The Sale of Goods Act
Satisfactory Quality as envisaged by the Sale of Goods Act, 1979 is a relative term, as the quotient is the satisfactory needs being met of a “reasonable person”, and more often than not is governed by variables like price and description, wherein aspects of durability, safety, appearance and freedom from minor defects are to be considered as an integral part of the evaluation. 1Further thereto, where goods are sold by a trader, the same ought to be reasonably fit for the buyer’s particular purpose, provided the buyer had made his purpose known and relied on the expertise of the seller.2 The dealer was sound only by implied condition as envisaged under Section 14(2) of the Sale of Goods Act, 1979 (hereinafter referred to as the 1979 Act for brevity), where “merchantable quality”3 was given emphasis minor defects would not necessarily mean a downgrade of the marketable quality, it was only a yardstick that the standard to be achieved depending on the market it was aimed at. For example, if a buyer, on the one hand, specified his requirements and relied on his skill and/or judgment, he would be bound by implied conditions in Section 14(3) of the 1979 Act.If on the other hand, a buyer on specifying his requirements, decided on the representation, skill and judgment of the seller, the seller was duty-bound to give the buyer what he wanted, and failing which the buyer was provided in that event of failure, with a remedy in damages. 4This view was further endorsed by the Law commission’s Report of 1987 (Law Com. No. 160) that implied that the goods should be of marketable quality,5 meaning “acceptable quality”.6 In the event the buyers exercised his option of acceptances, he necessarily would bar rejection, which is both a precursor to the buyer’s right to treat the contract as repudiated and the basis for any right to request repair or replacement under English Law.