'Caveat Emptor' is important maxim/ rule. It  has great significance in a contract of a sale. It is a fundamental rule relating to sale in English Common law.

Meaning :

         It means 'buyer beware' or 'let the buyer beware'. It is a privilege/ defense to the seller and imposes an obligation on the buyer. According to this maxim, the buyer must be very careful while purchasing the goods ascertain/examine whether the goods will serve/suit his purpose. Otherwise, he cannot blame the seller as there is no implied undertaking by the seller that  the goods would serve the buyers purpose.

        The rule of 'Caveat Emptor' is recognized under Sec. 16 of the sale of goods act, 1930, which says "subject to the provisions of this act and any other law for the time being in force, there is no implied warranty or condition as to quality or fitness for a a particular purpose of goods supplied under the contract of sale". If the buyer wants protection from this rule, he can do by inserting in contract, an express condition or warranty.

          It is to be noted that, the doctrine of caveat emptor is applicable to potent defects and not to the latent defects. Potent defects are those, which are visible and observable. While, the latent defects are those, which cannot be visible/detected without special skill. Eg. If the goods are found in broken condition, it is called potent defect. If the goods appear to be in good condition, but, they lag behind some internal /Technical defect, they are called 'latent defects'.


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