REVOCATION OF CONTRACT
There are two most essential terms related to contract i.e., offer and acceptance along with the other requirements of eligibility of the parties to contract, free consent and lawful consideration. The term offer is also known as proposal. Proposal is regarded as the first step to a contract. A proposal when accepted becomes a promise. If two parties are to enter into an agreement or a contract, one party must make an offer to the other party and the offer needs to be accepted by the other party along with lawful consideration in order to enter into a valid contract.
SECTION 2 – DEFINITION OF PROPOSAL
Section 2(a) of the Indian contract act defines ‘proposal’
“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”
Section 2(b) of the Indian contract act defines ‘promise’
“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”
REVOCATION OF CONTRACTS: MEANING
Revocation means cancellation or withdrawal. If any of the party to contact wants to withdraw the agreement or the contract then they can revoke or cancel the said agreement or contract at any point before the acceptance of the said agreement reaches the offeror but not afterwards.
Section 5 of the Indian Contract Act lays down,
“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.
A, a bride to be is not able to find a dress for her wedding day due to covid restrictions. Her friend B offers to sell her wedding dress to A. A sends a letter to B accepting her offer for the dress. A’s mother is not happy with the fact that her daughter will be wearing someone else’s dress on her wedding day so she convinces her not to buy B’s dress. A immediately mails B and revokes the promise.
MODES OF REVOCATION
Section 6 of the Indian Contract Act lays down the rules of how revocation should be made
1. NOTICE OF REVOCATION
In case of revocation of promise being made it is necessary to convey the revocation before the acceptance. It is necessary to make sure that mode of communicating the revocation is faster than the acceptance. A revocation is only effective if it is to be brought into the notice of the offeree,
2. LAPSE OF TIME
When an offer says that it stand valid only up to the stipulated time mentioned in the offer then the acceptance of the offer should be received by the offeror in that stipulated time period only to make it a valid contract. Even if the acceptance is communicated on time but did not reach the offeror within time then also the contract seems to stand valid.
3. FAILURE TO ACCEPT THE CONDITION PRECEDENT
When preconditions are made in the offer which are to be fulfilled by the acceptor t the time of acceptance the offer stands revoked if the preconditions to the acceptance are not accepted by fulfilling the precondition to acceptance.
4. DEATH OR INSANITY OF THE OFFEROR
An offer lapses with the death of the offeror condition being that the acceptor know the fact relating to the condition of the offeror before accepting the offer.
Thus, we come to terms that the Indian contract act not only provides a way to get into a contract but also provides ways of how to legally opt out of going into the contract.
Hence the principle of revocation of contract is laid down by the Indian contract act in order to cancel withdraw or revoke a contract. Section 5 and 6 lays down the principles and procedure of revocation of a promise or a contract.