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Mercantile Law


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The book Mercantile Law has been written primarily to meet the needs of students preparing for B. Com., B.Com. (Hon.), M.Com. and M.B.A. courses of various Indian Universities and other Professional Examinations such as C.A., I.C.W.A., C.A.I.I.B., C.S., L.L.B., D.C.L. etc.

Mercantile Law is a subject of vast dimensions. It covers practically all aspects of Trade and commerce as they have developed in the modern world. It is that branch of law which is generally applied in cases arising out of mercantile transactions. It is generally understood to include general principles of law of Contract, which include General Contracts and Special Contracts (viz. Indemnity and Guarantee, Bailment and pledge, Agency) and Law relating to Sale of goods, Partnership (including the Limited partnership) Negotiable instruments and information Technology etc. All these branches of Mercantile law have become subjects of detailed study and there are voluminous books on these various branches of law. Therefore, the main difficulty in writing the book has been to compress the wide and varied subjects comprised in Mercantile law.

Some of the salient features of the book include the following:

1. Lentin J. remarked, “What is easy to read is difficult to write”. The aim of the book is to present the complex legal aspects of Mercantile Law in the most simple, lucid and illustrative manner, for easy grasp of various provisions of different Act by the reader.

2. The Book has been divided into five parts, each part discussing separately the Laws of Contracts, Sale of Goods, Partnership (including the Limited Liability Partnership ), Negotiable Instruments and the information Technology. The subject matter presented in the book is complete and up-to-date.

3. All amendments to the various enactments till year 2011 have been duly incorporated in the text, which include the following :

– The Indian Contract (Amendment) Act, 1996
– The Sale of Goods (Amendment) Act, 1963
– The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1998
– The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2002
– The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008

4. Decide legal cases are an important source of Mercantile Law. These cases and illustrations make the reading interesting and help in correctly and easily understanding the intricate problems of the subject of law.

(a) Legal cases have been separately given in the Book so that a reader who is interested in legal cases may find them handy. The Book contains a very large number of legal cases (over 600 ) for a Professional and legal minded reader.
(b) A very large number of illustrations (672 in all ) have been given in the book to clarify the concepts of Law at appropriate places.

5. Footnotes are inevitable in a book on law. But they disturb the continuity of reading since the reader has to refer to them at every point. I have attempted to avoid the footnotes altogether in this book. The relevant sections have been given alongwith the text itself and the citations to the legal cases are given alongwith the case. I hope the readers will like the new style.

6. Indian Mercantile Law is largely based on English Mercantile Law. Therefore, provisions of English Mercantile Law have also been given to enable the reader to have a background knowledge of Indian Mercantile Law. The landmark decisions of the English courts have also been added. At places, points of contrast between Indian Laws and English Laws have also been given, although, it is not very important from the examination point of view.

7. Definitions of Legal Terms, Sections and Quotations in Judicial Pronouncements have been given in Italicsfont to separate them from the main text. This helps the reader in more ways than one in preparing for the examinations.

8. A large number of “Analytical Topics Commonly Asked in Examinations (Honours, P.G., Professional and Law Courses)” have been extensively discussed in the Book. An exhaustive list of such topics with page number is given after the Contents of the Book.

9. While I have endeavoured to render the book useful for commerce and Law Students, I am sure that the Business Executive and Professionals will also find this book of immense help.

10. List of cases at the beginning of the Book will surely enhance the utility of the Book.

11. The new symbol of RUPEE officially adopted by the GOVERNMENT OF INDIA has been incorporated in the book.


Contents :

List of Analytical TOPICS Commonly Asked in Examinations
List of Cases
PART I : Law Of Contract
1. The Law of Contract
2. The Agreement
3. Contract : Definition and Meaning
4. The Offer
5. The Acceptance
6. Consideration
7. Capacity to Contract
8. Free Consent
9. Legality of object and consideration
10. Void Agrements
11. Contingent Contracts
12. Quasi-Contracts
13. Performance of Contracts
14. Discharge of Contracts
15. Remedies for Breach of Contract
16. Indemnity and Guarantee
17. Bailment and Pledge
18. Agency
PART II : Law Relating To Sale of Goods
19. Sale of goods
20. Contract of Sale of Goods
21. Conditions and Warranties
22. Transfer of Property
23. Performance of the Contract
24. Unpaid Seller
25. Auction Sale
PART III : The Indian Partnership Act, 1932 and Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
26. Law of Partnership
27. Formation of Partnership
28. Relations of Partners
29. Relations of partners to third Parties
30. Incoming and Outgoing Partners
31. Partnership Property
32. Dissolution of a firm
33. Limited Liability Partnership
PART IV : The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
34. The law of Negotiable Instruments
35. Kinds of Negotiable Instruments
36. Classification of Negotiable Instruments
37. Maturity and Payment of Negotiable Instruments
38. Holder and Holder in Due Course
39. Capacity of Parties
40. Presentment of Negotiable Instruments
41. Negotiation and Endorsement
42. Discharge of Negotiable Instruments
43. Banker & Customer
PART V : The Information Technology Act, 2000
44. The Information Technology Act, 2000


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Dr. R. K. Chopra


Himalaya pub