An experiment was conducted to investigate the possible involvement of exogenously applied salicylic acid (presowing seed soaking at the rate of 1.0 and 1.5 mM salicylic acid (SA) on dry matter production and its partitioning, antioxidant (proline and sugar), antioxidant enzymes i.e., superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and yield of four chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes, viz., Tyson, ICC 4958, JG 315 and DCP 92-3 under drought stress. Drought imposed (by withholding irrigation) at 50% flowering and 50% podding phase of development. Results indicate wide variation in tolerance to drought stress amongst chickpea genotypes at both the critical stages i.e., 50% flowering and 50% podding. However, the yield and its components were higher in ICC 4958 as compared to other genotypes. It is inferred that the significant response of applied SA at the rate of 1.5 mM under drought condition was relatively more in ICC 4958 genotype in terms of antioxidant response; substantially alleviated drought induced adverse effect and yield. It is also conclude that drought stress at 50% flowering was found to be more damaging than the 50% podding phase.