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Section 38, Contract Act 1872: Effect Of Refusal To Accept Offer Of Performance

Section 38 under the Chapter IV (Of the performance of contracts, Contracts which must be performed) of the Contract Act, 1872 of India - 'Effect of refusal to accept offer of performance', is reproduced hereunder:—

“Where a promisor has made an offer of performance to the promisee, and the offer has not been accepted, the promisor is not responsible for non-performance, nor does he thereby lose his rights under the contract.

Every such offer must fulfil the following conditions—

(1) it must be unconditional;
(2) it must be made at a proper time and place, and under such circumstances that the person to whom it is made may have a reasonable opportunity of ascertaining that the person by whom it is made is able and willing there and then to do the whole of what he is bound by his promise to do;
(3) if the offer is an offer to deliver anything to the promisee, the promisee must have a reasonable opportunity of seeing that the thing offered is the thing which the promisor is bound by his promise to deliver.

An offer to one of several joint promisees has the same legal consequences as an offer to all of them.

Illustration

A contracts to deliver to B at his warehouse, on the first March, 1873, 100 bales of cotton of a particular quality. In order to make an offer of performance with the effect stated in this section, A must bring the cotton to B's warehouse, on the appointed day, under such circumstances that B may have a reasonable opportunity of satisfying himself that the thing offered is cotton of the quality contracted for, and that there are 100 bales.”

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