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SpecificReliefAct,1963
specificreliefact,1963
chapteri

introduction

Specific Relief Act was enacted in 1877. The Act was originally drafted upon the lines of the
Draft,NewYorkCivilCode,1862,anditsmainprovisionsembodiedthedoctrinesevolvedbytheEnglish
Equity Courts. The Specific Relief Act, 1963 is the outcome of the acceptance by the Central
GovernmentontherecommendationsmadebytheLawCommissionofIndia.AbilltorepealtheActof
1877wasintroducedinLokSabhaandwaspassedbytheboththehousesofParliamentandon13th
December,1963thePresidentassentedtothesame.
TheSpecificReliefActprovidesforspecificreliefs.Specificreliefmeansreliefofcertainspecies,
i.e.anexactorparticular,anamed,fixedordeterminedrelief.Thetermisgenerallyunderstoodand
providing relief of a specific kind rather than a general relief or damages or compensation. It is a
remedywhichaimsattheexactfulfillmentofanobligationorspecificperformanceofthecontract.For
instanceifsomebodyunlawfullydispossessesmeofmyproperty,thegeneralreliefmayberequiring
the defendant to pay me compensation equivalent to the loss suffered by me due to dispossession.
Specificreliefmayenablemetohavethepossessionofthesamepropertyoveragainbyrequiringthe
defendanttorestorepossessionofmyproperty.Specificperformanceisgenerallygrantedwhenthere
existnostandardforascertainingactualdamages,forinstancetheobjectofthesaleispicturebythe
deadpainter,orwherecompensationinmoneywillnotprovideadequaterelieftotheplaintiff.

The Specific Relief Act, 1963 extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and
Kashmir.TheSpecificReliefActdealsonlywithcertainkindsofequitablereliefsandthesearenow:
i)Recoveryofpossessionofproperty
ii)SpecificPerformanceofcontracts
iii)RectificationofInstruments
iv)RescissionofContracts
v)Cancellationofinstruments
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vi)Declaratorydecrees
vii)Injunctions
The other forms of Specific relief mentioned in the Code of Civil Procedure and in statutes such as
TransferofPropertyAct,TrustAct,andPartnershipActaredifferentinoriginandnatureandarenot
included in this Act. The cases of Contract are governed by the statutory provisions contained in the
Indian Contract Act, 1872 and the provisions of the Specific Relief Act do not apply to such
cases.

chapterii

objectandscope
TheobjectoftheActmaybestbestatedinthewordsofStatementofObjectandReasonswhichruns
asunder:
ThisBillseekstoimplementtherecommendationoftheLawCommissioncontainedinitsNinthReport
ontheSpecificReliefAct,1877,exceptinregardtoSection42whichisbeingretainedasitnowstands.
An earlier Bill on the subject introduced in the Lok Sabha on the 23rd December, 1960, lapsed on its
dissolution. The notes on clauses extracted from the Report of the Law Commission, explain the
changesmadeintheexistingAct.
TheobjectoftheSpecificReliefActisconfinedtothatclassofremedieswhichasuitorseekstoobtain
andaCourtofjusticeseekstogivehimtheveryrelieftowhichheisentitled.TheLawofSpecificRelief
seekstoimplementtheideaofBentham who said: The law ought to assure me everything which is
mine,withoutforcingmetoacceptequivalents,althoughIhavenoparticularobjectiontothem.
TheSpecificReliefAct,1962embodieswhatisessenceisadjectivelawandthesubstantiallaw
mustbelookedforelsewhere.TheLawofSpecificReliefisinitsessence,apartofthelawofprocedure,
forSpecificReliefisaformofjudicialredress.ThisActprovideslawwithrespecttovariousreliefswhich
canbegrantedunderitsprovisions.Itdoesnotdealwiththeremainingremedies,whichareconnected
with compensatory relief except incidentally and to the limited extent to which it is either
supplementaryforalternativetoSpecificRelief.TheexpressionSpecificReliefmeansareliefinspecie.
Itisaremedywhichaimsattheexactfulfillmentofanobligation.TheexpressionSpecificReliefisused
in contract to compensatory relief. In executor contracts, a suit may be brought to compel the
performanceofthecontractbythepersonindefault.Suchreliefmaybeeitherpositiveornegative.Itis
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positivewhenaclaimtotheperformanceofitandnegativewhenitisdesiredtopreventthedoingof
thingenjoinedorundertakenasnottobedone.
TheSpecificReliefActexplainsandenunciatesthevariousreliefswhichcanbegrantedunderits
provisions,providesthelawwithrespecttothem.Itprovidesfortheexactfulfillmentoftheobligation
orthespecificperformanceofcontract.Itisdirectedtotheobtainingoftheverythingwhichaperson
isdeprivedofandoughttobeentitledtoaskfor.Itisremedywhichapersonisdeprivedofandought
tobeentitledtoaskfor.Itisaremedybywhichpartytoacontractiscompelleddooromitsthevery
actswhichhehasundertakentodooromit.TheremedieswhichhasbeenadministeredbyCivilCourts
ofJusticeagainstanywrongorinjuryfallbroadlyintotwoclasses;(i)thosebywhichthesuitorobtains
the very thing to which he is entitled, and (ii) those by which he obtains not that very thing, but
compensationforthelossofit.Theformeristhespecificrelief.Thusspecificreliefisaremedywhich
aims at the exact fulfillment of an obligation. It is remedial when the court directs the specific
performanceofcontractandprotectivewhenthecourtmakesadeclarationorgrantsaninjunction.

chapteriii

recoveryofpossessionofproperty
Recovery of Possession is dealt with in Sections 5 to 8 of Chapter II of the Specific Relief Act. Here
property may be immovable property or movable property, act provides for the recovery of the
property.Section5andSection6dealswiththeimmovablepropertyandSection7andSection8deals
withthemovableproperty.
RECOVERYOFIMMOVABLEPROPERY

Section5.Recoveryofspecificimmovableproperty
Section5oftheSpecificReliefActdealswiththerecoveryofspecificimmovableproperty.
ApersonentitledtothepossessionofspecificimmovablepropertymayrecoveritinthemannerprovidedbytheCodeof
CivilProcedure,1908(5of1908).

Thesectioninsimplewordsprovidesthatanypersonwhoislawfulownerofimmovablepropertycan
getthepossessionofsuchpropertybyduecourseoflaw.Itmeansthatwhenapersonisentitledtothe
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possessionofspecificimmovablepropertyhecanrecoverthesamebyfillingthesuitasperprovisions
ofCPC.Hemayfilesuitforejectmentonthestrengthofhistitleandcangetadecreeforejectmenton
thebasisoftitlewithin12yearsofthedateofpossession.Section5oftheActdeclaresthatinasuitfor
therecoveryofimmovablepropertybypersonentitledtoprovisionsOrderXXI,Rules35and36ofCPC
wouldapply.Therearethreetypesofactionswhichcanbebroughtinlawfortherecoveryofspecific
immovableproperty:
(i).asuitbasedontitlebyownership;
(ii).asuitbasedonpossessorytitle;and
(iii). a suit based merely on the previous possession of the plaintiff, where he has been
dispossessedwithouthisconsent,otherwisethaninduecourseoflaw.
ThelastremedyisprovidedinSection6oftheAct.Thesuitsofthefirsttwotypescanbefiledunderthe
provisionsoftheCivilProcedureCode.
Thewordentitledtopossessionmeanshavingalegalrighttotitletopossessiononthebasisof
[1]
ownershipofwhichtheclaimanthasbeendispossessed. Plaintiffmustshowthathehadpossession
beforetheallegedtrespassergotpossession.InIsmailAriffv.MohammedGhouse,the Privy Council
held,thepossessionoftheplaintiffwassufficientevidenceastitleofowneragainstthedefendantby
Section6ofSpecificReliefAct,iftheplaintiffhadbeendispossessedotherwisethaninduecourseof
law.Theremaybetitlebycontract,inheritance,andprescriptionorevenbypossessionandthelast
willprevailwherenopreferabletitleisshown.
Section6.Suitbypersondispossessedofimmovableproperty.
Section6oftheactdealswiththesuitbypersondispossessedofimmovableproperty.
(1)Ifanypersonisdispossessedwithouthisconsentofimmovablepropertyotherwisethaninduecourseoflaw,heor
anypersonclaimingthroughhimmay,bysuit,recoverpossessionthereof,notwithstandinganyothertitlethatmaybe
setupinsuchsuit.
(2)Nosuitunderthissectionshallbebrought(a)aftertheexpiryofsixmonthsfromthedateofdispossession;or(b)
againsttheGovernment.
(3)Noappealshallliefromanyorderordecreepassedinanysuitinstitutedunderthissection,norshallanyreviewofany
suchorderordecreebeallowed.
(4)Nothinginthissectionshallbaranypersonfromsuingtoestablishhistitletosuchpropertyandtorecoverpossession
thereof.

