What is General offer? Explain it with case laws

What is General offer? Explain it with case laws.

By:- thelawiq.com   Author-: Rajitha Singh (BBA LLB student)   


An Offer is the beginning stage of any contract. A contract becomes complete when the Offer is acknowledged and conveyed to the individual making the Offer.

It is characterized in Section  2(a) of the Indian contract  Act 1972 as follows:

“When one individual connotes to one more his readiness to do or to swear off busy, with the end goal of getting the consent of the other to such demonstration or forbearance, he is said to make a proposal ” The word ‘offer’ utilized above is interchangeable in English Regulation with ‘offer’.

The individual making the p roposal is known as the ‘promisor’ and the individual to whom the proposal is made is known as the ‘promisee’ according to Section  2(c).

Kinds Of Offers

An Offer can be made to an unequivocal individual or people or to the world in general. Considering the above assertion, offers can be arranged into:

  1. General Offer
  2. Explicit Offer

Explicit Offer

A proposal made to a positive individual or people is known as an explicit offer. Such offers can be acknowledged exclusively by such individuals or people. For instance: A proposals to sell B a pen for Rs. 200. Since the Offer  is made distinctly to B, it is a particular proposal

General Offer

A proposal made to the world overall is known as an overall Offer. Such offers can be acknowledged by anybody however the agreement isn’t gone into with the entire world. It is made distinctly with the individual who approaches and plays out the state of the proposal

The proposal might be for the entire world in general yet be for the world overall yet the number of acknowledgements to a proposal might be explicitly or impliedly restricted. For instance: A publicizes in a paper offering compensation for Rs. 900 to any individual who tracks down his lost canine. Such a proposal can be acknowledged by any individual who finds and return the canine.

Milestone cases  in contract law:

The main expert regarding the matter of general proposal is Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. For this situation, the respondent organization presented by promotion to pay £100 to any individual who gets the expanding scourge flu, cold or some other infection caused subsequent to having utilized the Carbolic ball as per the printed bearings. It was additionally publicized that £100 is saved with the Partnership Bank showing its earnestness regarding the present situation.

In an activity by the offended party to recuperate the guaranteed award subsequent to having contracted flu regardless of involving the ball according to the bearings, it was fought that the Offer was not made to anybody face to face and the offended party had not conveyed her aim to acknowledge. This dispute was dismissed and it was seen that:

  1. Offer made to the world at large is gone into contract with that restricted people who approach and play out the condition.
  2. Correspondence of acknowledgement in such cases isn’t required.

Where an overall Offer  is of proceeding with nature, as in the above case, it will be open for the acknowledgement to quite a few groups until it is withdrawn. However, where an Offer requires some data about something missing, similar to the one in the delineation of lost canine above, it is shut when the principal data is gotten.

Puffery would be considered as a proviso in the publicising and showcasing regulations as it prompts vagueness in acknowledgement of a business or a commercial as an offer or a challenge to offer/puff. Promoting is a solicitation to people to come and take the offer. This issue can be made all the more clear by the instance of Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v. BootsCash Chemists.  The defendant an enrolled drug specialist ran a shop where non-professionally prescribed medications and meds, a considerable lot of which were recorded in the Toxins Rundown given in the Pharmacy and Poisons Act 1933, were sold. The said things were on an open presentation permitted unaided admittance to the clients till the meds were looked at. Which welcomed on procedures against the respondent for a break of Segment 18(1) of the Drug store and Toxic substances Act 1933, which requires severe oversight of an enlisted drug specialist for the offer of anything in the said Rundown.

It was likewise doubtful that the words express the goal however not really sum to a guarantee. On account of Weeks V. Tybold,  litigant attested and distributed that he would give 100 pounds to anybody that would wed his little girl with his assent charming her little girl. Further, the court held that it was absurd that the litigant be limited by such broad words addressed energise admirers. In this manner, any sort of promotion didn’t comprise an offer.

In the case of Gunthing V. Lynn,  the offeror vowed to pay the additional amount of cash if the pony/steed demonstrated fortunate for him. It was held that agreements that are too dubious to even think about making an agreement, are not legitimate or restricting as the assertion horse being fortunate for the offended party makes equivocalness. Also, in Smoke Ball Co. case, there being no restriction as to time, an individual may guarantee who got flu a decade subsequent to utilizing the cure making the ad states obscure and non-restricting.


Along these lines, because of numerous vulnerabilities emerging from the above case and after a basic examination of the circumstances. There is a need to research promoting and showcasing regulations to eliminate the escape clauses and ambiguities being confronted today in the framework. Contract regulation is supposed to be muddled in nature. Thus, the principles and guidelines appropriate generally fluctuate from one state to another. If one longing to go into contracts connecting with showcasing and commercializing, appropriate rules and assurance ought to be taken from legal counsellors and business lawyers. Notices these days are “sleight of hand” strategies having a decent guard under the law. Consequently, the watchers ought to be mindful and ought to have sufficient lawful information to safeguard them from these strategies.


  1. 2(a), Indian Contract Act,1872
  2. The strategic structure of offer and acceptance: game theory and the law of contract formation, Avery Katz, Mich. L. Rev. 89, 215, 1990
  3. Expression Rules in Contract Law and Problems of Offer and Acceptance, Melvin Aron Eisenberg, Cal L. Rev. 82, 1127, 1994
  4. Our Case-Law of Contract: Offer and Acceptance, II, Karl N Llewellyn, The Yale Law Journal 48 (5), 779-818, 1939
  5. Offer and Acceptance in Modern Contract Law: A Needles Concept, Shawn Bayern, Calif. L. Rev. 103, 67, 2015
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