What is Acceptance? How can an offer be Accepted? Who can accept an Offer?

In simple words, acceptance is an expression by the offeree of his willingness to be bound by the terms of the offer. According to Section 2(b) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, When the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent thereto, the proposal is aid to be accepted. A proposal when accepted becomes a promise. It can also be said that an acceptance is the consent given to an offer. An offer can be accepted only by the person or persons to whom it is made.

In case where the offer is made to a particular person (specific offer), it can only be accepted by that person and no one else. An offer may either be express or implied. The acceptance when given by words, spoken or written is known as an express acceptance. And where it is depicted by conduct it is implied acceptance.

The acceptance of an offer must fulfill the following conditions so as to be effective and accepted:

Acceptance must be absolute and unqualified: According to Section 7(1) of the Indian Contract Act, In order to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must be absolute and unqualified. That is, an offer must be accepted without any reservations, variation or condition.

Acceptance must be in the prescribed manner: In case the offerer has prescribed a manner of acceptance then the acceptance must be made in accordance it with. When the offer is not accepted in the prescribed manner, it is up to the offerer to accept or to reject such acceptance. And in case he decides to reject the acceptance then he is required to inform the acceptor within a reasonable time.

Acceptance must be communicated: Acceptance is complete only wheal it is communicated to the offerer. A mental acceptance which is not evidenced by words or conduct is treated as acceptance.

Acceptance must be communicated by a person who has the authority to accept: Acceptance must be communicated by the offeree himself or by a person who has the authority to accept. That is, if acceptance is communicated by an unauthorized person then it does not give rise to legal relations.

Acceptance must be made within the time prescribed or within a reasonable time: The acceptance must be given within the time prescribed or within a reasonable time which is further dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Acceptance must be given before the offer lapses or is withdrawn: The acceptance must be given before the offer lapses or is withdrawn; otherwise it does not give rise to legal obligations.

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