ThemainobjectofSection6istodiscourageforcibledispossessionontheprinciplethatdisputed
rightsaretobedecidedbydueprocessoflawandnooneshouldbeallowedtotakelawintohisown
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hands, however good his title may be. The operation of Section is not excluded in cases between
[2]
landlordsandtenantswherethereisnoquestionoftitleinvolved. TheSection6providesummary
and speedy remedy through the medium of Civil Court for the restoration of possession to a party
dispossessedbyanother,within6monthsofitsdispossession,leavingthemtofightoutthequestionof
[3]
theirrespectivetitlesinacompetentCourtiftheyaresoadvised. TheobjectoftheSectionhasbeen
[4]
beautifully summed up by Mittar,J. in Khojah Enaetoohal v. Kissen Saonder The object of this
Sectionappearstohavebeentogivespecialremedytothepartyillegallydispossessedbydeprivingthe
dispossessoroftheprivilegeofprovingabettertitletothelandindispute.Section6shouldbereadas
partofLimitationActanditsobjecttoputanadditionalrestraintuponillegaldispossessionwithaview
topreventtheauthorofthatdispossession,fromgettingridoftheoperationoftheActbyhisunlawful
conduct.IfthesuitisbroughtwithintheperiodprescribedbythatSection,eventherightownerofthe
landisprecludedfromshowinghistitle.
RequisitesofSection6:
1. Judicialpossessionoftheplaintiffatthetimeofdispossession:Theplaintiffmustestablishhis

judicial possession at the time of dispossession. Judicial possession is not equivalent to lawful
possession.Ifapersonhasthepossessionofpropertyasafactandoncehebecomessettledas
such,itisenoughforthepurposeofreliefunderSection6,irrespectiveofhisbeingwithoutany
[5]
righttothesameormeretrespasser. In
M.C.Batrav.LakshmiInsuranceCo.Ltd.

[6]

Mootham,C.J.observed:Thissectionsaysnothingaboutthenatureofpossessionenjoyedby
thepersondispossessedbutithasbeenheldinsomecasesthatsuchpossessionmustbewhatis
calledjudicialpossession,thatistosaypossessionfoundedonsomeright.
Thepossessionmusthavebeenjuridicali.e.possessionrecognizedbylaw.Itshouldbeneither
[7]
byforcenorbyfraud.InNayarServiceSocietyLtdv.K.C.Alexander ,theSupremeCourthas
also expressed the same view and said that a trespasser has not right to disturb peaceful
possessionoflongtimeofanypersonandcannotreapbenefitofhisillegalact.
2. Dispossessionoftheplaintiffwithouthisconsentotherwisethaninduecourseoflaw:Forthe

[8]
applicationofthissectionthedispossessionmustbewithouttheconsentofplaintiff oragainst
theprocessofandoperationoflawinvokedbytheordinarymethodofCivilCourt.In
Rudrappav.NarsinghRao
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Court observed: To read the words due course of law as merely equivalent to the word
legallyis,wethinktodeprivethemofaforceandsignificancewhichtheycarryontheirface.
Forathingwhichispracticallylegalmaystillbynomeansmeanathingdoneinduecourseof
law.
3. The suit must be instituted within 6 months from the date of dispossession: The Section 6

prescribesitsownperiodoflimitationforsuitstobefiledthereunder.In
[10]
T.T.Devasthanamsv.K.M.Krishnaiah
ThatwherethesuitforpossessionunderSection6wasfiledbyplaintiffwithallegationofbeing
dispossessedfromproperty,beyondsixmonthsofdispossession.Suchsuitwasheldtobenot
maintainable,moreoverwhentitleofdefendantwassubsistingandnotextinguished.
4. Dispossessionmustbeofimmovableproperty:The expression immovable propertymeans

only such properties of which physical possession can be given under the Act and it does not
cover incorporeal rights, since the incorporeal rights are not rights of which possession can be
takenanddeliveredtotheclaimant.
5. DispossessionhasnotbeenmadebytheGovernment,butbyanyotherperson
6. Under this Section, an order or decree is final in the sense that it is not open to review or

appeal,althoughitissubjecttorevisionbyHighCourt.
[11]
InVanitaM.KhanslkarV.PragnaMPai
thequestionwhichhadarisenbeforetheSupremeCourt
waswhetherbartoanappealfromanorderpassedunderSection6(3)oftheSpecificReliefAct,1963
wasapplicabletotheaLettersPatentAppealfrom an order passed by a single judge to the division
BenchofthehighCourt.ItwasheldthatbartoappealandrevisionunderSection6(3)doesnotapplyto
letterPatentAppeal.Whileobservingheldthat
Nowitiswellsettledthatanystatutoryprovisionbarringanappealorrevisioncannot
cutacrosstheconstitutionalpowerofaHighCourt.Eventhepowerflowingfromtheparamount
charter under which the High Court functions could not get excluded unless the statutory
enactmentconcernedexpresslyexcludesappealsunderletterpatent.Nosuchbarisdiscernible
fromSection6(3)oftheSpecificreliefAct.
Revision against the decree restoring possession was maintainable but only by way of exception and
onlyifgroundswithinparametersofSection115ofC.P.C.wereclearlyavailable.WhereHighCourthad
reverseddecreeoftrailCourtonbasisoforalstatementoftwoplaintiffswitness,onesentenceeach
fromtwodepositionswasextractedandsetoutbyHighCourtforreversingsuchdecree.Revisionwas
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notsatisfactorydisposedofasHighCourthadnotlookedintoallmaterialavailableonrecordandhad
alsonotindicatedavailabilityofgroundsunderSection115ofC.P.C.AssuchorderofHighCourtwasset
[12]
asideandrevisionwasdirectedtobedecidedafresh.

Distinguishb/wSection5andSection6

SECTION5
SECTION6
1.
Theplaintiffhastofilealongdrawnregularsuitfor Itgivesasummaryremedy.
ejectment.
2.

Theclaimisbasedontitle.

The claim is based onpossession


and no proof of title is required
and even rightful owner may be
precluded from showing his title
totheland.

3.

Theperiodoflimitationis12years.

Theperiodoflimitationisofonly
6 months from the date of
dispossession.

RECOVERYOFSPECIFICMOVABLEPROPERTY
Section7.Recoveryofspecificmovableproperty.
ApersonentitledtothepossessionofspecificmovablepropertymayrecoveritinthemannerprovidedbytheCodeof
CivilProcedure,1908(5of1908).
Explanation1.Atrusteemaysueunderthissectionforthepossessionofmovablepropertytothebeneficialinterestin
whichthepersonforwhomheistrusteeisentitled.Explanation2.Aspecialortemporaryrighttothepresentpossession
ofmovablepropertyissufficienttosupportasuitunderthissection.

