Remedies for Breach of the contract of sale

Remedies available to the seller:

In case of breach of the contract of sale of goods where the seller is the aggrieved party he has the following remedies:

Suit for price:

1) Where under a contract of sale, the property in the goods has passed to the buyer and the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to pay for the goods according to the terms of the contract, the seller may sue him for the price of the goods.
2) Where under a contract of sale, the price is payable on a certain day irrespective of delivery and the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to pay such price the seller may sue him for the price although the property in the goods has not passed and the goods have not been appropriated to the contract. In short, section 55 gives right to the seller to sue the buyer for the price. Now a seller can institute suit for the price when:

(i) the property in the goods has passed to the buyer, for example, goods have been sold and delivered.
(ii) Where the goods have not been delivered and the property in the goods has not passed to the buyer.

The seller can sue for the price under clause (2), if the price is payable on a certain day and the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to pay such price. He may also exercise right of lien and stoppage in transit as discussed.

Suit for damages:

For non-acceptance: Where the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to accept and pay for the goods, the seller may sue him for damages for non-acceptance. The measure of damages is according to the provisions of section 73 of The Indian Contract Act, depending upon the available market for the goods. In action for damages fro breach of contract to buy goods, plaintiff can only recover difference between contract price and market price and not between contract price and actual price.

For repudiation of the contract – Anticipatory breach: Where the buyer repudiates the contract before the date of delivery, the seller may either treat the contract as subsisting and wait till the date of delivery, or he may treat the contract as rescinded and sue for damages for the breach. This remedy is in anticipation of the breach of contract popularly known as anticipatory breach of contract.

The words repudiates the contract occurring in section 60, demonstrate that the repudiation must be of the contract in its entirety and that it is only in that event, that there is anticipatory breach which can create the right to rescind the contract.

Remedies available to the buyer:

In case of breach of the contract of sale, where the buyer is the aggrieved party he has the following remedies:

Suit for damages for non-delivery of the goods (Sec 57):

Where 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 remedy of the buyer is similar to that of the seller under section 56, discussed above under suit for damages by the seller.

Suit for specific performance:

In any suit by the buyer for breach of contract to deliver specific or ascertained goods, the Court may, if it thinks fit, on application of the buyer, by its decree, direct that the contract shall be performed specifically, without giving the seller the option of retaining the goods on payment of damages. The decree, may be unconditional, or upon such terms and conditions as to damages, payment of the price or otherwise as the court may deem just. Specific performance is subject to the provisions of The Specific Relief Act 1877. It should be noted that this section applies only to specific or ascertained goods. The Court has discretion to order specific performance whenever damages would not be an adequate remedy. —

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