Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Contract Act_Practical Problems_35

A, a dealer in horses, sold a mare to B with the knowledge that the mare had a cracked hoof which A had filled up so as to prevent detection even after a diligent examination. Discuss the right of B when he subsequently detects it.

The facts of the above problem suggest that A has attempted to defraud B. But under Section 17 of the Indian Contract Act, mere silence as to the faults in the goods being sold, shall not ordinarily amount to fraud unless silence is either equivalent to speech or it was obligatory on the part of the party to disclose the facts. In the given case either of these exceptional situations not being present, the common rule of caveat emptor, i.e., let the buyer beware shall apply, that is, it is the duty of the buyer to satisfy himself about the goods he is buying. It is no duty of the seller to point out the defect of his goods. Thus, in the present case, when buyer later on detects the defect, he may not have any remedies against the seller.

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