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K P Sendil Kumar (Project Manager)     05 January 2011

Can a mail be treated as a Contract?

Dear Sirs,


I am an Indian citizen livingin Chennai, India.


I am working in a Virtual Office (i.e., my work get assiged through internet and I work from my home over internet) as a Software Requirements Manager.


I am working through a local agency (Agency) situated in Chennai and is run by Indian citizens living in India.  My employer (Employer) is in US.  My Employer assigns me work which I accomplish from my home.  For this my Employer pays my Agency and the Agency in trun pays me.


At the time of joining the Agency, they sent me a mail containing the terms and conditions of my work.  In that mail they have mentioned about my salary and yearly retention bonus.  The bonus is mentioned as one month salary.  The Agency was paying my salary properly, as mentioned in the mail, for the first six months.  Then they started paying me less for no reason. 


I have worked for more than a year with the Agency.    But the Agency has paid me only meger amount as the bonus.  When I asked them about this, they say that the bonus is paid at the discretion of the Agency and I donot have any claim over it.


I have NOT sent any express reply to the mail containing the terms and conditons.  But, I was accepting the salary they were paing.


Now, I would like to know whether the mail be treated as a contract under the purview of Indian Contract Act?  If so, can I sue my Agency in the court to pay the difference in my salary and bonus payment?


Thanks in advance,



K.P. Sendil Kumar


 7 Replies


Accepting of salary from them merely shows your acceptance of Terms & Conditins mentioned therein.

Thanks & Regards,



K P Sendil Kumar (Project Manager)     06 January 2011

Dear Mr. Sanjay Kapse,


Thanks for your reply.


My question is whether the mail can be treated as a contract under the purview of Indian Contracts Act.



K.P. Sendil Kumar

shrikant chede (law officer)     06 January 2011

NO ,unlees it is signed by both parties

Nilesh (Owner)     07 January 2011

As per d contract act unless n until both parties to the contract doesnt singed d contract, agreement not come in to force.

Basavaraj (Asst, Manager-Legal)     01 February 2011

no cantracts shall in force unless and untill duly signed by agreed parties.

Orally contracts shall not be enforcable by law.

I do agree with otther friends suggestions

sanjay kumar (BE/ LLM in Corporate Laws)     01 February 2011

As per Section-9 of the Indian Contracts Act :- 


Promises, express and implied.    

9.Promises, express and implied.-In so far as the proposal or acceptance of any promise is made in words, the promise is said to be express. In so far as such proposal or acceptance is made otherwise than in words, the promise is said to be implied.

The Implied Contract is further tested on the basis of the actions and intentions of the parties.

The e-mail contract,though not signed by the parties, will be treated as an Implied Contract.



Devesh A. Bhatia (Advocate)     04 February 2011

A mail can be treated as a contract depending upon the content of the mail. By accepting the salary for some time now you cannot complain. Basically you ratified the breach. You can still file a case stating that the promises made to you were not fulfilled and you were promised more pay and bonus which was later on withdrawn. 

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