When does an offer come to an end in a contract?
According to section 2(a) of the Indian contract act, 1872, defines an offer is “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 his said to make a proposal”.
Revocation (or) lapses of offer: Section 16, of the Indian contract act, 1872 deals with various modes of revocation of the offer. According to it, an offer is revoked/lapses (or) comes to an end under the following circumstances.
1) By communication of notice: An offeror may revoke his offer at any time before the acceptance by giving a simple notice of revocation, which can be either oral (or) written.
2) By lapse of reasonable time: An offer will revoke if it is not accepted within the prescribed/reasonable time. If however, no time is prescribed it lapses by the expiry of a reasonable time
3) By non-fulfillment of some conditions: When offeror has prescribed some conditions to be fulfilled and offeree/ acceptor fails to fulfill the conditions required to accept. In such a case offer will be revoked.
4) By death (or) insanity of the offeror: The death of the offeror does not automatically revoke the offer. When the death (or) insanity of the offeror provided the offeree comes to know before its acceptance it will be revoked. Otherwise, if he accepts an offer in ignorance of the death (or) insanity of the offeror, the acceptance is valid.
5) By a counteroffer: “counteroffer” means when the offeree/acceptor offers qualified acceptance of the offer subject to modifications and variations in the terms of the original offer. Therefore counter offer amounts to a rejection of the original offer.
6) By change in the law: An offer comes to an end if the law is changed so as to make the contract contemplated by the offer illegal (or) incapable of performance.
7) An offer is not accepted according to the prescribed (or) usual mode: If the offer is not accepted according to the prescribed (or) usual mode, provides offeror gives notice to the offeree within a reasonable time that the offer is not accepted according to the prescribed/usual mode. If the offeror keeps quiet, he is deemed to have accepted the offer.
8) By death (or) insanity of the offeree/acceptor.
9) By the destruction of the subject matter.