Condition and Warranty in Contract Law of India

Posted: 5 Feb 2007 Last revised: 12 Jan 2013

Date Written: February 3, 2008

Abstract

Every contract of sale is likely to contain a number of terms and stipulations about the nature and quality of the goods and their fitness of the buyer's purpose. Every such term is not likely to be of equal importance. Some of them constitute the hard core of the contract and their non fulfillments may seem to upset the very basis of the contract. They may be so vital to the contract that their breach may seem to be a breach of the contract as a whole. Such terms are known as conditions. A term which is not of such vital importance is known as a warranty. Its breach does not lead to repudiation, but only to damages for breach.

The section 12 of the sale of goods act goes on to explain the distinction between condition and warranties and also when should condition to be treated as warranty.

HISTORY OF CONDITION AND WARRANTY This section is in effect an additional definition or interpretation section and supplies a want long felt in India. At the time when the contract act was passed the phrase 'warranty' had been and used with several different meanings and shades of meaning, and the difficulty had been increased by some of those meanings overlapping some of the meanings of the word 'condition'. The contract Act used the word 'warranty' in this ambiguous sense and did not define it. The result was that the court had to decide on the construction of each section whether the word warranty was used in the strict sense in which it was used1 , or in the wider sense of the English 'condition', as it was in s 1182. The present act avoids this confusion and uses the words 'condition' and warranty and draws a clear distinction between the two.

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Keywords: Condition, Warranty, Contract Law of India, Indian Contract Act

JEL Classification: K12, K33, K13

Suggested Citation

Raj, Manish, Condition and Warranty in Contract Law of India (February 3, 2008). Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=847526

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