Byrne & Co


Leon Van Tien Hoven & Co.

The Indian Contract Act, 1872

Provisions Involved

Contract law


An offer was made by the defendants to the plaintiff regarding the sale of 1000 boxes of tin plates on October 1. The defendant resided in Cardiff whereas the plaintiff resided in New York. The offer was made via letter which took 11-12 days for the letter to reach plaintiffs who received the letter on October 11 and made their acceptance on the same day via telex and posted a letter of acceptance on October 15. Meanwhile the offer was revoked by the defendant through post on October 8 and the same was received by plaintiff on October 20. The plaintiff brought an action against non-performance of the contract.


The issue before the court was whether the contract was complete through acceptance posted by plaintiff via letter or whether the defendant has successfully revoked the offer before it could be accepted by the plaintiff?



In this case, the courtobserved that the revocation of offer was unsuccessful as a contract was madebetween the parties when the acceptance was posted through letter to thedefendants. Further, it was also held that the postal rule remains a good lawin terms of acceptance but it does not support the revocation of offer. As aresult, the revocation was not received by Byrne until 20th Octoberwhereas the contract was already concluded between the parties through letterof acceptance posted by plaintiff and thus the revocation was ineffective. Torule otherwise would be impractical for commercial realities.