Goods and Defect [Section 2(1) (i) and (f)]
What is the Meaning of defects in goods?
A consumer can make a complaint when he comes across defective goods.
Here it is required to understand what are the items can be considered as ‘goods’ and what constitutes ‘defect’ under the Act.
Goods – According to Section 2 (1) (i) “Goods” means goods as defined in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 (3 of 1930).
Section 2(7) of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, defines ‘goods’ as – “Goods means every kind of movable property other than actionable claims and money; and includes stock and shares, growing crops, grass, and things attached to or forming part of the land which is agreed to be severed before sale or under the contract of sale.”
Actionable Claim: ‘Means a claim which can be enforced through the court of law e.g. A debt due from one person to another is an actionable claim.
Examples of Goods: Goodwill, Trademark/ Copy right/ Patent/ water/ gas/ electricity.
What Is the definition of defects
Defect – Section 2(1) (f) of the Act provides that, “defect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law of the time being in force under any contract, express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods.
This is an exhaustive definition. It means that the Act recognizes only those defects which are covered by the definition. Any type of defect not mentioned here will not be entertained by Consumer Forums. Moreover, the defect has to be about goods only, i.e., if an item does not fall within the definition of
‘Goods’, no defect can complain therein. However, the coverage of this definition is very wide.
- A Pressure Cooker burst and caused injury to the user. It was held to be a manufacturing defect – T.T. (P.) Ltd. v. Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat II  CPJ 239 NC.
- Failure to hand over the registration book along with jeep purchased by the complainant is a defect. [Ramesh Chandra v. Commercial Tax Officer  3 CPR 182 (Ori.).
- Where a laboratory test report showed that soft drink was not fit for human consumption, it was held defective – Narayanan Vyankatkrishnan Iyengar v. Shakti Foods  2 CPJ 652 (Mah.).
- Rapeseed oil adulterated with toxic substances, which led to the paralysis of limbs and other disabilities, has been considered as defective – Barsad Ali v. MD West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation Ltd. (1993) 1CPR 217 WB.
- Electric household appliances that are not following the standards prescribed by ISI, being unsafe are defective – Farooq Hazi Ismail Saya v. Gavabhai Bhesania (1991) 2 CPJ 452 (Guj.).
- Gas Cylinder with excessive gas is defective goods – Dayanand A Avasare v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (1993) 1 CPR 278 (Mah.).
- Development of cracks of half an inch to three and a half-inch in walls and mosaic floor in a flat after taking possession from a Housing Board – R. Shanmugasundaram v. Tamil Nadu Housing Board (1998) 1 CPJ 96 NC
- A supplied white marble to B. Later on the color of the marble changed. B sued an alleging supply of defective marble. It was held that A should have expressly told B that the marble would not retain its color when polished. In the absence of such assertion, it is deemed that A made B to understand that the marble would retain its white color and when the color changed, it comes within the scope of ‘defect’ in goods under the Act – Chitranjan Sahu v. N.C. Jain II (1993) CPJ 1127 (Ori.).
- A sold a stolen car to B. B wanted to sue A for a defect in the title of the car. Here B cannot sue A under the Consumer Protection Act as the defect in the title of goods would not constitute defective goods as defined under the Act.