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CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY

PROJECT WORK FOR LAW OF


CONTRACTS
ON
POSTAL COMMUNICATION
Submitted to: Vijay Kumar Vimal Sir
Submitted by: Deepesh Kumar
Roll No: 922
B.A. LL.B (Hons.), 1
ST
Semester
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
It is not possible to prepare a project report without the assistance & encouragement of other
people. This one is certainly no exception.
On the very outset of this report, I would like to extend my sincere & heartfelt obligation towards
all the personages who have helped me in this endeavour. Without their active guidance, help,
cooperation & encouragement, I would not have made headway in the project. .
I am extremely thankful and pay my gratitude to my faculty Mr. Vijay Vimal Kumar for his
valuable guidance and support and, who took keen interest in my project work and guided me all
along, till the completion of my project work by providing all the necessary information for
developing a good system.
I extend my gratitude to Chanakya National Law University for giving me this opportunity. I
also acknowledge with a deep sense of reverence, my gratitude towards my parents and member
of my family, who has always supported me morally as well as economically.
My gratitude goes to all of my friends who directly or indirectly helped me to complete this
project report.
At last but not least I would like to thank Almighty God who gave me the strength and resolve to
complete this project.
Any omission in this brief acknowledgement does not mean lack of gratitude.

Thanking You
Deepesh Kumar.



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POSTAL COMMUNICATION AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN CONTRACT



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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Topic Page No:
1) INTRODUCTION.....5
AIM AND OBJECTIVE...7
HYPOTHESIS...7
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY7
2) CHAPTERIZATION:
a. Contracts Defined.8
b. Communication, Acceptance, Revocation of Proposals Defined.11
c. Post Office as an agent & its use in forming contract..15
d. Posting Rule or Mailbox Rule16
3) CONCLUSION21
4) BIBLIOGRAPHY23










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INTRODUCTION
POSTAL COMMUNICATION AND ITS RELEVANCE IN CONTRACTS:
Postal communications are a form of connecting to distant relatives, friends, colleagues or
organizations via letter writing or parcel delivery. Sending information along in the form of letter
was much cheaper than connecting long distance through a telegraph or telephone in the early to
mid twentieth century. Postal service was a relatively quick, reliable and affordable method of
communication. Now, sending an e-mail or making a long distance call to any part of the globe
is a much easier and effective form of communication. Regardless of this technology, sending a
hand written or type letter is still considered an effective means of communicating because it
remains the most inexpensive and a classic form of communication.
1

The mail or post is a system for physically transporting documents and other small packages, as
well as a name for the postcards, letters, and parcels themselves. A postal service can be private
or public, though many governments place restrictions on private systems. Since the mid-19th
century national postal systems have generally been established as government monopolies with
a fee on the article prepaid. Proof of payment is often in the form of adhesive postage stamps, but
postage meters are also used for bulk mailing. Modern private postal systems are typically
distinguished from national postal agencies by the names "courier" or "delivery service".
2

Postal authorities often have functions other than transporting letters. In some countries, a Postal
Telegraph and Telephone (PTT) service oversees the postal system as well as having authority
over telephone and telegraph systems. Some countries' postal systems allow for savings accounts
and handle applications for passports.
3

Modern postal service takes advantage of a great deal of modern technology that ranges from
delivery vehicles and sorting machines. There was a time when mails took months to arrive at its
destination. But today, delivery has been dramatically improved and it takes only days or weeks
for letters and parcels to arrive almost anywhere in the world. Conveyors and scanning are used

1
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/postal+communication.
2
http://www.ehow.com/info_7922539_postal-communications.html
3
Ibid.
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to quickly sort through mail and effectively organize it for most efficient delivery. Planes, trains,
mail trucks and mail carriers, are the life blood that makes postal communication possible and
efficient. Although not as fast as an e-mail, postal communications have improved beyond
imagination, in comparison to ancient messenger services.
4

