Rights of Unpaid Sellers Against the Goods

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Rights of Unpaid Sellers Against the Goods

By | September 2011
Page 1 of 7
2.0 RIGHTS OF UNPAID SELLER AGAINST THE GOODS
The operation of the seller’s right over the goods in the Act is dependent upon the being ‘unpaid’. Section 45, the seller of goods is deemed to be an “unpaid seller” within the meaning of this Act-

a) when the whole of the price has not been paid or tendered; b) when a bill of exchange or other negotiable instrument has been received as conditional payment, and the condition on which it was received has not been fulfilled by reason of the dishonour of the instrument or otherwise.

A seller for the purpose section 45 includes an agent of the seller, for example, an agent of the seller to whom the bill of lading is endorsed, a consignor, an agent who has himself paid, or an agent who is directly responsible for the price, define under section 45(2), the term “seller” includes any person who is in the position of a seller, as, for instance, an agent of the seller to whom the bill of lading has been indorsed, or a consignor or agent who has himself paid, or is directly responsible for, the price.

The normal remedy of an unpaid seller is to sue the buyer for the price or for damages for non-acceptance. According to section 55(1) Sale of Goods Act 1957, 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. Section 55(2), where under a contract of sale the price is payable on a day certain 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. Section 56, says that 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 Sales of Goods Act gives him additional remedies in...