Explain the doctrine of Caveat Emptor. State the exceptions of this doctrine.

Caveat Emptor is a fundamental principle of the law of sale of goods. Caveat Emptor means “caution buyer” i.e. “let the buyer beware.” According to this principle, it is the buyer’s duty to select goods of his requirements. The seller is not bound to supply goods which should be fit for, any particular purpose. Section 16 says, “subject to the provisions of this act and of any other law for the time being in force, there is no implied warranty or condition as to the quality or fitness for any particular purpose of goods supplied under a contract of sale.

Thus, a seller is not ordinarily bound to disclose every defect to is for the buyer to make himself acquainted with qualities and the defects of the goods. If, therefore, while purchasing the goods, the buyer depends upon his own skill and makes a bad choice he must curse himself for his own folly, in the absence of any misrepresentation or fraud or guarantee by the seller.

The exceptions to the rule are:

  • Where the seller make a false representation and the buyer relies on that representation.
  • Where the seller actively conceals a defect in the goods, so that on a reasonable examination the same could not be discovered.
  • Where the goods are purchased by description and they do not correspond with the description.
  • Where the goods are purchased by description from a seller who deals in goods of that description and the goods are not of “merchantable quality.”
  • Where the goods are purchased by sample and the bulk does not correspond with the sample.
  • Where the goods are purchased by sample as well as by description and the bulk does not correspond both with the sample and with the description.

Where the buyer makes known to the seller the purpose for which he requires the goods and relies upon the sellers skill and judgement, but the goods supplied are unfit for specified purpose.

Where the trade usage attaches an implied condition or warranty as to quality or fitness and the seller deviates from that.

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