Right of the Seller
As per Sec. 27 of the Sale of Goods Act, no buyer
could acquire a title better than that of the seller. Whatever kind of the right is possessed by the seller, good or bad, he would be passing it on to the buyer, and nothing more than that. Even if the buyer had acted in good faith and, paid the full price of the goods, yet he can’t get a title better than the seller.
Nemo dat quod non habet- This maxim is based on the general law of Latin language that no person could give the goods which is not in his Possession. This rule protects the right of the real owner of goods, Under the Transfer of Property Act too, no buyer could acquire a title better upon the property than that of the seller. If the right of the seller is limited, or, defective, the buyer too shall get limited or defective title or ownership.
Exceptions of the Rule
In the following circumstances, the buyer of the
goods receives a better title to the goods purchased:
(i) Sale Under the Implied Authority of the Owner or Title by Estoppel- Where the owner of the goods; by his conduct or by an act of omission, leads the buyer to believe that the seller has an authority to sell the goods, later on shall be estopped from denying the fact that the seller had no authority to sell. Such sale is valid and the buyer shall receive better tide to the goods so purchased.
(2) Sale by a Mercantile Agent- Where a mercantile agent, with the consent of the owner, is in possession of goods or any document of title to the goods, any sale made by him, when acting in the ordinary course of business, shall be valid as if he was expressly authorised by the owner of the goods to make the sale. But in this case, the buyer should act in good faith and should not, at the time of contract of sale, have a notice that the seller has no authority to sell.
(3) Sale by One of the Joint Owners (Sec. 28)- If one of the several joint owners of goods has the sole possession of goods; by permission of the co-owners, the property in the goods is transferred to any person who buys it from such joint owner, in good faith and has, at the time of contract of sale, no notice that the seller has no authority to sell.
(4) Sale by Person in Possession Under Voidable
Contract- When the seller of goods has obtained possession thereof under a voidable contract but the, contract has not been rescinded at the time of sale, the buyer acquires a better tide to the goods, provided he buys it in good faithand without notice of seller’s defect of title.
(5) Sale by Seller in Possession of Goods After Sale-When a seller, having sold goods, continues to be in possession of goods or of the documents of title to the goods, and sells it either himself or by a mercantile agent to any person receiving in good faith and without notice of the previous sale, the sale shall have the same effect as if the person making the delivery or transfer was expressly authorised by the owner of the goods to make the same. In such a case, the buyer of the goods shall receive a better title.
(6) Sale by a Buyer in Possession of Goods- Where a person, having bought or agreed to buy goods, obtains with consent of the seller, possession of the goods or of the documents of title to the goods, the delivery or transfer by such person or his mercantile agent shall be valid provided the person receiving the goods buys it in good faith and without notice of any lien or other right of the original seller existing in the goods.
(7) Other Exceptions- Besides the exceptions, as given in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, there are other such conditions in which the right of buyer could be better than that of the seller. The following circumstances are worth mention:
1.Re-sale, by the unpaid seller (Sec. 54); F
2.Sale by the finder of the lost goods (Sec. 169) P
3.Sale by the pawnee (Sec. 176);
4.Sale under the orders of the court,