About 4.5 million workers from the postal and telecommunications services sector are affiliated
to global union federations. Major trends include rapid technological developments, deregulation
and privatization, and the proliferation of new high-value services. Social dialogue plays a
significant role in developing joint strategies by the social partners to improve services, with the
common goal of extending access to postal and telecommunications services to all communities,
enhancing efficiency of delivery and reviewing prospects for the industry. A key issue in the
sector is respect for collective bargaining and avoiding breakdown in the provision of postal and
telecommunications services where possible.
5

Postal Communication plays an important role in the communication, acceptance and revocation
of proposal in forming a contract. The postal service acts as an agent for both person proposing a
contract and person accepting a contract. The first requisite of any contract is an agreement
(consisting of an offer and acceptance). At least two parties are required; one of them, the
offeror, makes an offer which the other, the offeree, accepts.
6

The general rule is that an acceptance must be communicated to the offeror. Until and unless the
acceptance is so communicated, no contract comes into existence and postal service plays an
important role in communicating the acceptance essential for the formation of contract.
7







4
http://www.stampsofindia.com/readroom/sdhpc.htm
5
http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/Infra_stat_2010/10.ch_post.pdf
6
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/forum/Postal-communication-responsibility-of-sender--84380.asp
7
http://www.deweydigger.com/social-sciences/postal-communication.htm
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AIM AND OBJECTIVE:
To study and understand what postal communication is.
To study how communication, revocation and acceptance of proposal is made through
postal communication.
To trace the relevance of postal communications in forming or revoking a contractual
relationship.

HYPOTHESIS:
Postal Communication plays an important role in forming a contractual relationship between
parties to a contract.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:
For the purpose of research work, doctrinal method will be used.
Doctrinal method includes conventional methods of research like library research, searching
upon some texts, writing or documents or through surfing the web.
The research is based on comprehensive study of sources like Indian Contract Act, 1872 and
other journals on contractual law.






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CONTRACTS DEFINED

According to sec. 2 (h) of Indian Contract Act, a Contract is defined as:
An agreement which is enforceable by law is a contract.
8

From this, it is clear that a Contract is an agreement creating obligations enforceable by law.
The basic elements of a contract are mutual assent, consideration, capacity, and legality.
Possible remedies for breach of contract include general damages, consequential damages,
reliance damages, and specific performance.
Contracts are promises that the law will enforce. The law provides remedies if a promise is
breached or recognizes the performance of a promise as a duty. Contracts arise when a duty does
or may come into existence, because of a promise made by one of the parties. To be legally
binding as a contract, a promise must be exchanged for adequate consideration. Adequate
consideration is a benefit or detriment which a party receives which reasonably and fairly
induces them to make the promise/contract. For example, promises that are purely gifts are not
considered enforceable because the personal satisfaction the grantor of the promise may receive
from the act of giving is normally not considered adequate consideration. Certain promises that
are not considered contracts may, in limited circumstances, be enforced if one party has relied to
his detriment on the assurances of the other party.
The following are the essential elements of a valid contract:
1. Offer and Acceptance: In order to create a valid contract, there must be a 'lawful offer' by
one party and 'lawful acceptance' of the same by the other party.
2. Intention to Create Legal Relationship. In case, there is no such intention on the part of
parties, there is no contract. Agreements of social or domestic nature do not contemplate legal
relations.
Case: - Balfour vs. Balfour(1919)

8
Bare Act, The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9) of 1872, 2013, pg no: 03.
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3. Lawful Consideration. Consideration has been defined in various ways. According to
Blackstone, "Consideration is recompense given by the party contracting to another." In other
words of Pollock, "Consideration is the price for which the promise of the another is brought."
Consideration is known as quid pro-quo or something in return.
9

4. Capacity of parties. The parties to an agreement must be competent to contract. If either of
the parties does not have the capacity to contract, the contract is not valid.
According to the Indian Contract Act, the following persons are incompetent to contract.
(a) Miners,
(b) Persons of unsound mind, and
(c) Persons disqualified by law to which they are subject.
5. Free Consent. 'Consent' means the parties must have agreed upon the same thing in the same
sense.
According to Section 14, Consent is said to be free when it is not caused by-
1) Coercion, or
2) Undue influence, or
3) Fraud, or
(4) Misrepresentation, or
5) Mistake.
An agreement should be made by the free consent of the parties.

