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Condition and Warranty

Updated: Mar 15

At the time of selling the goods, a seller usually makes certain statements or representations with a view to induce the intending buyer to purchase the goods. Such representations are generally about the nature and quality of goods, and about their fitness for buyer’s purpose.

Meaning of condition and warranty

Lets understand the meaning and difference between condition and warranty, Also meaning of implied condition and warranty under contract of sale in India. meaning of condition and warranty.

When these statements or representations do not form a part of the contract of sale, they are not relevant and have no legal effects on the contract. But when these form part of the contract of sale and the buyer relies upon them, they are relevant and have legal effects on the contract.

A representation which forms a part of the contract of sale and affects the contract, is called a stipulation. However, every stipulation is not of equal importance.

Condition and warranty (Section 12): A stipulation in a contract of sale with reference to goods which are the subject thereof may be a condition or a warranty. [Sub-section (1)]

“A condition is a stipulation essential to the main purpose of the contract, the breach of which gives rise to a right to treat the contract as repudiated”. [Sub-section (2)]

“A warranty is a stipulation collateral to the main purpose of the contract, the breach of which gives rise to a claim for damages but not to a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated”.[Sub-section(3)]

Whether a stipulation in a contract of sale is a condition or a warranty depends in each case on the construction of the contract. A stipulation may be a condition, though called a warranty in the contract. [Sub-section (4)]

Example: Ram consults Shyam, a motor-car dealer for a car suitable for touring purposes to promote the sale of his product. Shyam suggests ‘Maruti’ and Ram accordingly buys it from Shyam. The car turns out to be unfit for touring purposes. Here the term that the ‘car should be suitable for touring purposes’ is a condition of the contract. It is so vital that its non-fulfilment defeats the very purpose for which Ram purchases the car. Ram is therefore entitled to reject the car and have refund of the price.

Let us assume Ram buys a new Maruti car from the show room and the car is guaranteed against any manufacturing defect under normal usage for a period of one year from the date of original purchase and in the event of any manufacturing defect there is a warranty for replacement of defective part if it cannot be properly repaired. After six months Ram finds that the horn of the car is not working, here in this case he cannot terminate the contract. The manufacturer can either get it repaired or replaced it with a new horn. Ram gets a right to claim for damages, if any, suffered by him but not the right of repudiation.

Difference between condition and warranty
condition and warranty


‘Conditions’ and ‘Warranties’ may be either express or implied. They are “express” when the terms of the contract expressly state them. They are implied when, not being expressly provided for.

Express conditions are those, which are agreed upon between the parties at the time of contract and are expressly provided in the contract.

The implied conditions, on the other hand, are those, which are presumed by law to be present in the contract. It should be noted that an implied condition may be negated or waived by an express agreement.

Implied Conditions: Following conditions are implied in a contract of sale of goods unless the circumstances of the contract show a different intention.


Implied Warranties: It is a warranty which the law implies into the contract of sale. In other words, it is the stipulation which has not been included in the contract of sale in express words. But the law presumes that the parties have incorporated it into their contract. It will be interesting to know that implied warranties are read into every contract of sale unless they are expressly excluded by the express agreement of the parties.

These may also be excluded by the course of dealings between the parties or by usage of trade (Section 62).

The examination of Sections 14 and 16 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 discloses the following implied warranties:

1. Warranty as to undisturbed possession [Section 14(b)]: An implied warranty that the buyer shall have and enjoy quiet possession of the goods. That is to say, if the buyer having got possession of the goods, is later on disturbed in his possession, he is entitled to sue the seller for the breach of the warranty.

2. Warranty as to non-existence of encumbrances [Section 14(c)]: An implied warranty that the goods shall be free from any charge or encumbrance in favour of any third party not declared or known to the buyer before or at the time the contract is entered into.

Example: A pledges his car with C for a loan of `15,000 and promises him to give its possession the next day. A, then sells the car immediately to B, who purchased it on good faith, without knowing the fact. B, may either ask A to clear the loan or himself may pay the money and then, file a suit against A for recovery of the money with interest.

3. Warranty as to quality or fitness by usage of trade [Section 16(3)]: An implied warranty as to quality or fitness for a particular purpose may be annexed or attached by the usage of trade.

Regarding implied condition or warranty as to the quality or fitness for any particular purpose of goods supplied, the rule is ‘let the buyer beware’ i.e., the seller is under no duty to reveal unflattering truths about the goods sold, but this rule has certain exceptions.

4. Disclosure of dangerous nature of goods: Where the goods are dangerous in nature and the buyer is ignorant of the danger, the seller must warn the buyer of the probable danger. If there is a breach of warranty, the seller may be liable in damages.

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