Hire Purchase Act, 1972
2. Definitions. –
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires. -
(a) "contract of guarantee" in relation to any hire-purchase agreement, means a contract whereby a person ( in this Act referred to as the surety) guarantees the performance of all or any of the hirer’s obligations under the hire-purchase agreement.
(b) "hire" means the sum payable periodically by the hirer under a hire-purchase agreement.
(c) "hire-purchase agreement" means an agreement under which goods are let on hire and under which the hirer has an option to purchase them in accordance with the terms of the agreement and includes an agreement under which-
(i) possession of goods is delivered by the owner thereof to a person on condition that such persons pays the agreed amount in periodical installments, and
(ii) the property in the goods is to pass to such person on the payment of the last of such installments, and
(iii) such person has a right to terminate the agreement at any time before the property so passes.
(d) "hire-purchase price" means the total sum payable by the hirer under a hire-purchase agreement in order to complete the purchase of, or the acquisition of property in, the goods to which the agreement relates and includes any sum so payable by the hirer under hire-purchase agreement by way of a deposit other initial payment, or credited or to be credited to him under such agreement on account of any such deposit or payment, whether that sum is to be a or has been paid to the owner or to any other person or is to be or has been discharged by payment or money or by transfer or delivery of goods or by any other means but does not include any sum payable as a penalty or as compensation or damages for a breach of the agreement.
(e) "hirer" means the person who obtains or has obtained possession of goods from an owner under a hire-purchase agreement, and includes a person to whom the hirer’s rights or liabilities under the agreement have passed by assignment or by operation of law.
(f) "owner" means the person who lets or has let, delivers or has delivered possession of goods, to a hirer under a hire-purchase agreement and includes a person to whom the owner’s property in the goods or any of the owner’s rights or liabilities under the agreement has passed by assignment or by operation of law.
(g) each of the words and expressions used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Indian Contract Act, 1872 ( 9 of 1872) or the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 (3 of 1930) shall have the meaning assigned to it in that Act.
Comment: The nature and legal effect of hire-purchase agreements is not the same in all cases and may be different in different circumstances. The Court is duty bound in each case to determine the correct legal relationship between the parties by going through the document as a whole and reaching the real intention of the parties, untrammeled by the choice of phraseology in the document.
(1973) 1 Mys LJ 231