Saturday 29 June 2024

What is basic concept of Caveat emptor with reference of Indian law?

 "Caveat emptor" is a Latin term that translates to "let the buyer beware." It is a principle in contract law that places the responsibility on the buyer to perform due diligence before making a purchase. In essence, it means that the buyer must take responsibility for the quality and condition of the goods they are purchasing and cannot hold the seller liable for any defects discovered after the purchase, provided there was no fraud involved.

Caveat Emptor in Indian Law

In the context of Indian law, the principle of caveat emptor has evolved over time, particularly with the advent of consumer protection laws that provide more rights a nd safeguards for buyers. Here are some key aspects of how caveat emptor is treated in Indian law:

1. Sale of Goods Act, 1930

The Sale of Goods Act, 1930 is one of the primary legislations governing the sale of goods in India. Under this act:

  • Section 16 of the Sale of Goods Act states the principle of caveat emptor but also outlines exceptions where the seller may be liable for the quality or fitness of the goods. These exceptions include:
    • When the buyer relies on the seller’s skill or judgment.
    • When goods are bought by description and they do not correspond with the description.
    • When goods are bought by sample and they do not correspond with the sample.

2. Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has significantly bolstered the rights of consumers in India and has provided various mechanisms for grievance redressal. This act has somewhat diminished the strict application of caveat emptor by ensuring that consumers are protected against unfair trade practices and defective goods. Key provisions include:

  • Product Liability: Manufacturers and sellers are held liable for any harm caused by defective products or services.
  • Consumer Rights: The act enshrines various rights for consumers, including the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and price of goods or services.

3. Judicial Interpretations

Indian courts have also played a crucial role in interpreting the principle of caveat emptor, often balancing it with the need to protect consumers. For instance, in several judgments, courts have emphasized that sellers cannot escape liability for defects in goods if they have made false representations or concealed material facts.


While the principle of caveat emptor still holds relevance in Indian law, its application has been moderated by statutory provisions and judicial interpretations that aim to protect consumers. Modern consumer protection laws have shifted some of the responsibility back to sellers and manufacturers, ensuring a fairer marketplace for buyers.

Print Page

No comments:

Post a Comment