9
Bare Act, The Indian Contract Act, 1872, 2013.

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6. Lawful Object. The object of an agreement must be valid. Object has nothing to do with
consideration. It means the purpose or design of the contract. Thus, when one hires a house for
use as a gambling house, the object of the contract is to run a gambling house.
The Object is said to be unlawful if-
(a) it is forbidden by law;
(b) it is of such nature that if permitted it would defeat the provision of any law;
(c) it is fraudulent;
(d) it involves an injury to the person or property of any other;
(e) the court regards it as immoral or opposed to public policy.
7. Certainity of Meaning. According to Section 29,"Agreement the meaning of which is not
certain or capable of being made certain are void."
8. Possibility of Performance. If the act is impossible in itself, physically or legally, if cannot be
enforced at law. For example, Mr. A agrees with B to discover treasure by magic. Such
Agreements is not enforceable.
9. Not declared to be Void or Illegal. The agreement though satisfying all the conditions for a
valid contract must not have been expressly declared void by any law in force in the country.
Agreements mentioned in Section 24 to 30 of the Act have been expressly declared to be void for
example agreements in restraint of trade, marriage, legal proceedings etc.
10. Legal Formalities. An oral Contract is a perfectly valid contract, expect in those cases where
writing, registration etc. is required by some statute. In India writing is required in cases of sale,
mortgage, lease and gift of immovable property, negotiable instruments; memorandum and
articles of association of a company, etc. Registration is required in cases of documents coming
within the scope of section 17 of the Registration Act.
All the elements mentioned above must be in order to make a valid contract. If any one of them
is absent the agreement does not become a contract.
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COMMUNICATION, ACCEPTANCE AND REVOCATION OF
PROPOSAL DEFINED.

According to sec. 2 (b) of Indian Contact Act, Acceptance is defined as:-
When the person to whom the proposal is made, signifies his assent there to, the proposal is said
to be accepted.
Acceptance is the expression of assent by the person to whom the offer is made. To constitute a
valid acceptance, the assent must be communicated to the offeror. Acceptance may be express
conduct or may be in implied circumstances. However, silence cannot be prescribed as a mode of
acceptance.
The following elements must be present in a valid acceptance.
1. Acceptance must be given only by person to whom the offer is made
2. Acceptance must be absolute and unqualified
3. Acceptance must be communicated by the acceptor
4. Acceptance must be given within a reasonable time and before the offer lapses or is
revoked.

Section 3 in, the Indian Contract Act, 1872
Communication, acceptance and revocation of proposals.- The communication of proposals
the acceptance of proposals, and the revocation of proposals and acceptances, respectively, are
deemed to be made by any act or omission of the party proposing, accepting or revoking by
which he intends to communicate such proposal acceptance or revocation, or which., has the
effect of communicating it.
10



10
Indian Contract Act, 1872, Pollock & Mulla, revised & edited by Nilima Bhadbhade, 14th edition, 2014
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Section 4 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872
Communication when complete: - The, communication of a proposal is complete when it
comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made. The communication of an acceptance
is complete,-- as against the proposer, when it is put in a course of transmission to him, so as to
be out of the power of the acceptor, as against the acceptor, when it comes to the, knowledge, of
the proposer. The communication of a revocation is complete,-- as against the person who makes
it, when it is put into a course of transmission to the person to whom it is made, so as" to be out
of the power of the person who makes it; as against the person. to whom it is made, when it
comes to his knowledge.
Illustrations:
a) A proposes, by letter, to sell a house to B at a certain price. The communication
of the proposal is complete when B receives the letter.
b) B accepts As proposal by a letter sent by post. The communication of the
acceptance is complete, as against A when the letter is posted as against B, when
the letter is received by. A
c) A revokes his proposal by telegram. The revocation is complete as against A
when the telegram is dispatched. It is complete as against B when B receives it. B
revokes his acceptance by telegram. Bs revocation is complete as against B when
the telegram is dispatched, and as against, A when it reaches him.
Offeror bound when letter of acceptance (or telegram) is posted to him:
It has been noted above that the communication of acceptance is complete against the proposer
when the letter of acceptance is posted to him. The moment the letter of acceptance is posted, the
Offeror becomes bound. He becomes bound immediately on the posting of the letter to him and
it makes no difference that the letter is delayed in transit, or it is even lost in the post and the
Offeror never receives it.
11


