Section 2 ( a ) . Contracts Act 1950 provides that ‘when one individual signifies to another his willingness to make or to abstain from making anything. with a position to obtaining the acquiescence of that other to the act or abstention. he is said to do a proposal’ .
Case: M N Guha Majumder V R E Donough 2 MLJ 114
Facts: Property owned by the suspect was advertised for sale. and written offers to buy were invited. The complainant viewed the belongings on two occasions. During the interval between the two occasions the complainant was in communicating with the defendant’s agent. and it was alleged that the suspect had accepted the plaintiff’s offer to buy the belongings for RM70. 000. There had been on the juncture of the 2nd visit to the belongings some treatment on the manner of payment. There was besides no clear understanding on the sale of orchid workss which the suspect wished to sell individually. although the affair was discussed between the parties. The suspect denied that he had decided to travel on with the sale. The suspect was dying. nevertheless. to consequence a speedy sale as he was wishful of go forthing Kuching for good for Johor bharu.
Issue: Whether there was a contract inexistence between the complainant and the suspect at the material clip.
Held: 1. The jurisprudence does non ascribe an purpose to come in into such a legal relationship as that of seller and buyer where the fortunes and the behavior of the parties negative any purpose of the sort. 2. The grounds indicated that the parties did non mean to be instantly bound. They had non the necessary animosity contrahendi ( means purpose to contract ) . What passed was merely a dialogue from get downing to stop.
Whether an advertizement is an offer or an invitation to handle depends on the purpose of the parties in each instance. The tribunals have held that advertizements of bilateral contracts are non offers whereas advertizements of one-sided contracts are construed to be offers.
In the instance of Majumder v Attorney-General of Sarawak. the Federal Court held that an advertizement in the newspaper for the station of a physician was an invitation to handle. When an auctioneer invites commands. he is simply doing an ‘invitation to treat’ . and when a bidder makes a command. he is doing an offer. The contract. i. e. the sale. is merely made when the auctioneer announces its completion by the autumn of the cock. Similarly. a show of goods in a store is an invitation to handle. An offer to purchase is made when the client puts the articles in a basket provided by the store or takes the point off the shelf. The contract is merely made at the cashier’s desk when the client wages for the points.
However. if it is clear in the fortunes that a party intends their words or behavior to represent an offer. so the tribunals will be prepare to interpret it as such. For illustration. in Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. Ltd 1 QB 256. the advertizement of a one-sided contract was held to be an offer. Case: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. Ltd 1 QB 256
Facts: Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. Ltd. Advertised that they would offer ?1. 000 to anyone who still succumbed to influenza after utilizing a certain redress for a fixed period. The complainant duly used it but. however. contracted grippe. The complainant so sued for the money.
Held: The complainant was entitled to the ?1. 000 as she had accepted the offer made to the universe at big.
To sum up. an invitation to handle is non an offer. but instead is an offer to see offers. Cases which are by and large regarded as invitations to handle include:
-Advertisement of stamps ;
-Price lists ; and
-Goods displayed in store Windowss and shelves.