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Aakritu   20 January 2022

Legal maxim

What is the scope of the maxim "Caveat Emptor"?

 1 Replies

Aarushi   20 January 2022

The phrase “Caveat Emptor” means “let the buyer be aware”, which means that the responsibility of buying any item, should be upon the buyer himself. This maxim forms an integral part of the Sale of Goods Act. For example, if a buyer buys any defective material after looking at the item carefully, the seller is not responsible for this negligent behaviour of the buyer. Section 16 of the Sale of Goods Act states that, once a buyer buys any item, there is no implied warranty with respect to the quality of the product. This maxim thus attempts to make the buyer more conscious of his choices, in matter of his purchase. It is the duty of the buyer to check the quality of any product before buying it. This maxim however, also has certain exceptions to it. If the buyer tells the seller his purpose of buying a product, the seller has to make sure that the product which he sold to the buyer should be of that particular use to the buyer for which he/she bought the product. Apart from this, while selling any product, the seller has to make sure that the product that he/she is selling should be of the standard quality to pass the market standards.

M.S. Padmanabha Iyer v. Devadass Sylus & Anr.

In this case, after going through the deed of the sale, the court held that, the agreement which was made between the parties was valid and that, while selling the property the seller had no intentions of fraud or misrepresentation and the buyer knew all the conditions related to the property, thus, the court applied the principle of Caveat Emptor and the appeal was passed.

Commission of Customs (Preventive) v. Aafloat Textiles India Private Limited & Ors.

In this case, the court held that while selling the item, it was not the responsibility of the seller to inform the buyer of the defects in the product unless the seller has indicated otherwise. It is always the duty of the buyer to see and buy the product and thus the court applied the principle of Caveat Emptor.

Pawittar Singh Walia v. Union territory

In this case, the court held that at the time of purchase the buyer should have asked the authority, whether or not the seller was authorised to sell the property in question and about all the other matters related to the property. Thus, going by the principle of Caveat Emptor, it was held that it was the duty of the buyer to inquire all the aspects of any property before buying it.

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