11
Dutt on Contract - The Indian Contract Act, 1872, Dutt, revised by H.K.Saharay, 11th edition, 2013.
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In J.K Enterprises v. State of M.P.,
12
the petitioner submitted tender to purchase Tendu leaves
on 11-1-93. The respondents sent communication of acceptance by registered cover dated 12-2-
1993 on the address given by the petitioner. The said letter of acceptance was, however, returned
to the respondents. It was held that the dispatch of letter of acceptance and had amounted to
acceptance and completion of the contract.
13

If there is acceptance of a tender by a telegram, the contract becomes concluded where the
telegram is dispatched, and therefore the place of contract is where the acceptance telegram starts
its journey.
In Dunlop v. Higgins,
14
Dunlop & Co. offered to sell 200 tons of iron pigs at 65 sh. per ton to
Higgins & Co. through their letters dated 22
nd
and 28
th
January, 1945. Higgins & Co. received
the letters on 30
th
January and replied the same day, indicating their acceptance to purchase the
iron pigs in accordance with the offer. Due to frosty weather, there was disruption in the train
services and the letter of acceptance instead of reaching on 31
st
January reached Dunlop &Co. on
1
st
February. Dunlop & Co. refused to supply iron pigs on the ground that the receipt of the letter
of acceptance by them had been delayed. It was held that the Dunlop & Co. had become vound
by the contract as soon as the letter of acceptance was posted to them, i.e., on the 30
th
January,
1945.
Acceptor bound when his letter reaches the Offeror:
It has been noted above that though the Offeror becomes bound when the letter of acceptance is
posted to him, the acceptor himself does not become bound thereby. In India an acceptor
becomes bound by his acceptance when the letter of acceptance comes to the knowledge of
Offeror.
15

Section 5 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872:

12
A.I.R. 1997 M.P. 68.
13
Concise Commentary The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9 of 1872) With Exhaustive Case Law, Universal's, 2014.
14
(1848) 1 H.L.C. 381.
15
Sec. 4 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
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Revocation of proposals and acceptances: - 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. Illustrations 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.
Section 6 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872:
Revocation how made: - A proposal is revoked-
1) by the communication of notice of revocation by the pro poser to the other party
2) by the lapse of the time prescribed in such proposal for its acceptance, or, if no time
is so prescribed, by the lapse of a reasonable time, without communication of the
acceptance;
3) by the failure of the acceptor to fulfill a condition precedent to acceptance; or
4) by the death or insanity of the proposer, if the fact of his death or insanity comes to
the knowledge of the acceptor before acceptance.

Section 7 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872:
Acceptance must be absolute: - In order to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance
must-
1) be absolute and unqualified;
2) be expressed in some usual and reasonable manner, unless the proposal prescribes the
manner in which it is to be accepted. If the proposal prescribes a manner in which it is to
be accepted, and the acceptance is not made in such manner, the proposer may, within a
reasonable time after the acceptance is communicated to him, insist that his proposal shall
be accepted in the prescribed manner, and not otherwise; but if he fails to do so, he
accepts the acceptance.
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Section 8 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872:
Acceptance by performing conditions, or receiving consideration: - Performance of the
conditions of a proposal, or the acceptance of any consideration for a reciprocal promise which
may be offered with a proposal, is an acceptance of the proposal.

