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Principle: Acceptance of a Proposal Must Be Absolute and Unqualified. - Legal Reasoning

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The principle is to be applied to the given facts and to choose the most appropriate option:

Principle: Acceptance of a proposal must be absolute and unqualified.

Facts: ‘A’ made a proposal to sell his motorcycle to ‘B’ for rupees 25, 000/­. ‘B’ agreed to buy it for rupees 24,000/­. ‘A’ sold his motorcycle to ‘C’ for 26,000/­ the next day. ‘B’ sues ‘A’ for damages.


  • ‘B’ will get the difference of rupees 1,000/­ only.

  • ‘B’ will not get any damages from ‘A’.

  • ‘B’ will get damages from ‘A’

  • ‘B’ can proceed against ‘C’

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‘B’ will not get any damages from ‘A’.


According to Section 7 of the Contract Act, the acceptance must be absolute and unqualified. It must correspond with all the terms of the offer. Conditional acceptance is not an acceptance. In case of a variation in terms of acceptance, there is no acceptance but a counteroffer, which the proposer is free to accept or refuse. A counteroffer destroys the original  offer. Thus, the offerer cannot revert to the original offer and purport to accept it. (Trollope & Colls Ltd. v  Atomic Power Construction ltd (1963)).   
In the given problem, 'A' is the offerer and 'B' makes a  counteroffer to 'A'. 'B' agrees to buy the motorbike from 'A' which is a new offer from B which was not accepted by 'A'. On selling the motorbike to 'C', 'A'  does not violate a contract and thus, 'B' cannot sue 'A'  for damages.   

Concept: Law of Torts (Entrance Exams)
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