Harvey v. Facey [1893]

Harvey v. Facey [1893]

By Jashaswee Mishra (DSNLU, Vizag)

COURT: Judgement of the Lords of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on the Appeal of Harvey and another v. Facey and others. 

From The Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica 

CITATION: (1893) AC 552 

DELIVERED ON: 29th July 1893


This is an exemplification as to where the statement is held that perhaps the price was not an offer. Its significance would be that it defines the distinction between the two. Offer and supply of information. In this case, the Privy Council took the view that this was the least indication. The appropriate price doesn’t really encompass an opportunity to purchase, but can be considered as an invitation to sell, to classify, i.e., to access into another negotiation process.


In this particular instance, the defendants were the proprietors of a plot of land, Bumper Hall Pen. The Complaints I intrigued in buying the property so they sent a postcard to the defendants, “You’re going to sell us Bumper Hall Pen Telegraph’s cheapest price”. The defendants return the telegraph of the plaintiffs, conveyed the lowest price for Bumper Hall Pen, £900, so the plaintiffs sent a telegram. To the defendants, we offer to buy the Bumper Hall Pen for the £900 you requested, and kindly request send us your land registry.

In that same case, the appellants, Mr. Harvey, had a joint venture in Kingston, Jamaica and it indicated that the next talks had been settled between the Kingston Council, Mayor and respondent Mr. L. M. Facey on the transfer of ownership of the latter. It’s been argued that, on 6 October 1893, the defendant offered to sell his land for a pot of cash. It is indeed £900.

Mr. Facey got telegraph 3, but he did not respond. And so, he declined to sell it. Property for not guaranteeing the selling of the property. Unimpressed form, the complainant knocked at the entrance of law by Justice Curran and the Court of Justice dismissed the case with costs for the benefit of Respondent. He dismissed the lawsuit, arguing that the deal in question had not been disclosed. There was no agreement and no successful contract of sale.


The appellants, disgruntled by the order of Justice Curran, have appealed to the Court of Appellate. This is the, The Court of Appeal invalidated the decision of Justice Curran and declared that, The presence of a contractual contract in the present situation. And the Court of Appeals affirmed it incompetence of the respondent to sell the said property and ordered the latter to pay damages Forty shillings to the former for breach of contract. However, the demand for land compelled the appellant to seek leave from the Supreme Court. Respond to Her Majesty in Council and, later, to seek exclusive leave from Her Majesty in Council. To appeal against a point not contained in the leave given to the Supreme Court.

This seminal case laid the groundwork for the idea of an “invitation to offer” in which person barely considering whether or not to accept the offer. Simply put, we can say that If a person has not clearly indicated his final willingness to accept the offer, this is an invitation to offer. This clearly indicates that it is merely a perpetuation of data on the contexts on which it is based. An individual could be able to negotiate shortly. Lack of agreement between the two sides. This is the primary reason why this is not a complete offer.


Honorable Judges Tribunal looked at the general question of this case and in favor of the decision of Justice Curran, the Lordships held that the Telegraph 1 demanded the Defendant of this desire to sell the property and the best offer of the land. So, it’s the respondent replied only to the second section, and his desire to sell the property was missing. It cannot, however, be assumed to be obligatory on him in the telegraph. Here is the Court it reported that the reaction of the appellants could not be treated as a response by telegraph 3, Acceptance of the offer to give them the ground. Thus, the approval of the respondent cannot be given as a legal contract.


To put it plainly, this judgment held that no legal contract had been entered into due to lack of Proper contract bid. This, of course, draws our attention to the idea of legitimate offer, As per Section 2(a) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, which correctly claimed that it was supposed to constitute an Indian Contract Act, Valid bid. The following terms and conditions must be followed –

  1. The offer must demonstrate a definite intention on the part of the offeror to be obligated by it, i.e., the proposal must demonstrate to the offeree his desire to do so or to refrain from doing so. Everything in it. So, X’s kiddingly giving Y Rs. 50 to his typewriter and Y, recognizing that Z is not serious, he says, “I agree that Z’s suggestion is not a bid.
  2. The offeror shall make an offer with a mandate to promote the approval of the offeree.
  3. This kind of act of prohibition.
  4.  The offer has to be significant, exclusive and concrete.
  5.  The bid must be duly conveyed to the acceptor (offeree).
  6. It must be achieved with a view to creating a comprehensive partnership.


There was no contract, that happened between Harvey and Facey because Facey had not voluntarily, responded to the first question asked by Harvey as to whether they would sell the property or not and only the mention of the lowest price was merely answering to a request for information which do not constitutes an offer. So, without and offer the question of acceptance would not arise and without offer and acceptance a valid contract cannot be resolved.


The bid is a gesture of desire to be lawfully binding on such terms, without any further ado negotiations. A legal and established contract includes a request and approval of the contract. And in order to make the contractual term, it is important that the proposal be agreed and the proponent must therefore be told of the approval of the plan. There is a mere assertion there’s no tacit consent to hold. This is because a legally enforceable agreement is required. Here, in this situation, the invitation to give is an abstract idea that has been explicitly realized.

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