POST OFFICE AS AGENT
The question as to for whom the Post Office acts as an agent in case letters/ documents or other
instruments are sent by post would depend on the facts and circumstances of a case.
Where the assessee had requested the respondent, a non-resident company, to send the amount of
bills by post, the post office would be deemed as the agent of the assessee.
16

In H.P. Gupta v. Hiralal,
17
the appellant had posted dividend warrants declared by the
company, but these did not reach the respondent shareholders. Holding that, the offence on the
part of the company was the failure to post the warrants, but was not the non-receipt of
warrants by the shareholders. So determined, it was further held that the obligation to pay arose
at the place where it was to be performed, i.e., at the post office where the cheque was to be
posted and not at the address at which cheque was to be delivered. In coming to this decision, the
court implied that the agreement/ request from the dividend holder to send the dividend was by
post.
18

In U.T.I v. R.K. Shukla,
19
cheques sent by the U.T.I by registered post, did not reach the
respondent. The court ruled that in absence of any contract/ request from the payee, mere posting

16
Commissioner, I.T. Bombay v M/s. Oagle Glass Works Ltd. v. Miles Far East Corpn.
17
A.I.R 1971 S.C. 206.
18
Contract-I, Dr R.K. Bangia, Allahabad law Agency, 6th edition, 2013.
19
A.I.R. 2005 S.C. 3528.
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would not amount to payment. In that case the post office would continue to act as the agent of
the drawer, the U.T.I. and the liability for non-delivery was that of U.T.I.
20


POSTING RULE OR MAILBOX RULE
The mailbox rule or the postal acceptance rule is a term of common law contracts which
determines the timing of acceptance of an offer when mail is contemplated as the medium of
acceptance. The general principle is that a contract is formed when acceptance is actually
communicated to the offeror. The mailbox rule is an exception to the general principle. The
mailbox rule provides that the contract is formed when the letter of acceptance is placed in the
mailbox. However, the mail box rule does not apply to revocations of an acceptance, which are
only effective when received.
The leading case in the mailbox rule is Henthorn vs. Fraser (1892) which was based in part on
the earlier case of Adams vs. Lindsell (1818).
In 1891, the Plaintiff was desirous of purchasing from the Huskisson Benefit Building Society
certain houses in Flamank Street, Birkenhead. In May he, at the office of the society in Chapel
Street, Liverpool, signed a memorandum drawn up by the secretary, offering 600 for the
property, which offer was declined by the directors; and on the 1st of July he made in the same
way an offer of 700, which was also declined. On the 7th of July he again called at the office,
and the secretary verbally offered to sell to him for 750. This offer was reduced into writing,
and was as follows: I hereby give you the refusal of the Flamank Street property at 750 for
fourteen days. The secretary, after signing this, handed it to the Plaintiff, who took it away with
him for consideration.
On the morning of the 8th another person called at the office, and offered 760 for the property,
which was accepted, and a contract for purchase signed, subject to a condition for avoiding it if
the society found that they could not withdraw from the offer to the Plaintiff.

20
Ibid.
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Between 12 and 1 oclock on that day the secretary posted to the Plaintiff, who resided in
Birkenhead, the following letter: Please take notice that my letter to you of the 7th instant,
giving you the option of purchasing the property, Flamank Street, Birkenhead, for 750, in
fourteen days, is withdrawn, and the offer cancelled.
This letter, it appeared, was delivered at the Plaintiffs address between 5 and 6 in the evening,
but, as he was out, did not reach his hands till about 8 oclock.
On the same 8th of July the Plaintiffs solicitor, by the Plaintiffs direction, wrote to the secretary
as follows: I am instructed by Mr. James Henthorn to write you, and accept your offer to sell the
property, 1 to 17, Flamank Street, Birkenhead, at the price of 750. Kindly have contract
prepared and forwarded to me.
This letter was addressed to the societys office, and was posted in Birkenhead at 3.50 P.M., was
delivered at 8.30 P.M. after the closing of the office, and was received by the secretary on the
following morning. The secretary replied, stating that the societys offer had been withdrawn.
21


