When Breach of a Condition is to Be Treated as a Breach of a Warranty

Section 13 provides for certain circumstances where a condition may be reduced to the status of a warranty. Consequently, the buyer loses his right to reject the goods. His only remedy in such case shall be to claim damages. This shall happen in the following cases:




1. Waiver by buyer: Where a contract of sale is subject to any condition to be fulfilled by the seller, the buyer may: (i) waive the condition; or (ii) elect to treat the breach of condition as a breach of warranty. You know that the conditions, express or implied, are for the benefit of the buyer. He has, therefore, the option to waive the breach of a condition and accept the performance short of it. In that case, he remains liable for the price but may only recover damages if there is any breach. Once the buyer exercises his option, he cannot later on compel the seller for its fulfilment.

 

2. Compulsory treatment of breach of condition as breach of warranty: When the contract of sale is not severable and the buyer has accepted the goods or part thereof, the breach of any condition to be fulfilled by the seller can only be treated as a breach of warranty. As per Section 42 of the Act, a buyer is deemed to have accepted the goods:

i) When he intimates to the seller that he has accepted them, or

ii) When the goods have been delivered to him and (a) he does any act in relation to them which is inconsistent with ownership of the seller (say, pledges the same), or (b) when, after the lapse of a reasonable time, he retains the goods without intimating to the seller that he has rejected them.

But if the contract is severable, and the buyer has accepted part of the goods, he can still exercise his right to reject the remaining goods.

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