DOCTRINE OF CAVEAT EMPTOR @LEXCLIQ BY KANUPRIYA BHARGAVA

DOCTRINE OF CAVEAT EMPTOR

 

ABSTRACT

Caveat Emptor is a Latin proverb that translates to “Let the Buyer Beware,” and it is a common adage used by both buyers and sellers in a free marketplace. However, according to current times, this maxim has undergone various alterations in recent years. According to this concept, it is the buyer’s obligation to be cautious about the goods, and it is his responsibility to accept it without reservation if he is happy with it. For a long time, this adage has been popular in England. It had become a well acknowledged idea around the world, and it had been used several times in the commercial sector.

HISTORY

During the eighteenth century, the buyer was considered responsible for any misbehaviour that happened during the transaction. Even if the vendor had done anything wrong, it was the buyer’s obligation to apply adequate skill, judgement, and caution while acquiring any product. The English Sale of Goods Act of 1893 declared that the seller’s obligations regarding disclosure requirements when a product is sold were modest. There was no responsibility on the seller to give information, and the buyer’s appropriate evaluation of the products was regarded above and above any other duty. Another strong declaration was found in Section 11(1)(c) of the same Act, which stated that in circumstances when ‘specific’ products were being sold, the buyer could not reject the goods on any grounds. As a result, it is clear that the law was biased in favour of the seller, and there was no equivalent rule in place at the time that would place the responsibility on the seller.

THE MYTH AND NEED FOR TRANSFORMATION

 

Caveat Emptor is a fundamental principle of the Sale of Goods Act,1930. It literally means “let the buyer beware.” This means that the buyer is solely responsible for their decision.

“There is no implied warranty or condition as to the quality or fitness for any particular use of goods supplied under such a contract of sale,” says Section 16 of the act.

This principle has given the seller a number of undesired privileges, and it has made the buyer completely accountable for any transactional errors. It had tarnished the relationship between seller and buyer, allowing the seller to conceal a key aspect of the deal while blaming the buyer for failing to conduct reasonable examinations.

In Priest v. Last, there was a shift in perspective for the first time. The client was discovered to have purchased a hot water bottle based on the vendor’s advice and the seller’s required abilities in offering it to the buyer. For the first time, the buyer was not held liable, and the seller’s skills and judgement were questioned. This changed the principle of Caveat Emptor to Caveat Venditor, which means “Let the vendor beware.” The maxim promotes consumer welfare by holding sellers, manufacturers, and service providers responsible for the quality of goods produced or services provided.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES

Product Suitability for the Buyer’s Purpose [Section 16{1}]

When a buyer informs the seller of his intention to purchase items, it is assumed that he is trusting the seller’s judgement. It is then the seller’s responsibility to guarantee that the items are suitable for the intended purpose.

 

Goods of a Merchantable Quality [Section – 16{2}]

The exemption of merchantable quality is dealt with in Section 16 (2). According to the sections, a seller selling products by description has an obligation to provide items of merchantable quality, i.e., goods that can pass market requirements.

 

Conditions implied by trade usage [Sec. 16{3}]

Section 16(3) gives statutory force to the conditions implied by the usage of a particular trade. It states: “An implied condition or warranty as to the quality or fitness for any particular purpose may be annexed by the usage of trade.”

CONCLUSION

According to the findings of the aforementioned study, the caveat emptor rule is gradually fading and being replaced by the caveat venditor rule, with the change attributed to a more consumer-oriented economy that fosters commercial interactions. It is argued that such a change would not only help to achieve a correct balance of rights and duties, but if this is taken more seriously, it may result in misuse on the part of the buyer.

AUTHOR

KANUPRIYA BHARGAVA

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