The mailbox rule only applies to acceptance; other letters do not take effect until the letter is
delivered as in Stevenson vs. McLean (1880). The implication of this is that it is possible for a
letter of acceptance to be posted after a letter of revocation of the offer has been posted, but
before it is delivered, and acceptance will be complete at the time that the letter of acceptance
was posted.
For example, suppose A makes an offer to B on January 1; A then decides to revoke the offer on
January 2, and puts a letter in the mail to B revoking the offer; however, B puts a letter accepting
the offer in the mail on January 3, and does not receive As revocation letter until January 4. The
letter of revocation can only be effective when received, that is January 4. However, the contract
was formed on January 3 when the letter of acceptance was posted. It is too late to revoke the
offer.

21
http://www.law.unlv.edu/faculty/rowley/Henthorn.pdf
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Suppose that A makes an offer to B on January 1, and initially B intends to reject the offer on
January 2 by putting a letter in the mail to A rejecting the offer. However, the next day B
changes his mind and sends a fax to A accepting the offer. In this situation, whichever
communication A receives first will govern.
Under the mailbox rule, performance is a means of acceptance. If A orders 1000 blue coat
hangers, and B ships them out, that shipment is considered to be a conveyance of acceptance of
As offer to buy the coat hangers. Defective performance is also an acceptance, unless
accompanied by an explanation. For example, if A orders 1000 blue Coat hangers, and B
mistakenly ships 1000 red coat hangers, this is still an acceptance of the contract. However, if B
ships the red coat hangers with a note that they sent these because they had run out of blue coat
hangers, this is not an acceptance, but rather an accommodation, which is a form of counter-
offer.
An interesting implication of the operation of the mailbox rule is that as acceptance is complete
once the letter of acceptance is posted, it makes no difference whether the offeror actually
receives the letter. This was demonstrated in Byrne vs. Van Tienhoven (1880). If a letter of
acceptance were to be lost, acceptance has still taken place. An exception to this would be if the
offeree knows or has reason to know that the letter of acceptance never reached the offeror. For
example, if A brings a letter of acceptance to the local post office, and A sees the post office
burn down, there is no acceptance.
The mailbox rule does not apply to instantaneous forms of communications. For example in
Entores Ltd vs. Miles Far East Corporation (1955), the Court held that the mailbox rule did not
apply to an acceptance by telex as the Court regarded it as an instantaneously form of
communication. The general principle that acceptance takes place when communicated applies to
instantaneous forms of communication. Courts have similarly held that the mailbox rule does not
apply to acceptances by telephone or fax.
The courts are yet to decide whether e-mail should be regarded as an instantaneous form of
communication. If the offeree were to convey acceptance by commercially unreasonable means -
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by cross-country pony express, for example - the acceptance would not be effective until it had
actually been received.
A letter is regarded as posted only when it is in the possession of the Post Office; this was
established in the case of Re London & Northern Bank (1900) A letter of acceptance is not
considered posted if it is handed to an agent to deliver, such as a courier.
The mailbox rule does not apply to option contracts or irrevocable offers, where acceptance is
still only effective upon receipt. This is because the offeree no longer needs protection against
subsequently mailed revocations of the offer.
22

Illustrations:
Example 1:
Day 1: A makes an offer to B.
Day 2: A decides to revoke the offer and puts a letter in the mail to B revoking the offer.
Day 3: B puts a letter accepting the offer in the mail.
Day 4: B receives A's revocation letter.
The letter of revocation can be effective only when received, that is Day 4.
However, a contract was formed on Day 3 when the letter of acceptance was posted.
It is too late for A to revoke the offer.

Example 2:
Day 1: A makes an offer to B.
Day 2: B intends to reject the offer by putting a letter in the mail to A rejecting the offer.

