Caveat Venditor Meaning, Origin, Application and Important Case Laws

By | August 6, 2021
Caveat Venditor

Last Updated on by Admin LB

Latin maxim “Caveat Venditor” cautions that the seller is responsible for any problem that the buyer might encounter with a service or product. In this article, Sahajpreet Bhusari explains the meaning of the maxim with case laws.

Origin and Meaning

Caveat Venditor is a legal term of Latin origin. Caveat in Latin means ‘beware’ and venditor means ‘seller’ and hence the term literally means ‘let the seller beware’[1].

Explanation

The person selling the goods is responsible for providing information about the goods to the buyer. This maxim is the opposite of caveat emptor. This forces sellers to take responsibility for the products and prevents sellers from selling products of unreasonable quality.[2]

Application

The origin of the maxim can be traced back to the information disclosure requirements to promote the buyer’s motivation, and gradually has a clear quality. The obligations of the seller have been given a legitimate form with various laws, rules, regulations and precedents.

The buyer is considered to be the king of the market and hence the responsibilities of the buyer have been restricted to reasonable examination.

Another important controversy arising from the seller’s obligation to make appropriate disclosures in advance involves the seller’s own unawareness of the deformity. Learned scholar Benjamin believes that sellers cannot justify their failure to monitor the deformity of their products.[3]

Illustrations

The seller must be aware of the goods he is selling in the market. He must be aware of it in aspects such as that of usage, quality, ISI mark, and other quality standards.

Important Case Laws

In the case of Rekha Sahu v. UCO Bank & Ors[4], it was held that there has been a shift from the principle of caveat emptor to the principle of caveat venditor. Earlier the buyer was held responsible to verify the title of the property before purchasing the same. However, now it is for the seller to prove that the title of the property is clear.

In the case of National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Krishna Devi & Ors[5], the court held that nowadays the market is more consumer oriented and that the rule of Caveat Emptor must give way to the rule of Caveat Venditor.


Reference

[1] Merriam Webster, Definition of Caveat Venditor, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caveat%20emptor, Accessed on 4th August, 2021.

[2] Law Times Journal, Caveat Venditor, https://lawtimesjournal.in/caveat-venditor/, Accessed on 4th August, 2021.

[3] Ibid.

[4] (2014) BC 221 (DB) (ALL).

[5] 2015 Indlaw NCDRC 679


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