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What is the Meaning and source of Mercantile law

Updated on November 10, 2013

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."

Essentials of a valid Contract

The Law of Contract.


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      syam 2 years ago


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      পড়ন্ত বিকালবেলার সেই মেয়ে 3 years ago

      thnx to help me out of this frustration to giving ur answer....

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      CLM 3 years ago

      Common law is unwritten but contract law is written and defined, it's coded. They are two different things so how can you say contract law is part of Common Law?

      Common Law is very simple cause no harm, loss or injury to others including their property. If you apply common sense to any situation and ask what would a group of my peers think you should be able to arrive at a Common Law answer.

      EG. If you take someones car you cause them a loss.

      If you agree to meet some friends in a pub but don't turn up, they could claim you caused them loss as they might have paid to get there but you are hardly going to make a claim against them.

      If you sign a contract to be at the pub with the same group of friends to discuss a business issue and you don't turn up, you could be liable because you have contracted.

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      siddu asst professor 3 years ago

      Answer s good nd feasible. bt my question s sources of Englis. Mercantile law am not satisfied this

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      C ree Bakhati 4 years ago

      Thank u sooo's helpful for all readers who wants to knowledge about it.....

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      Md. Masudur Rahman 5 years ago


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      Sathish Kumar 5 years ago

      thank u ,it's help for my assignment...

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      manishShrivastav 5 years ago


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      vidhya 5 years ago

      its really helpfull in our studies..thnx..!!

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      anum 5 years ago

      i am very thankfull to u.keep it up.

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      vaishali 5 years ago

      This segment is very helpful for all students.

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      sonia farhad 5 years ago

      thank you vey much its very helpful as i have also no book.kindly educate us about instruments and patents.. tnx

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      cc,,, 5 years ago

      mybe the answers is clear,is very helpful for me 2.TQ.

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      priya 5 years ago

      it would have been more clear if u would have given more better information

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      tumi 5 years ago

      Just every answer I needed for my personal questions

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      subhabrata 6 years ago

      This segment is very helpful for me.Thnx a lot.

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      gopi 6 years ago

      thank u:) it help me to prepare my law assignment:)

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      bably  6 years ago

      proved helpful for mein my law classes.


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      Bit2 7 years ago

      Thanx.... I was saved by your beautiful work in commercila law.... As i hav no proper book, ur work hav grtly relieved me.

      Once again.... Thanx.

      Keep it up.....

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      shahadat 7 years ago

      ami kesu bujatesena. please bangla koro

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      youcanwin 7 years ago

      Thanks Vijaylvs for your visit and commnet

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      vijaylvs 8 years ago

      It is a knowledgeable hub. It is beneficial for the students of law as well as creative for general knowledge.