22
http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mailbox_rule
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Day 3: B changes his mind and sends a fax to A accepting the offer.
In this situation, whichever communication A receives first will govern.
Example 3:
Day 1: A makes an offer to sell a parcel of land to B.
Day 2: B mails her acceptance.
Day 3: Before A receives B's acceptance, B telephones A and states she wishes to reject
the offer.
Day 4: B's original letter of acceptance arrives, A then records the contract as a sale.
B's acceptance of the offer means there is a binding contract -- she is obliged to pay for the land
or be liable for damages.
B is just rejecting the offer, she did not actually revoked her acceptance










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CONCLUSION
Postal Service plays an important role in forming a contractual relationship between parties to a
contract. The postal service acts as an agent for both person proposing a contract and person
accepting a contract.
The mail or post is a system for physically transporting documents and other small packages, as
well as a name for the postcards, letters, and parcels themselves. A postal service can be private
or public, though many governments place restrictions on private systems. Since the mid-19th
century national postal systems have generally been established as government monopolies with
a fee on the article prepaid. Proof of payment is often in the form of adhesive postage stamps, but
postage meters are also used for bulk mailing. Modern private postal systems are typically
distinguished from national postal agencies by the names "courier" or "delivery service".
It has been noted above that the communication of acceptance is complete against the proposer
when the letter of acceptance is posted to him. The moment the letter of acceptance is posted, the
Offeror becomes bound. He becomes bound immediately on the posting of the letter to him and
it makes no difference that the letter is delayed in transit, or it is even lost in the post and the
Offeror never receives it.
The communication of acceptance is complete against the proposer when the letter of acceptance
is posted to him. The moment the letter of acceptance is posted, the Offeror becomes bound. He
becomes bound immediately on the posting of the letter to him and it makes no difference that
the letter is delayed in transit, or it is even lost in the post and the Offeror never receives it.
There are certain exceptions to the general rule of communication made by post like the mailbox
rule. When parties do not negotiate face-to-face, a key question becomes when things like
acceptances, rejections and revocations take effect. The general rule is that acceptances are
effective on dispatch (when they are mailed). Everything else becomes effective when the offeror
actually receives them. The mailbox rule, which is the default rule under contract law for
determining the time at which an offer is accepted, states that an offer is considered accepted at
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LAW OF CONTRACTS Page 22

the time that the acceptance is mailed. Parties can alter their contract to not use the mailbox rule
to and determine between themselves at what time an offer will be considered accepted.
The modern rule is that, unless otherwise specified by the offeror, an offer can be accepted by
any medium that is reasonable under the circumstances. A medium of communication is
considered reasonable if it is the one actually used by the offeror to make the offer or if it is
customarily used in similar transactions. Today, things like express mail, faxes, e-mail and the
like are acceptable.
Modern technologies like e-mail, fax, communication through telephone is considered the easiest
and fastest means to form a contract but regardless of this technology, sending a hand written or
type letter is still considered an effective means of communicating because it remains the most
inexpensive and a classic form of communication.












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BIBLIOGRAPY
Books:
1) Bare Act, The Indian Contract Act, 1872, 2013.
2) Dutt on Contract - The Indian Contract Act, 1872, Dutt, revised by H.K.Saharay, 11th
edition, 2013.
3) INDIAN CONTRACT ACT, 1872, Pollock & Mulla, revised & edited by Nilima
Bhadbhade, 14th edition, 2014
4) Concise Commentary The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9 of 1872) With Exhaustive Case
Law, Universal's, 2014.
5) Contract-I, Dr R.K. Bangia, Allahabad law Agency, 6
th
edition, 2013.
6) Pigeons to Post: History of Indian Postal Services, Steve Borgia, 2011.

Websites:
1) http://comtax.up.nic.in/Miscellaneous%20Act/the-indian-contract-act-1872.pdf.
2) http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/Infra_stat_2010/10.ch_post.pdf
3) http://www.ehow.com/info_7922539_postal-communications.html
4) http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/postal+communication.
5) http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mailbox_rule
6) http://indiankanoon.org/search/?formInput=indian%20contract%20act
7) http://nationalparalegal.edu/public_documents/courseware_asp_files/contracts/MutualAs
sentOfferAndAcceptance/MailboxRule.asp