Nemo dat quod non habet

The maxim “Nemo dat quod non habet” define as No one can give what he himself has not got that means when the seller sell his own property or he/she themselves the owner of the property or the goods he always conveys a good title in the goods to the buyer but in the case when the seller himself is not the owner and not he has any authority from the owner to sell the goods then he/she never got the better title. For example suppose someone find something on the road which is not there still they sell them than in this situation the question is that should the true owners rights are protected and the owner will be able to recover back the possession of the goods from the goods that have been sold and is the buyer who bought the goods in good faith allowed to retain that goods from the title of the real owner?

The questions answers are given in the Section 27 of the sales of the goods act it says that the “subject to the provision of this act and of any other law for the time being in force, where goods are sold by a person who is not the owner thereof and who does not sell them under the authority or with the consent of the owner, the buyer acquires no better title to the goods than the seller had. “so this clearly states that the buyer acquires no better title than seller has as the true owner of the goods did not sell the goods as well as the goods are not sold under his/her authority or with the consent of the true owner that’s why buyer did not acquires the better tile as the seller. It is considered as if the seller ‘s title is defective so the buyers title is also considered as defective like if the thief disposes the stolen goods then the buyer of such goods has the same title as the seller has.

There are some exceptions to the ruler regarding this maxim-

  • When the sell of goods is done by the Mercantile agent which is define in section 27 then no difficulty arises because according to this rule when an agent have authority to sell the goods than he convey the better title.
  • According to section 28 of sells of goods act if one of the several joint owners can sell the goods then he conveys the good title to the buyer as it was sold by the permission of the co-owners and with the good faith at the time of buying by the buyer.
  • When the sale by a person in possession under a voidable contract which is given in section 29 of sales of goods act because though seller bought the goods by using any fraud, misrepresentation, undue influence which is define section 19 and 19 A of contract act but the buyer take them in a good faith than he acquires the better title.
  • In the case when seller has sold the goods to the buyer and transfers the property than seller has no right over the property it is given in section 30(1) of sales of goods act and if the seller try to sale it again than buyer can sure them.
  • If a buyer has obtained the possession of the goods of the title by the seller’s consents then any sale, pledge thereof to any person will convey a better title to the transferee by providing the person to receive the goods which are acting in a good faith it is given in section 30(2).
  • Section 54(3) says about the resale by the unpaid seller and section 169 of Indian contract says about the sale by the finder of the goods in both of the cases the buyer acquires the better title.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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