Section7providesfortherecoveryofmovablepropertyinspeciei.e.thethingsitself.Thethingstobe
recoveredmustbespecificinthesensetheyareascertainedandcapableofidentification.Thenature
ofthingsmustcontinuewithoutalteration.Thissectionentitlesapersontobringaregularsuitforthe
recovery of possession of movable property if he has right to the same at the time of action for
detenue.SuitcanbefiledunderOrder20,Rule10ofCPCandtheformoftheplaintsarelaiddownin
ScheduleIandAppendixAofCPC.WheretheCourtdecreesdeliveryofsuchproperty,thedecreeshall
alsostatetheamountofmoneytobepaidinalternative,ifdeliverycannotbehad.
StateofGujratV.Biharilal

[13]

TherewasagreementbetweenBiharilalandoccupantsofland,in1964authorizingBiharilaltocutand
remove trees standing on certain land, for period of two years. The forest authorities did not grant
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permission to cut and remove trees a period expired. There was no fresh agreement between the
parties, nor was the period of authority in favour of Biharilal extended. Biharilal filed a suit for
declaration of his right to cut and remove the trees and also for the necessary permission to do the
needful. It was held that since the right in respect of the trees had already expired the suit filed by
Biharilalcouldnotbedecreed.
Section 8. Liability of person in possession, not as owner, to deliver to persons entitled to
immediatepossession.
Anypersonhavingthepossessionorcontrolofaparticulararticleofmovableproperty,ofwhichheisnottheowner,may
becompelledspecificallytodeliverittothepersonentitledtoitsimmediatepossession,inanyofthefollowingcases:
(a)whenthethingclaimedisheldbythedefendantastheagentortrusteeoftheplaintiff;
(b)whencompensationinmoneywouldnotaffordtheplaintiffadequatereliefforthelossofthethingclaimed;
(c)whenitwouldbeextremelydifficulttoascertaintheactualdamagecausedbyitsloss;
(d)whenthepossessionofthethingclaimedhasbeenwrongfullytransferredfromtheplaintiff.
Explanation.Unlessanduntilthecontraryisproved,thecourtshall,inrespectofanyarticleofmovablepropertyclaimed
underclause(b)orclause(c)ofthissection,presume
(a)thatcompensationinmoneywouldnotaffordtheplaintiffadequatereliefforthelossofthethingclaimed,or,asthe
casemaybe;
(b)thatitwouldbeextremelydifficulttoascertaintheactualdamagecausedbyitsloss.

Section8oftheSpecificReliefActwhichisanalogoustotheequitablereliefofEnglishlawinan
actionofdetenueentitlesapersontorecoverthespecificmovablepropertyitselffromthedefendant
who is not the owner thereof in cases where the property has a peculiar value or association and
cannot be adequately compensated in terms of money. The relief under this section can only be
grantedagainstapersonhavingthepossessioncontroloftheparticulararticleclaimedbytheplaintiff.
Theobjectofthissectionistoprovidespecialremedysothatpersonshavingthepossessionorcontrol
ofparticulararticlesofmovableproperty,althoughnottheirowners,maybecompelledspecificallyto
deliverthemtothepersonsentitledtotheirimmediatepossession.Possessionisfoundationofthatsuit
though a suit is not competent under this section against one who is the owner of the movable
property.Possessionandcontrolofthedefendantmustthereforebeclearlyallegedintheplaintand
[14]
proved.
RequisitesofSection8:InorderthatSection8maycomeintooperationthefollowingingredientmust
exist:
1)Thedefendanthaspossessionorcontroloftheparticulararticleclaimed;
2)Sucharticleismovableproperty;
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3)Thedefendantisnottheownerofthearticle;
4)Theplaintiffisentitledtoimmediatepossession;and
5)Anyoneoftheconditionlaiddownunderclauses(a)to(d)ofSection8mustexist.
ProvisionsofSection8areapplicableinthefollowingsituationsonly:
I.

Whensuchpropertyisheldasagentortrusteeoftheproperty.

II.Whencompensationisnotanadequatereliefforthelosstotheplaintiff.

III.Whenascertainmentofactualdamageisnotpossible.

IV.Whenpossessionofthepropertyiswrongfullytransferredfromtheplaintiff.

IncaseofsituationsunderIandIIburdenofproofisontheplaintiffandunderIIIandIV
burdenisonthedefendant.
[15]
KizhakkumpurathV.Thanikkuzhiyil
Therewasoralanddocumentaryevidencethattheplaintiffwastheownerofcertainscheduleditems
and the defendants had trespassed into those items. The plaintiff was held entitled to recover those
itemsfromthedefendants,andalsomesneprofitsorcompensationaswell.

DifferencebetweenSection7andsection8:
Section 7 and Section 8 both speak of the recovery of movable property. However the point of
differencebetweentwoare:
A. ReliefunderSection7is:

Ofgeneralnature
Independentofnatureofproperty

Independentofrelationshipbetweentheparties.
ReliefunderSection8is:

Ofspecificcharacter
Dependsuponthenatureofproperty
Dependsupontherelationshipexistingbetweentheparties.

B. Relief claimed under Section 7 is for the possession of movable property and in alternate for

compensation equal to the value of property whereas relief under Section 8 is for delivery of
property(Specificmovableproperty).
C. UnderSection7asuittorecoverpossessioncanbemaintainedagainsttheownerofproperty.
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Section8doesnotcontemplateasuitagainsttheowner.

chapteriv

specificperformanceofcontracts
Thecontractisanagreementuponconsiderationtodoornottodoparticularthing,ifthepersonon
whomthiscontractualobligationrests,failstodischargeit,otherpartyhasrighttoeithertoinsiston
theliteralandactualperformanceofthecontractortoobtaincompensationforthenonperformance
ofit.TheformeriscalledtheSpecificPerformance.
AccordingtoHalsburySpecificperformanceisanequitablereliefgivenbytheCourtsincasesof
breach of contract, in the form of a judgement that the defendant do actually perform the contract
[16]
accordingtoitstermsandstipulation.
According to Pomeroy defines it as consisting in the contracting partys exact fulfillment of
obligationwhichhehasassumedinhisdoingoromittingtheveryactwhichhehasundertakentodo
[17]
oromit.
ThesubjectofSpecificperformanceisdealtinPartII,ChapterIioftheSpecificReliefAct,1963which
maybeclassifiedunderthefollowingheads:
A. Contractswhichmybespecificallyenforced;
B. Contractswhichcannotbespecificallyenforced;

C.Partiestoanactionforspecificperformance
D. Specificperformancewithavariation;
E. DiscretionoftheCourtinorderingspecificperformance;

Section9.Defencesrespectingsuitsforreliefbasedoncontract.
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Exceptasotherwiseprovidedherein,whereanyreliefisclaimedunderthisChapterinrespectofacontract,theperson
against whom the relief is claimed may plead by way of defence any ground which is available to him under any law
relatingtocontracts.

Section9simplydeclaresthatdefendantmayraiseanygroundavailableinlawtohimwhileresisting
suit for specific performance. In other words all those pleas as recognized under law of contract like
[18]
incapacityofparties,theabsenceofconcludedcontract
,theuncertaintyofthecontract,coercion,
fraud,misrepresentation,mistake,illegalityorwantofauthority,toenterintocontractetcareavailable
todefendantinasuitforspecificperformance.

Contractswhichmaybespecificallyenforced

TheremedyofSpecificperformancebeinganequitableremedyisatthediscretionoftheCourt.Butin
theexerciseofthisdiscretion,theCourtisgovernedbycertainprinciples.Thecircumstancesinwhich
specificperformancemaybegrantedareenumeratedinSection10oftheveryAct.
Section10.Casesinwhichspecificperformanceofcontractenforceable
ExceptasotherwiseprovidedinthisChapter,thespecificperformanceofanycontractmay,inthediscretionofthecourt,
beenforced
(a) when there exists no standard for ascertaining the actual damage caused by the nonperformance of the act
agreedtobedone;or
(b)whentheactagreedtobedoneissuchthatcompensationinmoneyforitsnonperformancewouldnotafford
adequaterelief.
Explanation.Unlessanduntilthecontraryisproved,thecourtshallpresume
(i) that the breach of a contract to transfer immovable property cannot be adequately relieved by compensation in
money;and
(ii)thatthebreachofacontracttotransfermovablepropertycanbesorelievedexceptinthefollowingcases:
(a) Where the property is not an ordinary article of commerce, or is of special value or interest to the plaintiff, or
consistsofgoodswhicharenoteasilyobtainableinthemarket;
(b)Wherethepropertyisheldbythedefendantastheagentortrusteeoftheplaintiff.

