Section 1 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872
Title: Short title.
This Act may be called the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
Extent, Commencement.--It extends to the whole of India 1[2***]; and it shall come into force on the first day of September, 1872.
Saving--3*** Nothing herein contained shall affect the provisions of any Statute, Act or Regulation not hereby expressly repealed, nor any usage or custom of trade, nor any incident of any contract, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
1. Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s. 3 and Sch., for "except Part B States."
2. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 34 of 2019, s. 95 and the Fifth Schedule (w.e.f. 31-10- 2019).
3. The words "The enactments mentioned in the Schedule hereto are repealed to the extent specified in the third column thereof, but" rep. by Act 10 of 1914, s. 3 and Sch. II.
In this Act the following words and expressions are used in the following senses, unless a contrary intention appears from the context:—
(a) When one person signifies to another his willingness to do or to abstain from doing anything, with a view to obtaining the assent of that other to such act or abstinence, he is said to make a proposal;
(b) When the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent thereto, the proposal is said to be accepted. A proposal, when accepted, becomes a promise;
(c) The person making the proposal is called the "promisor", and the person accepting the proposal is called the "promisee";
(d) When, at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any other person has done or abstained from doing, or does or abstains from doing, or promises to do or to abstain from doing, something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise;
(e) Every promise and every set of promises, forming the consideration for each other, is an agreement;
(f) Promises which form the consideration or part of the consideration for each other are called reciprocal promises;
(g) An agreement not enforceable by law is said to be void;
(h) An agreement enforceable by law is a contract;
(i) An agreement which is enforceable by law at the option of one or more of the parties thereto, but not at the option of the other or others, is a voidable contract;
(j) A contract which ceases to be enforceable by law becomes void when it ceases to be enforceable.
Title: 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.
Title: Communication when complete.
The communication of a proposal is complete when it comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made.
The communication of an acceptance is complete,
as against the proposer, when it is put in a course of transmission to him, so as to be out of the power of the acceptor;
as against the acceptor, when it comes to the knowledge of the proposer.
The communication of a revocation is complete,
as against the person who makes it, when it is put into a course of transmission to the person to whom it is made, so as to be out of the power of the person who makes it;
as against the person to whom it is made, when it comes to his knowledge.
(a) A proposes, by letter, to sell a house to B at a certain price.
The communication of the proposal is complete when B receives the letter.
(b) B accepts As proposal by a letter sent by post.
The communication of the acceptance is complete,
as against A when the letter is posted;
as against B, when the letter is received by A.
(c) A revokes his proposal by telegram.
The revocation is complete as against A when the telegram is despatched. It is complete as against B when B receives it.
B revokes his acceptance by telegram. Bs revocation is complete as against B when the telegram is despatched, and as against A when it reaches him.
Title: Revocation of proposals and acceptances
A proposal may be revoked at any time before the communication of its acceptance is complete as against the proposer, but not afterwards.
An acceptance may be revoked at any time before the communication of the acceptance is complete as against the acceptor, but not afterwards.
A proposes, by a letter sent by post, to sell his house to B.
B accepts the proposal by a letter sent by post.
A may revoke his proposal at any time before or at the moment when B posts his letter of acceptance, but not afterwards.
B may revoke his acceptance at any time before or at the moment when the letter communicating it reaches A, but not afterwards.
Amendment of section 5 of Act (9 of 1872).--In section 5 of Indian contract Act, 1872, hereinafter in this Chapter referred to as the principal Act, at the end of the first paragraph, the following explanation shall inserted, namely:--
"Explanation--Where an invitation to a proposal contains a condition that any proposal made in response to such invitation shall be kept open for a specified time and a proposal is thereupon made accepting such condition, such proposal may not be revoked within such time."
[Vide Uttar Pradesh Act, 57 of 1976, s. 2]