The Sale of Goods Act, 1930 is an important legislation in India that governs the sale of goods. It defines and regulates the rights and duties of the parties involved in a contract for the sale of goods.
Key provisions of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930:
- Definition of a Contract for Sale: A contract for sale is an agreement between the buyer and the seller for the transfer of ownership of goods for a price.
- Conditions and Warranties: The act distinguishes between conditions and warranties in a contract for sale. Conditions are essential terms of the contract, and their breach entitles the innocent party to terminate the contract. Warranties are subsidiary terms, and their breach entitles the innocent party to claim damages, but not to terminate the contract.
- Transfer of Property: The act provides for the transfer of property in goods from the seller to the buyer. The transfer of property is essential for the passing of the ownership of goods.
- Sale by Description and Sample: The act recognizes the sale of goods by description and sample. The buyer has the right to reject the goods if they do not conform to the description or sample.
- Implied Conditions: The act implies certain conditions in a contract for sale, such as the seller having the right to sell the goods, and the goods being of merchantable quality.
- Performance of the Contract: The act provides for the performance of the contract, including the delivery of goods, payment of the price, and the passing of property in the goods.
- Remedies for Breach: The act provides for remedies in case of breach of contract, such as termination of the contract, claim for damages, and the right to reject the goods.
The Sale of Goods Act, 1930 has the following objectives:
- To provide a legal framework for the sale of goods: The act provides a legal framework for the sale of goods in India. It defines the rights and duties of the buyer and seller in a contract for the sale of goods and provides for the transfer of property in goods.
- To protect the interests of buyers and sellers: The act seeks to protect the interests of both buyers and sellers in a contract for the sale of goods. It provides for implied conditions and warranties, which ensure that the goods are of merchantable quality, fit for the purpose for which they are sold, and correspond with their description.
- To promote fair dealing in commercial transactions: The act seeks to promote fair dealing in commercial transactions. It provides for remedies in case of breach of contract, which include the right to reject the goods, claim damages, and terminate the contract.
- To provide for efficient resolution of disputes: The act provides for efficient resolution of disputes arising out of a contract for the sale of goods. It allows parties to opt for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation.
- To harmonize with international standards: The act seeks to harmonize with international standards for the sale of goods. It is based on the principles of the English Sale of Goods Act, 1893 and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).
Definition of Contract of Sale
According to the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, a contract of sale is a legal agreement where one party (seller) agrees to transfer ownership of goods to another party (buyer) in exchange for a price. The contract of sale can be for specific goods or for future goods that are yet to be manufactured or acquired by the seller.
A contract of sale may be in writing, oral, or implied from the conduct of the parties. The essential elements of a contract of sale include the agreement to sell, transfer of ownership, and payment of price.
The agreement to sell includes the terms and conditions of the sale such as the description of goods, quantity, quality, price, delivery date, and mode of payment. The transfer of ownership in goods occurs when the seller transfers the property in goods to the buyer, either at the time of the contract or at a later time as agreed between the parties. The payment of price is the consideration for the transfer of ownership in goods.
Sale and Agreement to Sell
Under the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, a contract of sale can be either a sale or an agreement to sell. The main difference between the two is that in a sale, the ownership of goods is immediately transferred from the seller to the buyer, while in an agreement to sell, the transfer of ownership is to take place at a future date or on the happening of a certain event.
In a sale, the goods are identified and agreed upon by both parties, and the seller is under an obligation to transfer the ownership of goods to the buyer, who is under an obligation to pay the price for the goods. Once the sale is complete, the buyer becomes the owner of the goods, and the seller has no further interest in them.
In an agreement to sell, the parties agree to transfer the ownership of goods at a future date or on the happening of a certain event, such as the payment of the price or the delivery of the goods. The agreement to sell creates an obligation on both parties to perform their respective obligations, i.e., the seller to transfer ownership of goods, and the buyer to pay the price.
The key difference between a sale and an agreement to sell is that in a sale, the ownership of goods is immediately transferred, while in an agreement to sell, the transfer of ownership is to take place at a future date or on the happening of a certain event. However, both sales and agreements to sell are contracts of sale, and the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 apply to both.
Definition of goods
According to the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, “Goods” means every kind of movable property other than actionable claims and money. Movable property refers to any property that can be moved from one place to another, such as goods, furniture, machinery, and vehicles.
The Act defines “Goods” broadly to include all types of tangible personal property that can be bought and sold, including goods that are in a finished or unfinished state, and raw materials. The definition of goods also includes crops, timber, and other things attached to or forming part of land, which can be severed from the land. However, goods also exclude money and other forms of currency, as well as any intangible property such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other similar rights.