NoStandardforascertainingdamages
Section10providersforspecificperformanceofcontractinthosecaseswherethereisnostandardfor
ascertaining damages or where the money cannot form adequate relief for the nonperformance.
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Furtherenforcementofthespecificperformanceisatdiscretionofthecourtandnooneclaimitasa
matterofright.In
[19]
BanwariLalAgarwalav.RamSwarupAgarwala
It was held that the plaintiff tenant was entitled to a decree of specific performance contract under
Section 10 of Specific Relief Act. Where from some special or practical features or incidents of the
contracteitherinitssubjectmatter,orinitstermsorintherelationsoftheparties,itisimpossibleto
arriveatalegalmeasureofdamagesatall,oratleastwithanysufficientdegreeofcertaintysothatnot
realcompensationcanbeobtainedbymeansofactionatlaw,thecontractwillbeenforcedinspecie.
Pecuniarycompensationnotadequaterelief
Thespecificperformance will also be granted whencompensation inmoneyis not adequate relief in
facts and circumstances of case. Damages may be considered to be an inadequate remedy if it is
[20]
difficult to quantify them. In Jainarain v. Surajmal
it was held that where shares are limited in
number and are not ordinarily available in the market, it is quite proper to grant decree for specific
[21]
performance of contract of sale of such shares. In Ram Karan V. Govind Lal
there was an
agreementforthesaleofagriculturalland.Thebuyerhadpaidfullsaleconsiderationtotheseller,but
the seller even then avoided executing the sale deed as per the agreement. The buyer brought an
actionforthespecificperformanceofthecontract.ItwasheldthatthecaseiscoveredunderSection
10(b)oftheact.
ConditionsforapplicabilityofSection10:
1. Thesuitmustrelatetothespecificperformanceofcontract;
2. ThecasemustfallwithinanyoftheClauses(a)and(b);
3. Thecasemustinthediscretionofthecourt,befitonetowarrantspecificperformance;and
4. The case must not fall within any of the Section of Chapter II which prohibits specific

performance.
Explanation to Section 10 carries presumption in favour of plaintiff and declares that it should be
presumedthatcompensationdoesnotaffordadequatereliefinfollowingcases:
A. Inallcaseswherethecontractisforthetransferofimmovableproperty.
B. Incaseofmovablepropertywhere:

a)Thepropertyisnotanordinaryarticlebutanarticleofspecialvalueorofspecialinterest
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toplaintiff.
b)Thearticleisnoteasilyobtainableinthemarket.
c)Thepropertyisheldbythedefendantasanagentortrusteeoftheplaintiff.
Howeverthesepresumptionscanberebuttedbythedefendantbyprovingthecontrary.
DoctrineofMutuality:
Nopersoncansueforspecificperformanceifhecannotbesuedforit,whetherbecauseheisminoror
foranyotherreason.Thecontracttobespecificallyenforcedmustbemutual.Thedoctrineofmutuality
meansthecontractmustbemutuallyenforceablebyeachpartyagainsttheother.Itdoesnothowever
meanthatforeveryrighttheremustbecorrespondingclause.Acontractmaycontainseriesofclauses
andcovenantswhichformthetotalbargainbetweenthepartiesandeachofthemistheconsideration
fortheother.Mutualityinthiscontextdoesnotmeanequalityandexactarithmeticalcorrespondence.
It means each party to the contract must have the freedom to enforce his right under the contract
[22]
againsteachother.
Thedoctrineofmutualitythoughatechnicalonisfoundedoncommonsense
andamountstothisthatthepartytothecontractshouldnotbeboundtothatcontract,whenhecould
[23]
notenforceitagainsttheother.InIndiathecontractbyaminorhimselfisabsolutelyvoid.
Section11.Casesinwhichspecificperformanceofcontractsconnectedwithtrustsenforceable.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, specific performance of a contract may, in the discretion of the court, be
enforcedwhentheactagreedtobedoneisintheperformancewhollyorpartlyofatrust.
(2)Acontractmadebyatrusteeinexcessofhispowersorinbreachoftrustcannotbespecificallyenforced.

AccordingtoSection11(1)whentheactagreedtobedoneisintheperformance,whollyorpartly,ofa
trust,specificperformanceofthesamemaybegrantedatthediscretionofthecourt.ForinstanceA
holdscertainstockintrustforB.Awrongfullydisposesofthestock.ThelawcreatesanobligationonA
torestorethesamequantityofstocktoB,andBmayenforcespecificperformanceofthisobligation.

Specificperformanceofpartofcontract
Section12.Specificperformanceofpartofcontract.
(1)Exceptasotherwisehereinafterprovidedinthissection,thecourtshallnotdirectthespecificperformanceofapartof
acontract.
(2) Where a party to a contract is unable to perform the whole of his part of it, but the part which must be left
unperformedbearsonlyasmallproportiontothewholeinvalueandadmitsofcompensationinmoney,thecourtmay,at
the suit of either party, direct the specific performance of so much of the contract as can be performed, and award
compensationinmoneyforthedeficiency.
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(3) Where a party to a contract is unable to perform the whole of his part of it, and the part which must be left
unperformedeither(a)formsaconsiderablepartofthewhole,thoughadmitingofcompensationinmoney;or(b)does
notadmitofcompensationinmoney;heisnotentitledtoobtainadecreeforspecificperformance;butthecourtmay,at
thesuitoftheotherparty,directthepartyindefaulttoperformspecificallysomuchofhispartofthecontractashecan
perform,iftheotherparty
(i)inacasefallingunderclause(a),paysorhaspaidtheagreedconsiderationforthewholeofthecontractreduced
bytheconsiderationforthepartwhichmustbeleftunperformedandinacasefallingunderclause(b),1*[paysorhas
paid]theconsiderationforthewholeofthecontractwithoutanyabatement;and
(ii) in either case, relinquishes all claims to the performance of the remaining part of the contract and all right to
compensation, either for the deficiency or for the loss or damage sustained by him through the default of the
defendant.
(4)Whenapartofacontractwhich,takenbyitself,canandoughttobespecificallyperformed,standsonaseparateand
independentfootingfromanotherpartofthesamecontractwhichcannotoroughtnottobespecificallyperformed,the
courtmaydirectspecificperformanceoftheformerpart.
Explanation.Forthepurposesofthissection,apartytoacontractshallbedeemedtobeunabletoperformthewholeof
hispartofitifaportionofitssubjectmatterexistingatthedateofthecontracthasceasedtoexistatthetimeofits
performance.

