Acceptance means giving consent to the offer. It 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 defines 'acceptance' as "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". Nepal Contract Act, 2056 section 2(c) defines that acceptance is the consent given by the person to whom an offer has been presented and it is based in the same meaning of that offer.
According to S.W.Anson; "Acceptance of an offer is the expression by words or conduct of assent to the terms of the offer in the manner prescribed or indicated by the offerer."
Rules regarding to Acceptance
The acceptance of an offer is very essential factor to constitute a contract. To avoid the possibility of a dispute over the contract the following rules are in practice. A valid acceptance should have to fulfill the following rules:
- Express or implied acceptance:
Acceptance may be made in express or implied form. If acceptance is made by words, spoken or written form known as express and it is made by conduct is known as implied acceptance.
- Offer can be acceptance by the offeree:
An offer can be accepted only by the offeree. Rest persons who are not indicated by the offer have no right to make an acceptance if they do so the acceptance is not regarded as valid.
- The acceptance must be communicated to the offerer:
The acceptance must be communicated to the parties to create a valid contract. Remaining silent or doing nothing can not be regarded as a valid acceptance. Only accepting the offer is no enough, notice of acceptance should be given to offerer.
- Acceptance must be absolute and unconditional:
In order to create a valid contract, the offeree has to accept all the terms of the offer absolutely and unconditionally. Partial or conditional acceptance of the offer does not amount a valid offer but create a counter offer.
- Acceptance must be communicated in usual or prescribed manner:
It is better to communicate acceptance of the offer in a prescribed or usual or reasonable manner within the given time. If it differs, the offerer may reject the acceptance. e.g. Ram makes an offer to Shyam and says; "If you accept the offer reply by post." Shyam sends the reply by phone that acceptance is not according to the mode as prescribed in offer.
- Acceptance must be given within prescribed time:
Rita made an offer to Sita asking that; 'Sita' will you sale your car to me for Rs.500000. If you agree, send me notice within 7days after the received this proposal. Sita accepts the offer of Rita. But she made notice after 9 days from the received of such offer. This is not a valid acceptance because the prescribed time for accepting offer has already been lapsed.
- Acceptance must be given after receiving the offer:
Acceptance must be given after receiving the offer if the acceptance is made before receiving the offer is not regarded as valid acceptance.
- Acceptance must be before the offer lapses or revokes:
To create a valid contract acceptance must be communicated before lapses or revokes of an offer. After a lapse or revocation of the offer there is no validity of the acceptance.
- Acceptance by silence is not valid:
A silent acceptance can not be communicated and is not evident by any words or conduct such an acceptance can not create a valid contract.