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What is the Meaning and source of Mercantile law
Meaning and source of Mercantile law
Mercantile law is a part of civil law. It governs and regulates the trade and commerce in the country. Mercantile law deals with the needs of a business man. This include laws relating to insurance, partnerships, contracts, companies, negotiable instruments, arbitration, carriage of goods etc.
Mercantile laws in India is taken from the English law. So it follows the English laws to a considerable extent with some modifications and reservations to suite with the Indian conditions and practices. Following are the main source of the Indian mercantile laws:
1. English Mercantile Law: English laws which developed and come into existence through the customs and usage of traders and merchants in England is the main source of the Indian Mercantile laws. These customs and usages of controlled the merchants in their dealings with each other. It is also known as the Common Law. It is unwritten and are based on customs, precedents and usages. The law of contracts is a part of Common law in England. It is one of the most important part of Mercantile law.
2. Indian Statute Law: Another main source of Indian Mercantile law is the Acts passed by the Indian Legislature. Indian Contract Act 1872, The Sale of Goods Act 1930, The negotiable Instrument Act 1881, The companies Act 1953 are some of the Acts passed by the Indian Legislature.
3. Judicial Decisions: Another important source of mercantile
laws are the Judicial decisions of the Courts. Disputes settled by the
courts earlier have persuasive and guiding value. The judge has to
decide the case, where there is the law is silent on a point, according
to the principle of equity, justice and good conscience. For
interpreting the Indian Statutes and deciding various cases, English
court decisions are frequently referred as precedents.
4. Customs and Usages: Another important source of Indian Mercantile laws are the customs and usages of that particular trade currently followed by the traders. These practices play the vital role in developing the mercantile law. It is important that these customs or usages must be reasonable, widely known, constant and must not be inconsistent with the law. The Indian Contract Act accept this practice by providing the clause/wording that "nothing contained therein shall affect any usage or custom of trade." The Negotiable Instrument Act also accept the fact by providing the wording that "nothing contained therein shall affect any local usage relating to instruments in an oriental language."