Thegeneralruleofequityisthatthecourtwillnotcompelspecificperformanceofacontractunlessit
canenforcethewholecontract.In
[24]
MerchantsTradingCo.v.Banner
LordRomillyobservedthat:thiscourtcannotspecificallyperformthecontractpiecemeal,butitmust
beperformedinitsentirelyifperformedatall.Acourtofequityisnotconcernedtomakethenew
contractfortheparties.
TherulelaidinabovecaseiscontainedinSection12(1)oftheSpecificReliefActwhichlayscourtshall
notdirectthespecificperformanceofapartofcontract,exceptincasescomingunderonorotherof
thethreeproceedingsections.
Tothisgeneralrulestherearecertainexceptionswhichproceedupontheprincipleofthatequity
lookstothesubstanceofcontractandrequiressubstantialcompliancewithitsconditionsratherthan
itsliteralfulfillmentandtheseareembodiedinSection12(2),(3)and(4).
Section 12(2) becomes applicable when the part of contract which cannot be performed is the
conveyanceofanitemwhichisonlyasmallportionofthewholeinvalueandadmitsofcompensation
in money. The inability to perform the contract may be by reason of deficiency in quantity of the
subjectmatter,varianceinquality,defectintitleorofsomeotherlegalprohibitionorlapseoftime.For
theapplicabilityoftheseprovisionsofthissubsectiontwoconditionsmustcoexist,namely:
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a)Thatthepartwhichmustbeleftunperformedbearsonlyasmallproportiontothewholevalue,
and
b)Thepartwhichmustbeleftunperformedadmitsofcompensationinmoney.
Section 12(3) lays down the second exception the general rule under Section 12(1). The equitable
principle underlying this section is that specific performance of contract will not be enforced for the
benefitofthepurchaserandcannotoperatetohisdetriment.Followingaretheimportantpointsinthis
subsection:
a)Thepartunperformedmustbeaconsiderableportionofthewhole;or
b)Itdoesnotadmitofcompensationinmoney;
c)Noteitheroftheparties,butpartywhoisnotindefaultmaysueforpartperformance.
d) Provided the plaintiff relinquishes, (i) claims to further performance and also, (ii) all rights to
compensationonaccountofdefaultofthedefendant.
Section12(3)ofthespecificreliefActcanbeinvokedonlywheretermsofcontractpermitsegregation
ofrightsandinterestofpartiesintheproperty.Theprovisioncannotbeavailedofwhenthetermsof
the contract specifically even an intention contrary to segregating interest of the vendor having the
interestandspessuccessionisofrevesioners.Neitherlawnorequityisinfavourofthevendeetogrant
[25]
specificperformanceofthecontract.
Section 12(4) is the third exception to the general law provided in subsection 12(1). The ordinary
presumption is that a contract is intended to be dealt with as a whole and not piecemeal. But this
sectionpermitstheCourtincertaincaseswherethispresumptionisrebuttedtoaffordreliefbywayof
partialperformance.ThebasicprincipleofSection12(4)isthatwhenacontractconsistsofseveralparts
whichareseparatefromandindependentofonanother,andsomeofwhichcannotoroughtnottobe
performed,suchpartorpartsascanandoughttobeperformedmayalonebespecificallyenforced.The
court must not make a new contract for the parties, nor proceed merely on surmises that the
[26]
requirementsofthesectionwouldbesatisfied,iffurtherenquirywereallowed.
Section13.Rightsofpurchaserorlesseeagainstpersonwithnotitleorimperfecttitle.
(1) Where a person contracts to sell or let certain immovable property having no title or only an imperfect title, the
purchaserorlessee(subjecttotheotherprovisionsofthisChapter),hasthefollowingrights,namely:
(a)ifthevendororlessorhassubsequentlytothecontractacquiredanyinterestintheproperty,thepurchaseror
lesseemaycompelhimtomakegoodthecontractoutofsuchinterest;
(b)wheretheconcurrenceofotherpersonsisnecessaryforvalidatingthetitle,andtheyareboundtoconcuratthe
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requestofthevendororlessor,thepurchaserorlesseemaycompelhimtoprocuresuchconcurrence,andwhena
conveyancebyotherpersonsisnecessarytovalidatethetitleandtheyareboundtoconveyattherequestof the
vendororlessor,thepurchaserorlesseemaycompelhimtoprocuresuchconveyance;
(c) where the vendor professes to sell unencumbered property, but the property is mortgaged for an amount not
exceedingthepurchasemoneyandthevendorhasinfactonlyarighttoredeemit,thepurchasermaycompelhimto
redeemthemortgageandtoobtainavaliddischarge,and,wherenecessary,alsoaconveyancefromthemortgagee;
(d)wherethevendororlessorsuesforspecificperformanceofthecontractandthesuitisdismissedonthegroundof
hiswantoftitleorimperfecttitle,thedefendanthasarighttoareturnofhisdeposit,ifany,withinterestthereon,to
hiscostsofthesuit,andtoalienforsuchdeposit,interestandcostsontheinterest,ifany,ofthevendororlessorin
thepropertywhichisthesubjectmatterofthecontract.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) shall also apply, as far as may be, to contracts for the sale or hire of movable
property.

ThissectionisbasedontheextendedprinciplewhatisknowninEnglishLawthedoctrineoffeedingthe
grant by estoppels. This doctrine found acceptance in India, in the form of Section 43 of Transfer of
propertyAct.ItishasbeenextendedinthepresentSection13oftheSpecificReliefAct.Therightofthe
personofpurchaserorlesseeagainstthepersonwithnotitleorimperfecttitlehasbeenenumeratedin
Section13oftheSpecificReliefAct.
Acontractmaybespecificallyenforcedeventhoughthepromisorhadnotitleorimperfecttitleat
the time of the contract. The promisor is bound to comply with the terms of the contract if he
subsequentlyacquiresthepowerofperformingthecontract.Thepromiseecancompelthepromisorto
[27]
makegoodthecontractoutoftheinterestwhichthelatteracquiredsubsequenttothecontract.
Section13(a)saysaboutaboverightofvendee.
ThereisdistinctionbetweenSection43ofT.PActandSection13ofSpecificReliefAct:

Section13oftheS.R.Actappliesonlywherethematterisstillinthestageofcontract.Ithasno

application to cases where an actual transfer has been made in respect of the property to which
vendororlessorhasnotitleorhasonlyanimperfecttitle.]

Section13ofS.R.Actappliestocontractforsaleorleaseofimmovablepropertyandcontractsfor
saleorhireofmovablepropertywhichisinexistence.Itdoesnotapplytothosepropertieswhich

arenoinexistence.Itdoesnotapplytothosepropertieswhicharenotinevidence;ontheother
hand,Section43ofT.P.Actappliestotransferofimmovablepropertywhileithasnoapplicationto
movableproperties.

Section13ofS.R.Actappliestocontractforsale,leaseorhireproperties,movableorimmovable,
whileSection43ofT.P.Actappliestotransferwhichincludewithintheirambitnotonlysalesand

leasebutalsomortgages,chargesorothertransfersforvaluableconsideration.

Contractsnotspecificallyenforceable
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Section14.Contractsnotspecificallyenforceable.
(1)Thefollowingcontractscannotbespecificallyenforced,namely:
(a)acontractforthenonperformanceofwhichcompensationinmoneyisanadequaterelief;
(b)acontractwhichrunsintosuchminuteornumerousdetailsorwhichissodependentonthepersonalqualificationsor
volition of the parties, or otherwise from its nature is such, that the court cannot enforce specific performance of its
materialterms;
(c)acontractwhichisinitsnaturedeterminable;
(d)acontracttheperformanceofwhichinvolvestheperformanceofacontinuousdutywhichthecourtcannotsupervise.
(2) Save as provided by the Arbitration Act, 1940 (10 of 1940), no contract to refer present or future differences to
arbitration shall be specifically enforced; but if any person who has made such a contract (other than an arbitration
agreement to which the provisions of the said Act apply) and has refused to perform it, sues in respect of any subject
whichhehascontractedtorefer,theexistenceofsuchcontractshallbarthesuit.
(3)Notwithstandinganythingcontainedinclause(a)orclause(c)orclause(d)ofsubsection(1),thecourtmayenforce
specificperformanceinthefollowingcases:
(a)wherethesuitisfortheenforcementofacontract,
(i)toexecuteamortgageorfurnishanyothersecurityforsecurityforsecuringtherepaymentofanyloanwhichthe
borrowerisnotwillingtorepayatonce:
Providedthatwhereonlyapartoftheloanhasbeenadvancedthelenderiswillingtoadvancetheremainingpartof
theloanintermsofthecontract;or
(ii)totakeupandpayforanydebenturesofacompany;
(b)wherethesuitisfor,
(i) the execution of a formal deed of partnership, the parties having commenced to carry on the business of the
partnership;or
(ii)thepurchaseofashareofapartnerinafirm,
(c)wherethesuitisfortheenforcementofacontractfortheconstructionofanybuildingortheexecutionofanyother
workonland:
Providedthatthefollowingconditionsarefulfilled,namely:
(i) the building or other work is described in the contract in terms sufficiently precise to enable the court to
determinetheexactnatureofthebuildingorwork;
(ii)theplaintiffhasasubstantialinterestintheperformanceofthecontractandtheinterestisofsuchanaturethat
compensationinmoneyfornonperformanceofthecontractisnotanadequaterelief;and
(iii) thedefendanthas,inpursuanceofthecontract,obtainedpossessionofthewholeoranypartofthelandon
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whichthebuildingistobeconstructedorotherworkistobeexecuted.

