Delivery Of Goods

You learnt the process of making the contract of sale and the transfer of ownership from seller to the buyer. Apart from transferring the ownership to the buyer, it is the duty of the seller to deliver the goods. Let us now study the meaning and types of delivery of goods.

Delivery is defined in the Act as a voluntary transfer of possession from one person to another [Section 2(2)]. If the transfer of possession of goods is not voluntary i.e., if the possession of goods is taken by force or by fraud or by theft, there is no delivery in the strict legal sense. If B steals goods from A, there is no delivery from A to B though possession is transferred.

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 authorised to hold them on his behalf (Section 33).


Types of Delivery

Delivery of goods may be of three kinds, viz., (1) actual, (2) symbolic, (3) constructive.

1. Actual Delivery: In this case the goods are physically handed over to the buyer or his authorised agent. For example, A sells a scooter to B and delivers it to B, it amounts to actual delivery of the goods.


2. Symbolic Delivery: In cases where the goods are bulky and heavy and it is not possible to physically hand them over to the buyer, some symbol which carries with it the real possession or control over the goods is handed over to the buyer. For example, delivery of the keys of godown where goods are lying or transferring the bill of lading or railway receipt to the buyer, amount to symbolic delivery of the goods. In this case even though there is no change in possession of goods, but it amounts to delivery.


3. Constructive Delivery: In this case neither actual nor symbolic delivery is made. When a person who is in possession of the goods, acknowledges to hold the goods on behalf of the buyer, it amounts to constructive delivery. For example, A sells to B 100 bags of wheat lying in C’s warehouse. A orders C to deliver the wheat to B. C agrees to hold the 100 bags on behalf of B and makes the necessary entry in his books. In this case, there is constructive delivery of goods from A to B.

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