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Ramchandra Ramvallabh Vs. Vasanji Sons and Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberO.C.J. Appeal No. 74 of 1919
Judge
Reported inAIR1921Bom203; (1920)22BOMLR874; 57Ind.Cas.978
AppellantRamchandra Ramvallabh
RespondentVasanji Sons and Co.
Excerpt:
contract, brach of - contract to supply goods of a particular description--failure to supply such goods--date of breach is the date on which the goods were to be supplied--measure of damages.;the plaintiffs entered into a contract with the defendants to purchase 50 tons of wheat of a particular description and quality at rs. 8-2-0 per cwt. the delivery was to be in may or june 1918. the railway receipts relating to the wheat were handed over to the plaintiffs within the contract time. the plaintiffs took delivery and warehoused the goods about the 13th of july 1918. the plaintiffs found, on examining the wheat, that it was not a proper and fair tender against the contract. surveyors of both the parties held a survey and adjudged that the wheat tendered was not according to the contract...........the last day for delivery was the 30th day of june 1918. the railway receipts relating to the contract goods were handed over to the plaintiffs within the contract time. the plaintiffs took delivery and warehoused the goods about the 13th of july 1918. thereafter on examining the goods the plaintiffs were dissatisfied with their quality and contended that they were not a proper and fair tender against the contract. eventually a survey was held and the plaintiffs rejected the goods. the plaintiffs, on the 23rd of august 1918, bought 49 tons of wheat of the quality and description mentioned in the contract and they claim to recover the difference between what they paid for these 49 tons and the contract price. they also claim interest on the amount awarded.2. the learned trial judge.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The plaintiffs filed this suit against the defendants to recover damages for the breach of a contract, dated the 9th May 1918, whereby the defendants agreed to sell to the plaintiffs and the plaintiffs agreed to buy from the defendants 50 tons of Yellow Katha wheat at Rs. 8-2-0 per cwt. on the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract. Delivery was to be May-June 1-918 at the sellers' option. Therefore the last day for delivery was the 30th day of June 1918. The railway receipts relating to the contract goods were handed over to the plaintiffs within the contract time. The plaintiffs took delivery and warehoused the goods about the 13th of July 1918. Thereafter on examining the goods the plaintiffs were dissatisfied with their quality and contended that they were not a proper and fair tender against the contract. Eventually a survey was held and the plaintiffs rejected the goods. The plaintiffs, on the 23rd of August 1918, bought 49 tons of wheat of the quality and description mentioned in the contract and they claim to recover the difference between what they paid for these 49 tons and the contract price. They also claim interest on the amount awarded.

2. The learned trial Judge found that there had been a breach of the contract and considered the question whether the date of the breach was the 1st of July 1918 or the date when the parties actually found that the goods tendered were not of the contract quality, and came to the conclusion that where there was an attempted performance of the contract the date of the breach must be taken as of the date when the parties actually found that the goods tendered were not of the contract quality. He found that there was no delay on plaintiffs' part to buy against the sellers, and he passed a decree in favour of the plaintiffs for Rs. 2250-150. The learned Judge also seems to have allowed interest on the amount which the plaintiffs had paid for the goods from the date that the money was paid until it was returned by the defendants.

3. This is an ordinary case of breach of contract to deliver goods which were contracted for to be delivered at a future date. The general rule is that if there is a breach of the contract, the measure of damages is the difference between the contract rate and the market rate at the date of the breach. The date of the breach must be considered as that date when the seller ought to have tendered goods of the contract quality and failed., to do so. It must follow that if the buyer is dissatisfied with the quality of the goods tendered and demands a survey, some time must elapse before a survey is held and a decision is given as to the quality of the goods; but that does not postpone the date of the breach. It must be the due date unless the parties come to an agreement that the due date shall be postponed until it is ascertained whether the goods are of the contract quality or not. In this case there is no evidence whatever of any such agreement. The ordinary course of events followed after the buyers claimed to reject the goods on the ground that the goods tendered were not of the contract quality. The plaintiffs have failed to prove that the due date must not be taken to be the date of the breach and they have not proved that there was any difference between the contract rate and the market value at the due date. Therefore, they failed to prove that they suffered any damage owing to the goods not being of the contract quality.

4. The appeal, therefore, must be allowed and the plaintiffs' suit dismissed with costs throughout.

Heaton, J.

5. I agree. It is conceded that unless the date was postponed, the due date of the contract must be taken as the determining point for calculating the price which is to be taken in assessing damages. That being conceded, it is unnecessary to consider whether any other method of arriving at the damages ought to be taken. The method is conceded. It is only a question of date. A postponement of the date, which is what the plaintiffs allege occurred, could be proved in two ways. It could be proved by an explicit agreement to postpone the date. But of that there is no trace in this case. It could also be proved by an implied agreement, an implication arising out of the conduct of the parties. But as the conduct of the parties in this case was normal conduct, as the proceedings followed the ordinary course, it is impossible to infer an implied contract from the course of conduct. Because it is well understood that where the conduct of the parties follows a normal line the date for the purpose of ascertaining the price and calculating damages is the date of the breach of the contract. That in this case was the 1st of July 1918. No actual damages are proved. No damages are due if the ordinary rule be applied. That rule must be applied. So the suit fails and the appeal must be allowed. I agree to the order proposed.


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