TheeffectoftheprovisionsinSection14canbestatedintermsofcertainpropositions,namely,thatin
thecaseoffollowingcontractsthereliefofSpecificperformancecannotbeallowed:
1.WhereCompensationisAdequate.
Courts will not order specific performance of a contract where the aggrieved party can be
adequately compensated in terms of money. An ordinary contract to lend or borrow money
whether with or without security is an example of a contract which cannot be specifically
enforced,thoughwherealoanhasbeenalreadyadvancedontheunderstandingthatasecurity
[28]
wouldbeprovidedagainstit,thiscanbespecificallyenforced.
2.Contractsinvolvingpersonalskill
Itisnotpossibleforthecourttosupervisetheperformanceofacontractwhichrunsinto
minuteandnumerousdetailsorisdependentuponthepersonalqualificationsofthepromisor
or is otherwise of volitional nature. Contracts of employment, contracts of personal service,
contractsinvolvingperformanceofartisticskill,likecontracttosing,topaint,toact,contractof
authorship are ordinary examples of things requiring personal skill and therefore beyond the
capacity of the judicial process to enforce their actual performance. The only choice in such
[29]
[30]
casesistobecontentwithdamages.
InPurshottamV.Purshottam
it was held that a
contract to marry would fall under the category of such contracts fro which a court cannot
enforcethespecificperformance.
3.ContractsofDeterminableNature.
Specificperformanceisnotorderedofacontractwhichisinitsnaturedeterminable.Thusno
orderofspecificperformanceislikelytobepassedwhenthecontractisrevocableattheoption
[31]
of the opposite party. A revocable lease comes under this category.
The court will not
enforceacontractwhichisinitsnaturerevocablebythedefendant,foritsinterferenceinsuch
case would be idle in as much as what it had done might be instantly undone by one of the
parties.In
[32]
JawaharSaoV.ShatrughanSonar
Ithasbeenheldthatwheracontractofsaleisdeterminableattheoptionofthesellerwithina
specified period on repayment of the consideration, the other party cannot get decree of
specificperformanceoftheagreement.
4.ContractsrequiringConstantSupervision
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Clause (d) of Section 14(1) says that the contract cannot be specifically enforced where it
involves the performance of continuous duty which the court cannot supervise. Contracts
requiringtheperformanceofacontinuousdutyextendingoverperiodlongerthanthreeyears
fromthedateofthecontractcannotbespecificallyenforced.InthewordsofDr.Banerji If
the court were to make what purported to be a final order for specific performance in such
case, such order would not be the end of litigation; but on the contrary, it is fruitful and
continuoussource.In
[33]
CentralBankyeotmalV.Vyankatish
TherespondentdefendantwasrequiredtoexecuteaKabuliyateveryyearfor25yearsandit
washeldtherewascontinuousdutyinthesensethatithadtobeperformedannuallyfor25
yearsand,therefore,thecontractmustbeheldtobespecificallyunenforceable.
5.ConstructionContracts
Subjecttocertainexceptions,thecourtwillnotenforcespecificperformancetobuild,repair,or
maintainworksorbuildingbothbecause:
a)Specificperformanceisdecreedonlywherethepartywantsthethinginspecieandcannot
haveitinanyotherway;and
b)Suchcontractsareforthemostpartsouncertainthatthecourtwillbeunabletoenforceits
owndecree.
In
HerHighnessMaharaniShantideviP.GaikwakV.SavjibhaiHaribahiPatel

[34]

SupremeCourtheldthat:
Thereisalsoforceinthecontentionthattheagreementisnotspecificallyenforceableinview
of clause (d) of Subsection (1) of Section 14 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. This provision
provides that a contract, the performance of which involves the performance of a continuous
duty which the court cannot supervise is not specifically enforceable. Having regard to the
nature of the scheme and the facts and the circumstances of the case it is clear that the
performanceofthecontractinvolvescontinuoussupervisionwhichisnotpossibleforthecourt.
Afterrepealsuchcontinuoussupervisioncannotbedirectedtobeundertakenbythecompetent
authorityassuchanauthorityisnownonexistent.
ContractforArbitration
Whereanagreementofreferencetoanarbitrationhasbeenactedanddeterminatein
an award a suit for the cancellation of the award on the ground of fraud and collusion isnot
againstthetenorofSection14(2).Thissectionhasnoapplicationexceptwhereapersonhaving
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madeacontracttoreferacontroversytoarbitrationhasrefusedtoperformitandinstitutesa
suitinrespectofsubjectmatterindefianceofthecontract,wheretwocompetenttribunalare
availableforthedeterminationofacontroversyviz:
a)Thecourt
b)Thearbitrators
And the plaintiff chooses the latter while he has remedy to the former, it is not open to the
defendanttoenforcespecificperformanceoftheagreementofreference.

Partiestoanactionforspecificperformance
Section15.Whomayobtainspecificperformance.
ExceptasotherwiseprovidedbythisChapter,thespecificperformanceofacontractmaybeobtainedby
(a)anypartythereto;
(b)therepresentativeininterestortheprincipal,ofanypartythereto:
Provided that where the learning, skill, solvency or any personal quality of such party is a material ingredient in the
contract, or where the contract provides that his interest shall not be assigned, his representative in interest of his
principalshallnotbeentitledtospecificperformanceofthecontract,unlesssuchpartyhasalreadyperformedhispartof
thecontract,ortheperformancethereofbyhisrepresentativeininterest,orhisprincipal,hasbeenacceptedbytheother
party;
(c)wherethecontractisasettlementonmarriage,oracompromiseofdoubtfulrightsbetweenmembersofthesame
family,anypersonbeneficiallyentitledthereunder;
(d)wherethecontracthasbeenenteredintobyatenantforlifeindueexerciseofapower,theremainderman;
(e) a reversioner in possession, where the agreement is a covenant entered into with his predecessor in title and the
reversionerisentitledtothebenefitofsuchcovenant;
(f) a reversioner in remainder, where the agreement is such a covenant, and the reversioner is entitled to the benefit
thereofandwillsustainmaterialinjurybyreasonofitsbreach;
(g)whenacompanyhasenteredintoacontractandsubsequentlybecomesamalgamatedwithanothercompany,the
newcompanywhicharisesoutoftheamalgamation;
(h) when the promoters of a company have, before its incorporation, entered into a contract for the purposes of the
company,andsuchcontractiswarrantedbythetermsoftheincorporation,thecompany:Providedthatthecompanyhas
acceptedthecontractandhascommunicatedsuchacceptancetotheotherpartytothecontract.

Itisageneralrulethatacontractcannotbegotenforcedexceptbyapartytothecontract.Thisgeneral
ruleisembodiedinclause(a)ofSection15.Buttherearecertainexceptionstothisgeneralrule.These
exceptionsarecontainedinclause(b)to(h)ofthesectionandcontainlistofpersonswhoalthoughnot
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apartytothecontract,areentitledtoobtainspecificperformanceofcontract.Theseare:
1)Arepresentativeininterestortheprincipalthereto.
2)Anypersonbeneficiallyentitled
3)Theremainderman
4)Arevesionerinpossession
5)Arevesionerinremainder
6)Theamalgamatedcompany
7)Thecompany
Othersituationwherecontractcanbeenforcedbyanypersonotherthanthepartytheretoare
where:
1)Atrustiscreatedinfavourofastrangerbythecontract.
2)Thepromisorconstituteshimselfasagentforthestranger.
3)Itissoprovidedbyamarriagesettlement
4)Thecontractitselfprovidesformaintenance
5)Thecontractitselfprovidesformarriageexpenses.
6)Theaimofcontractitselfistobenefitastranger.
7)Achangeiscreatedinfavourofastrangerbythecontractetc.

