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Lalman Shukla Case Analysis

The facts of the case are that the nephew of the defendant departed from his house secretly and no one was able to find him .The defendants sent his servant in different places in search of his nephew. All the servants went to Haridwar in search of the defendant's nephew. Plaintiff was one of the servant who went to Haridwar in search of the defendant's nephew .Meanwhile the search of the child was taking place and the plaintiff was in search of the child the defendant issued the handbill claiming that if anyone finds his nephew and bring him back then he would be rewarded with rupees 501.

But the plaintiff have no idea of this revolt and he was finally able to track down the lost child and conveyed the same to the defendant .The plaintiff after returning from Haridwar with the defendant's nephew was awarded with rupees 20 with two sovereigns. The plaintiff was satisfied with that reward and started doing his regular work.

Later on after the six months of the incident which had taken place the defendant removed the plaintiff from the services because of some disputes and then the plaintiff brought a suit against his master claiming the prize money of rupees 499 ,stating that it was promised by his master that whosoever would find his nephew would be entitled to the reward and you also alleged that is master has not provided the referred for the performance of his promise.

  • Whether plaintiff, Lalman Shukla was entitled to get the award
  • Whether the situation results in a contract?
  • Whether the decision of the lower court is right?

Section 2(a) of Indian Contract Act 1872 give the definition when the proposal is set to be made that is when one person signifies to another his willingness to do or to abstain from doing anything with a view to obtaining the assent of that other two such act or abstinence he is said to make a proposal.

Section 2 (b) of Indian Contract Act 1872 gives the definition when the promise is said to be completed that is when the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent thereto the proposal is said to be accepted a proposal when accepted becomes a promise.

Section 2 (h) of Indian Contract Act 1872 gives the definition of the contract that is an agreement enforceable by law is a contract.

Section 3 of Indian Contract Act 1872 states that when the communication acceptance and revocation of the proposal said to be made like "the communication of proposal the acceptance of proposal and the revocation of the proposals and acceptance 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 of which has the effect of communicating it".

Section 4 of Indian Contract Act 1872 gives the definition when the communication is completed it states that "the communication of a proposal is complete when it comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made".

Section 8 of Indian Contract Act 1872 states that when there is the acceptance of a proposal And it says that "the performance of the conditions of a proposal for the acceptance of any consideration for a reciprocal promise which may be offered with the proposal is an acceptance of that proposal".

Proposal + Acceptance + Consideration +Enforceable = Contract

The petitioner argued that under Section 8 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 it clearly states that:
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.

So he argues that since fulfills the conditions of the offer, therefore he is entitled to get the award and it does not matter whether he was aware of the offer at that time or not. And he argued since the offer was whoever will trace the missing child, will get an award which he has fulfilled so he is entitled to get the award.

The Respondents argued that to convert an offer to a contract, there must be acceptance to an offer and since plaintiff was not aware of the offer so there was no assent from his side for the acceptance of the offer, so he cannot avail award for the same. Moreover, he argued that since plaintiff was a servant so at the time of searching the child, he was fulfilling his duties as a servant to house.

In order to fulfill the contract there must be an acceptance of an offer and for the acceptance of an offer there should be the knowledge of the offer . According to Section 4 of Indian Contract Act which gives the condition that when the communication of a proposal is completed and it clearly states that the communication of a proposal is complete only when it comes to the knowledge of the proposer and in the current situation if we will look into the facts it is clearly stated that the plaintiff has already found the defendant's nephew and already conveyed him regarding the same and he didn't even have the knowledge about what the offer which was made by the the defendant and after that plaintiff was also satisfied with the amount which was given to him by the defendant as a reward.

So therefore this is not considered as a contract because the main essential element that is knowledge to the offer is not a present in this case. And if there is no knowledge then how there was an acceptance for the same and if there was no acceptance then there was no valid contract enforceable in the eye of the law.

The Allahabad High Court excused the offended party's case. The acknowledgment of the offer was not finished in light of the fact that the offended party had no data about the hand-bills. For acknowledgment of an offer, information on the offer is fundamental.

It was chosen by the respectable Court that the offer and arrangement can't be supposed to be legitimate in light of the fact that the offended party didn't do any new representation getting the honor. The demonstration that the offended party performed was a commitment over the span of his business and not a piece of the understanding for remuneration. There was no thought in the interest of the offended party for which he can guarantee the litigant's award.

This case remains perhaps the main case in the field of agreement law in India. Different arrangements of the Act were unpredictably talked about and broadly deciphered by the Honorable Court, and the fundamentals of agreement making were managed widely.

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