Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sale of Goods Act: Condition and Warranty - Introduction and Differences

‘Condition’ and ‘Warranty’
 Section 12(2) states that a condition is a stipulation which is essential to the main purpose of the contract. The breach of a condition gives rise to a right to treat the contract as repudiated or broken.
Example – A buys from B hair oil advertised as pure coconut oil. The oil turns out to be mixed with herbs. A can return the oil and claim the refund of price.
Section 12(3) states that a warranty is a stipulation which is collateral to the main purpose of the contract. The breach of a warranty gives rise to a claim for damages but not a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated.
Example – A while selling his car to B, stated the car gives a mileage of 12 kms per litre of petrol. The car gives only 10 kms per litre. B cannot reject the car. It is breach of warranty. He can only claim damages for the loss due to extra consumption of petrol.

Difference between Condition and warranty:

Basis of Difference
A stipulation which is essential to the main purpose of the contract.
A stipulation which is collateral to the main purpose of the contract.
The aggrieved party can terminate the contract, claim damages or treat it as breach of warranty
The aggrieved party cannot terminate the contract but can only claim damages
A breach of condition can be treated as a breach of warranty
A breach of warranty cannot be treated as breach of condition.

When condition to be treated as warranty.
a)      Where a contract of sale is subject to any condition to be fulfilled by the seller, the buyer may waive the condition or elect to treat the breach of the condition as a breach of warranty and not as a ground for treating the contract as repudiated.
b)      Where a contract of sale is not severable and the buyer has accepted the goods or part thereof, the breach of any condition to be fulfilled by the seller can only be treated as a breach of warranty and not as a ground for rejecting the goods and treating the contract as repudiated, unless there is a term of the contract, express or implied, to that effect.
c)       Nothing in this section shall affect the case of any condition or warranty fulfilment of which is excused by law by reason of impossibility or otherwise.


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