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The Sale of Goods Act, 1930, Sections 11 to 17[1] discusses warranties and conditions. In a sale contract, various conditions are inserted as stipulations in the contract. Because they determine the rights and obligations of the parties involved. i.e. the buyer and the seller in the transaction, conditions, and warranties are crucial. A clause’s status as a condition or warranty is established by whether it is necessary or incidental to the contract’s primary goal. This determination decides the type of measures that will be offered in the event that the warranties and conditions are violated.


Under this section[2], the stipulation refers specifically to the timing of payment. The time of payment in a contract of sale is not deemed to be essential to the contract unless the provisions of the contract indicate so. All other stipulations in the context of time depend on the clauses of the contract.


Any mandates in the contract may be a condition or a warranty, according to Section 12(1)[3] of the Act. Section 12(2)[4] of the act specifies what stipulation constitutes a condition. Any such requirement that is necessary to the contract’s primary goal is a condition. The opposite party has the power to revoke the agreement if either side violates a condition. Section 12(3)[5] of the act specifies what stipulation constitutes a warranty. Any such clause that is incidental to the contract’s primary goal is a warranty. Any party who violates a warranty has the right to sue the other for damages. However, the other party does not have the authority to cancel the contract because of a warranty breach by one party. Section 12(4)[6] of the act states that the determination of a stipulation being a warranty or a condition depends on the way the contract is constructed. In a contract, a stipulation may be referred to as a warranty but in reality, maybe a condition.

CASE LAW -Harrison v. Knowles and Foster4

On the basis of the defendant’s claim, the plaintiff acquired two ships from the defendant. The claim was that each ship is capable of 460 tonnes of deadweight, the actual amount was just 360 tonnes. The plaintiff wanted the ships rejected, however, the Court decided, The plaintiff cannot repudiate the contract but may seek damages, as the representation of capacity was just a warranty.


According to Section 13(1)[7], if a contract contains a condition that the seller must meet, the buyer may choose to remove the condition or may choose to treat the seller’s failure to do so as a warranty breach which prevents the contract from being revoked. Section 13(2)[8] states that if the contract does not mention otherwise, the breaking of any condition by the seller must be viewed as a breach of warranty if the contract is not severable and the goods are accepted by the buyer or any portion of the products are accepted. Therefore it does not lead to the repudiation or rejection of goods. Section 13(3)[9] mentions that the section will not enforce any warranty or condition that is exempted by law, due to impossibility, or for any other reason


Unless the contract states otherwise, Section 14(a)[10] states that there exists an implied condition that the seller will have the right to sell whether it is a sale or an agreement to sell. Section 14(b)[11] mentions about the implied warranty of a buyer’s right to peaceful enjoyment of property. Section 14(c)[12] discusses the implied assurance that the products will be free of any claim or burden from a third party that the buyer is unaware of.


Under this section[13], If the sale is on the basis of description it is sine qua non that the products must match the description. The goods should match both the description and the sample if the sale is based on both the sample and the description.

In the case of Priest v Last[14], The buyer purchased a hot water bottle from the chemist’s shop. The seller states that the bottle can carry water that is hot but cannot stand water that is boiling. Some days later the purchased bottle bursts and injures the buyer’s wife. Given that the buyer expressed the necessity for a hot water bottle, the court held., it was an implied condition since a particular purpose of the good to be purchased was communicated. The vendor is responsible for damages because this is an implied condition.


Except in the following circumstances, there is normally no implied term of quality or fitness in a contract of sale.:- Section 16(1)[15] states that in a situation when the buyer communicates to the seller the purpose of the good to be purchased and shows that he does depend on the seller’s expertise and judgment, as he is a participant in the same good’s business cycle. In this case, there is an implied warranty that the products will be of reasonable quality and suitability for the intended use.

In the case of Baldry v Marshall[16] , The plaintiff requested the defendant, a motor car dealer to provide him with a car that is appropriate for touring. The defendant recommended a Bugatti, but it was found to be unsuitable for touring. It was held that suitability for a particular purpose is a condition.

According to Section 16(2)[17], it is an implied condition that products purchased based on a seller’s description and who is engaged in dealing with those goods will be of merchantable quality. Section 16(3)[18] states about an implied warranty or a condition about quality or fitness for a particular purpose can be annexed by the usage of trade. Section 16(4)[19] states about an express condition and warranty will not override an implicit warranty or condition of an act unless it is inconsistent with it


In a sample-based contract of sale, there is an implicit condition that:- the bulk of the goods will be qualitatively the same as the goods in the sample. The purchaser will be given a fair opportunity to verify that the items match the sample that was provided. The goods will be without any defect and fit for merchantable purposes.[20] In the case of Ruben Ltd v. Fair Bros[21], A sample of linatex was shown to the buyer, however, the good delivered was not as soft as the sample shown. The seller took the defense that a simple procedure of warming the good would make it soft, however, The bulk of the delivered goods did not match the sample, hence it was decided that the vendor should be held accountable for a conditional violation.


 Sale of goods act 1930, provides importance in the context of the difference between a condition and a warranty distinguished from their common interchangeable usage It safeguards the rights of both the buyer and the seller. It imposes duties on both the buyer and the seller. The act through Sections 11 to 17[22] the act lays down safeguards to deal with various disputes that may arise between a buyer and a seller in a contract of sale.

Author(s) Name: Sheetal Shivaji Potale (ILS Law College, Pune)


[1] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 11 and 17.

[2] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 11.

[3] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 12(1).

[4] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 12(2).

[5] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 12(3).

[6] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 12(4).

[7] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 13(1).

[8] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 13(2).

[9] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 13(3).

[10]Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 14(a).

[11]Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 14(b).

[12]Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 14(c).

[13] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 15.

[14] Priest v. Last (1903) 2.K.B.148.

[15] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 16(1).

[16] Baldry v. Marshall (1925) 1.K.B.260.

[17] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 16(2).

[18] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 16(3).

[19] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 16(4).

[20] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 17.

[21] E & S Ruben Ltd v. Fair Bros. (1949) 1.K.B.254.

[22] Sale of Goods Act, 1930, s 11 and 17.