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Sale of Goods

Buyer's Remedies Against Seller For Breach of Contract

A buyer also has certain remedies against the seller who commits a breach. These are:

1. Suit for Damages for Non-Delivery- When the seller wrongfully neglects or refuses to deliver the goods to the buyer, the buyer may sue the seller for damages for non-delivery. This is in addition to the buyer's right to recover the price, if already paid, in case of non-delivery.

2. Suit for price- Where the buyer has paid the price and the goods are not delivered to him, he can recover the amount paid.

3. Suit for specific performance- When the goods are specific or ascertained, a buyer may sue the seller for specific performance of the contract and compel him to deliver the same goods. The court orders for specific performance only when the goods are specific or ascertained and an order for damages would not be an adequate remedy. Specific performance is generally allowed where the goods are of special significance or value e.g. a rare paining, a unique piece of jewellery , etc.

4. Suit for Breach of Warranty- Where there is a breach of warranty by the seller, or where the buyer elects or is compelled to treat the breach of condition as breach of warranty, the buyer cannot reject the goods. The buyer may, (a) set up the breach of warranty in extinction or diminution of the price payable by him, or (b) sue the seller for damages for breach of warranty.

5. Suit for Damages for Repudiation of contract before Due date-Where the seller repudiates the contract before the date of delivery, the buyer may adopt any of the following two courses of action --

  1. He may treat the contract as rescinded and sue the seller for damages. This is also known as 'damages for anticipatory breach'. The damages will be assessed according to the prices prevailing on the date of breach.
  2. He may treat the contract as subsisting and wait till the date of delivery. The contract remains open at the risk and for the benefit of both the parties. If the seller subsequently chooses to perform there shall be no damages otherwise he shall be liable to damages assessed according to the prices on the day stipulated for delivery.

6. Suit for interest- The buyer may recover such interest or special damages, as may be recoverable bylaw. He may also recover the money paid where the consideration for the payment of it has failed.

In the absence of a contract to the contrary, the court may award interest, to the buyer, in a suit by him for the refund of the price in a case of a breach on the part of the seller, at such rate as it thinks fit on the amount of the price from the date on which the payment was made.

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