ShyamSingh,v.DaryaoSingh

[35]

Under the provisions of S. 15(b) specific performance of the contract may be obtained by 'any party
thereto' or their representative in interest.' This expression clearly includes the transferees and
assignees from the contracting party in whose favour the right exists. Such right of seeking specific
performance would, however, be not available in terms of proviso below Cl. (b) where the contract
providesthatthe'interestshallnotbeassigned.
[36]
"T.M.BalakrishnaMudaliarv.M.SatyanarayanaRao"
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"Inourview,generallyspeaking,thebenefitsofacontractofrepurchasemustbeassignable,unlessthe
termsofthecontractaresuchastoshowthattherightofrepurchaseispersonaltothevendor.Inthe
lattercaseitwillbeforthepersonwhopleadsthatthecontractisnotenforceable,toshowthatthe
intentionofthepartiestheretowasthatitwastobeenforcedonlybythepersonsnamedthereinand
notbytheassignee."
The plaintiff in the present case also falls within the meaning of representative in interest as
contemplatedunderCl.(b)ofS.15oftheAct.Onsuchassignment,theplaintiffappellantacquireda
validtitletoclaimspecificperformance.Intheresult,weallowtheseappealswithcostsandsetaside
thejudgmentoftheHighCourtandrestorethejudgmentsanddecreespassedbythetrialcourt.

Section16.Personalbarstorelief.
Specificperformanceofacontractcannotbeenforcedinfavourofaperson
(a)whowouldnotbeentitledtorecovercompensationforitsbreach;or
(b)whohasbecomeincapableofperforming,orviolatesanyessentialtermof,thecontractthatonhispartremainstobe
performed,oractsinfraudofthecontract,orwilfullyactsatvariancewith,orinsubversionof,therelationintendedto
beestablishedbythecontract;or
(c)whofailstoaverandprovethathehasperformedorhasalwaysbeenreadyandwillingtoperformtheessentialterms
of the contract which are to be performed by him, other than terms the performance of which has been prevented or
waivedbythedefendant.
Explanation.Forthepurposesofclause(c),
(i) whereacontractinvolvesthepaymentofmoney,itisnotessentialfortheplaintifftoactuallytendertothe
defendantortodepositincourtanymoneyexceptwhensodirectedbythecourt;
(ii)theplaintiffmustaverperformanceof,orreadinessandwillingnesstoperform,thecontractaccordingtoitstrue
construction.

Inclause(a)Courtofequitywouldrefusethespecificperformancenotonlyforfraudbutalsofor
tricknessforhewhocomesforequitymustcomewithcleanhands.Forexample:A,inthecharacter
ofagentforB,entersintoagreementwithCtobuyCshouse.AisinrealityactingnotasagentforB,
butofhisownaccount.Acannotenforcespecificperformanceofcontract.
Inclause(b)theincapacitymaybephysicalormentalorevenlegal.TheinsolvencyoftheJudgement
debtor,howeverdoesnotrenderacontractofassignmentdecreeinvalid.In
[37]
B.R.MulaniV.Dr.A.B.Aswathanarayanaandother
Ithasbeenheldthatwheretheplaintiff,paysmortgagedebtcreatedbydefendantandthedefendant
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intermagreestosellcertainpropertyonitsfailuretopayoffamountadvanced,specificperformance
of such agreement cannot be ordered as it was not agreement of sale only. However, in this case
SupremeCourtdecreedsuitforrepaymentofmoneypaidagainstmortgagewithaccruedinterest.
Ifthereisviolationofessentialtermsofcontractonhispartthenalsoreliefisnotgranted.
In Clause (c) when a plaintiff in his suit for specific performance of the contract insists upon the
implementation of the terms of the contract but on his own does not disclose his readiness and
[38]
willingnesstoperformhisownpartofterm,itwasheldinArdeshirH.MamaV.FloraSassoon
that
suchcontractcannotbeenforced.Itisnecessaryforthepartyclaimingspecificperformancetoaver
[39]
andprovethathehasbeenallthetimereadyandwillingtoperformhispartofcontract.
InSukhbir
[40]
Singh V. Brij Pal
the fact that the party was present in the subregistrars office with necessary
fundswasheldtobeaproofofthepartysreadinessandwillingness.Thepleathatthevendeedidnot
showreadinessandwillingnesscanbetakenbyvendoronlyandnotbysubsequentbuyer.Moreover
thepersonwhomakehimselfpartytoanillegalcontractcannotenforcehisrightsunderthissection.
[41]
Section17.Contracttosellorletpropertybyonewhohasnotitle,notspecificallyenforceable.
(1)Acontracttosellorletanyimmovablepropertycannotbespecificallyenforcedinfavourofavendororlessor
(a)who,knowinghimselfnottohaveanytitletotheproperty,hascontractedtosellorlettheproperty;
(b)who,thoughheenteredintothecontractbelievingthathehadagoodtitletotheproperty,cannotatthetimefixed
by the parties or by the court for the completion of the sale or letting, give the purchaser or lessee a title free from
reasonabledoubt.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) shall also apply, as far as may be, to contracts for the sale or hire of movable
property.

SpecificPerformancewithavariation
Section18.Nonenforcementexceptwithvariation.
Where a plaintiff seeks specific performance of a contract in writing, to which the defendant sets up a variation, the
plaintiff624cannotobtaintheperformancesought,exceptwiththevariationsosetup,inthefollowingcases,namely:
(a)wherebyfraud,mistakeoffactormisrepresentation,thewrittencontractofwhichperformanceissoughtisinits
termsoreffectdifferentfromwhatthepartiesagreedto,ordoesnotcontainallthetermsagreedtobetweentheparties
onthebasisofwhichthedefendantenteredintothecontract;
(b)wheretheobjectofthepartieswastoproduceacertainlegalresultwhichthecontractasframedisnotcalculatedto
produce;

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(c)wherethepartieshave,subsequentlytotheexecutionofthecontract,varieditsterms.

Section18dealswithcasesinwhichthecontractenteredintoisvalidcontract.Inotherwords,itisone
in respect of which the remedy of damages is available. Section 18 does not apply unless there is
completecontract.Itsetsoutthecasesinwhichcontractscannotbeenforcedexceptwithavariation
andtherearethreeparticularcasessetoutinwhichacontractmaybeenforcedsubjecttovariation,
suchavariationbeinginfavourofthedefendant.Butheremedyofspecificperformanceisavailable
whentheplaintiffispreparedtoacceptthevariationpleadedbythedefendant.
Ingredientsummarized:
a)Contractinwriting.Thesectiondoesnotapplyunlessthereisacompletecontract.
b)Defendantsetsupavariation.
c) Theplaintiffisputtoanelectioneithertohavehisactionforspecificperformancedismissedor
haveitsubjecttosuchvariation.
d) But if plaintiff does not accept variation, he does not loose ordinary common law remedy of
damages.
[42]
"K.Narendrav.RivieraApartments(P)Ltd."
Whenthedefendantsetsupavariationthentheplaintiffmayhavethecontractspecificallyperformed
subjecttothevariationsosetuponlyincasesoffraud,mistakeoffactormisrepresentationorwhere
thecontracthasfailedtoproduceacertainlegalresultwhichthecontractwasintendedtodoorwhere
thepartieshavesubsequenttotheexecutionofthecontractvarieditsterms.
Section 19. Relief against parties and persons claiming under them by subsequent title. Except as
otherwiseprovidedbythisChapter,specificperformanceofacontractmaybeenforcedagainst
(a)eitherpartythereto;
(b)anyotherpersonclaimingunderhimbyatitlearisingsubsequentlytothecontract,exceptatransfereeforvaluewho
haspaidhismoneyingoodfaithandwithoutnoticeoftheoriginalcontract;
(c) any person claiming under a title which, though prior to the contract and known to the plaintiff, might have been
displacedbythedefendant;
(d) when a company has entered into a contract and subsequently becomes amalgamated with another company, the
newcompanywhicharisesoutoftheamalgamation;
(e) when the promoters of a company have, before its incorporation, entered into a contract for the purpose of the
companyandsuchcontractiswarrantedbythetermsoftheincorporation,thecompany:Providedthatthecompanyhas
acceptedthecontractandcommunicatedsuchacceptancetotheotherpartytothecontract.
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Clause(a)
Inasuitforspecificperformancethepartiestothecontractarethesufficientparties.Astrangertothe
contractisnotaproperornecessaryparty.In
[43]
KasturiV.Jyyamperumal
TheapexCourtheldthatthirdpartyorstrangertothecontractcannotbeaddedsoastoconvertasuit
ofonecharacterintoanothercharacter.
Clause(b)
Fourthingsfortheapplicabilityofthisclausemustbethere:
a)Thetransferisforvalue
b)Theconsiderationhasbeenpaid
c)Thesubsequenttransfereehastakenthetransferingoodfaith
d)Boththetransferandthepaymentoftheconsiderationhadbeenmadewithoutnoticeofthe
priorcontract.
[44]
R.K.MohammaedAbidullahV.HajiC.Abulwahab
The plaintiff who was in possession of certain property as a tenant and purchased the same
propertybroughtanactionforspecificperformance.Subsequentpurchasercontendedthathewas
buyeringoodfaithandforconsiderationwithoutnoticeandthereforehehadabettertitle.Itwas
foundthatthedefendantsi.e.subsequentpurchasers,wereawareofthefactthattheplaintiffwas
inoccupationofthepropertyastenantforseveralyears.Thedefendantscouldnotbesaidtobe
bonafide subsequent purchasers without notice of the suit property. Hence the plaintiff was held
entitledtothereliefofspecificperformance.
Clause(c)
Thisclauseappliestocaseswheresuitisnotbroughtagainstthecontractingpartybutagainstanother
whosetitlehasbeendisplacedbytheformer.In
[45]
Mohd.HanifV.MariamBegum
AsuedBforspecificperformanceofthecontractofsaleofhouse.HealsosoughtpossessionfromC
whowasnotpartytothecontract.HeldthatdecreeforpossessioncannotbepassedagainstCinthis
suit.Thescopeofasuitforspecificperformanceofanagreementforsaleoflandcoupledwithaprayer
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forpossessioncannotbeenlargedandthesuitcannotbeturnedalsoinatitleunlessitcomesunder
Section19(c).
Clause(d)
The principle in this clause is that the amalgamated company is not allowed to exercise powers
acquiredbymeansofagreementswithitscomponentcompanies,exceptuponthetermsofcomplying
with those agreements provided they are such as the amalgamated company would itself have been
boundby,ifithadenteredintothem.
Clause(e)
ThisClauseisnotintendedtoapplytocontractstotakesharebutonlytocontractsfortheworkings
purposesofthecompany.

