Rules as to delivery of goods
Section 2(2) of Sale of Goods Act defines ‘delivery’ as a ‘voluntary transfer of possession from one person to another.’ Thus, if the transfer of goods is not voluntary and is taken by theft, by fraud, or by force, then there is no ‘delivery. Moreover, the ‘delivery’ should have the effect of putting the goods in possession of the buyer. The essence of the delivery is a voluntary transfer of possession of goods from one person to another. There is no delivery of goods where they are obtained at pistol point or theft.
1. Mode of Delivery:
According to Section 33, delivery of goods sold may be made by doing anything which the parties agree shall be treated as delivery or which has the effect of putting the goods in the possession of the buyer or of any person authorized to hold them on his behalf. Delivery of goods may be actual, symbolic or constructive.
2. Expenses of Delivery:
According to Section 36(5), unless otherwise agreed, the expenses of and incidental to putting the goods into a deliverable state shall be borne by the seller, but all expenses of and incidental to obtaining of delivery are borne by the buyer.
3. Installment Deliveries:
Under Section 38, unless otherwise, agreed, the buyer of goods is bound to accept delivery thereof by installments. Where there is a contract for the sale of goods to be delivered by the stated installments which are to be separately paid for and the seller makes no delivery or defective delivery in respect of one or more installments, or the buyer neglects or refuses to take delivery of or pay for one or more installments.
4. Effect of Part Delivery:
Section 34 of Sale of Goods Act lays down two rules in this regard, which are as follows:
1. Where the part delivery is made in progress (in continuation) of the whole delivery, then it is treated as a delivery of whole and the ownership of the whole quantity is supposed to pass to the buyer.
2. Where the part delivery is made with the intention of separating it from the whole lot, then such part delivery does not operate as delivery of the remainder part also. It means that delivery of a severed (separated) part is not treated as a delivery of the whole and therefore the ownership of the whole quantity is not transferred to the buyer such part of goods is delivered to him.
5. Place of Delivery:
According to Section 36(1) of Sale of Goods Act, whether the buyer is to take possession of the goods or the seller is to send them, is a question that depends upon the terms of the contract and therefore it will differ from case to case. Apart from any such contract, the rules regarding the place of delivery are as follows (rules to apply when nothing is agreed upon
6. Time of Delivery:
Where the place of delivery is agreed upon, the goods are delivered at that place during business hours on a working day. Section 36 (2) of the Act provides that where the seller is bound to send the goods to the buyer under the terms of the contract but no time for sending them is fixed, the seller is bound to send them within a reasonable time.
Section 36(4) provides that the demand of delivery or tender of delivery may be treated as ineffectual unless it is made at a reasonable hour. What is ‘reasonable time’ or ‘reasonable hour’ is a question of fact it will depend upon the circumstances and facts of each individual case.