(Last Updated on : 06/12/2010)
Rescission of purchase and sale, as mentioned in Chapter XV of book III in Arthashastra
, mentions that if any merchant refuses to sell his merchandise shall be liable to punishment and pay a fine of twelve panas, unless the merchandise is exceptionally bad, or is dangerous or is poisonous. When a merchandise has some inherent defects then it shall be regarded as bad; when the merchandise is liable to be confiscated by the king or when the merchandise is subject to destruction by thieves, floods or fire it is called dangerous; but when these merchandise is devoid of all good qualities or is manufactured by the diseased persons it shall be considered as intolerable.
Rescission of purchase and sale further includes the time for rescission as the time for rescission of a sale is one night for the merchants; 3nights for the cultivators; 5 nights for the herdsmen and with regard to sale and barter of precious items is 7 nights. The merchandise which is perishable sooner may be shown some concessions as compared to others products if it does not cause any major loss to others, by prohibiting the sale of these products anywhere else. Any violation of these shall be punished with a fine of 24 panas or 1/10th of the merchandise.
Regarding marriages among the first three classes, rescission of purchase and sale, states that rejection of bride before the rite of panigrahana and clasping of hands, is valid. Even the rejection of bride after the rite of panigrahana will be valid if her guilt of having lain with other man is found detected afterwards. Such rescissions usually don't take place in case of any brides and bridegrooms of big families but if some family hides the guilt of the girl before marriage shall be punished with a fine of 96 panas while those in case of bridegroom shall not only pay double the amount but also forfeit the sulkas and stridghanas.
Rescission of purchase and sale also includes sale of bipeds and quadrupeds as strong, healthy and clean but if they are found unhealthy, unclean or diseased then they shall be punished with 12 panas. The time of rescission of such sale is three fortnights for a quadruped while a year for a man. As such the committee set for deciding the sales of gifts shall verify that neither the giver nor the receiver is injured.
Thus, rescission of purchased and sale basically means change of decision as well as holding the earlier contract due to some particular reason which should have a definite explanation. Any negligence in the explanation shall levy fines as punishment as it shall reduce state earnings for some quarter. Hence, Kautilya
takes full measures to avoid any confusion in case of selecting the issues for rejection.