prescribed or authorised are generally taken as against him
to be sufficient. Otherwise an unexecuted intention to communicate something, or even an unsuccessful attempt, cannot be treated as amounting to a communication; much less can a mere mental act of assent have such an effect in any case. Communication of special conditions.---In recent times there has been a series of cases in which the first question is whether the proposal of special terms has been effectually communicated. This arises where a contract for the conveyance of a passenger, or for the carriage or custody of goods, for reward, is made by the delivery to the passenger or owner of a ticket containing or referring to special conditions limiting the undertaker's liability, and nothing more is done to call attention to those conditions. If the defendant has established that the document was contractual, he must further prove that he did what was reasonably sufficient to give the plaintiff notice of the conditions. This is a question of fact. It has been held that there is sufficient notice if the face of railway ticket refers to conditions on the back, which are not expressly reproduced, but incorporated by a reference to the time-tables of the railway company;...