DiscretionoftheCourtinorderingSpecificPerformance
Ithasbeenrecognizedonallhandsthattodecreespecificperformanceisamatterofdiscretionofthe
court.Butitdoesnotmeansthatitisopentothecourttodojustwhatitpleasesinanindividualcase
withoutregardtoauthorityorprinciple.
Section20.Discretionastodecreeingspecificperformance.
(1)Thejurisdictiontodecreespecificperformanceisdiscretionary,andthecourtisnotboundtograntsuchreliefmerely
becauseitislawfultodoso;butthediscretionofthecourtisnotarbitrarybutsoundandreasonable,guidedbyjudicial
principlesandcapableofcorrectionbyacourtofappeal.
(2)Thefollowingarecasesinwhichthecourtmayproperlyexercisediscretionnottodecreespecificperformance
(a)wherethetermsofthecontractortheconductofthepartiesatthetimeofenteringintothecontractortheother
circumstances under which the contract was entered into are such that the contract, though not voidable, gives the
plaintiffanunfairadvantageoverthedefendant;or
(b) where the performance of the contract would involve some hardship on the defendant which he did not foresee,
whereasitsnonperformancewouldinvolvenosuchhardshipontheplaintiff;
(c)wherethedefendantenteredintothecontractundercircumstanceswhichthoughnotrenderingthecontractvoidable,
makesitinequitabletoenforcespecificperformance.
Explanation 1.Mere inadequacy of consideration, or the mere fact that the contract is onerous to the defendant or
improvident in its nature, shall not be deemed to constitute an unfair advantage within the meaning of clause (a) or
hardshipwithinthemeaningofclause(b).
Explanation2.Thequestionwhethertheperformanceofacontractwouldinvolvehardshiponthedefendantwithinthe
meaningofclause(b)shall,exceptincaseswherethehardshiphasresultedfromanyactoftheplaintiffsubsequentto
thecontract,bedeterminedwithreferencetothecircumstancesexistingatthetimeofthecontract.
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(3) The court may properly exercise discretion to decree specific performance in any case where the plaintiff has done
substantialactsorsufferedlossesinconsequenceofacontractcapableofspecificperformance.
(4)Thecourtshallnotrefusetoanypartyspecificperformanceofacontractmerelyonthegroundthatthecontractisnot
enforceableattheinstanceoftheotherparty.

The section gives to the Court discretion in the matter of decreeing specific performance. This
discretion is not arbitrary, but sound and reasonable, guided by the judicial principles. Under no
circumstances, the court should exercise its discretion, where it would be improper. Mere on the
groundthatthecontractisunenforceablecourtcantrefuserelieftoanyparty.Thediscretionofthe
courtistodecidewhetherenforcementofthecontractinthepresentcircumstancesisfairandifthe
contractisfairandreasonablecharacteroftheplaintiffhasbeengoodthenthediscretionofthecourt
[46]
hasnoapplication.
Thecourtwouldgrantspecificperformanceonfollowinggeneralprinciples:
1)Specificperformancewillnotbegrantedwheredamagesareanadequateremedy.
2)Tograntaspecificperformanceofacontractisatthediscretionofthecourt.
3)Theplaintiffmustprovethefollowing:
a)Thattherewasconcludedandvalidcontractbetweenhimandthedefendant.
b)Thatheperformedorisreadyandwillingtoperformthetermsofcontractonhispart
c) Thathewasreadyandwillingtodoallmattersandthingsonhispartthereaftertobe
done.
[47]
NobleResourcesLtd.v.StateofOrissa"
A specific performance of contract would not be enforced by issuing a writ of or in the nature of
mandamus,particularlywhenkeepinginviewtheprovisionsoftheSpecificReliefAct,1963damages
maybeanadequateremedyforbreachofcontract.
[48]
P.S.RanakrishnaReddyv.M.K.Bhagyalakshmi
The effect that having regard to the rise in price of an immovable property in Bangalore, the Court
oughtnottohaveexerciseditsdiscretionaryjurisdictionunderSection20oftheSpecificReliefActis
statedtoberejected.Wehavenoticedhereinbeforethattheappellanthadenteredintoanagreement
for sale with others also. He had, even after 11.5.1979, received a sum of Rs. 5,000/ from the
respondent.HewithaviewtodefeatthelawfulclaimofrespondentNo.1hadraisedapleaofhaving
executedaprioragreementforsaleinrespectofselfsamepropertyinfavourofhissoninlawwhohad
never claimed any right thereunder or filed a suit for specific performance of contract. The Courts
below have categorically arrived at a finding that the said contention of the appellant was not
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acceptable.Riseinthepriceofanimmovablepropertybyitselfisnotagroundforrefusaltoenforcea
lawfulagreementofsale.
[49]
JohnThomasV.JosephThomas
Therewassaleoflandatastatedprice.Therewasnorecordtoshowthatthevaluestatedontheplaint
was not correct. The suit for specific performance was resisted on the ground that the value of the
propertywasunderstatedtoavoidstampdutyandtaxes.Itwasheldthatspecificperformancecould
notberefusedontheaboveground.
Section21.Powertoawardcompensationincertaincases.
(1) In a suit for specific performance of a contract, the plaintiff may also claim compensation for its breach, either in
additionto,orinsubstitutionof,suchperformance.626
(2)If,inanysuchsuit,thecourtdecidesthatspecificperformanceoughtnottobegranted,butthatthereisacontract
betweenthepartieswhichhasbeenbrokenbythedefendant,andthattheplaintiffisentitledtocompensationforthat
breach,itshallawardhimsuchcompensationaccordingly.
(3)If,inanysuchsuit,thecourtdecidesthatspecificperformanceoughttobegranted,butthatisnotsufficienttosatisfy
thejusticeofthecase,andthatsomecompensationforbreachofthecontractshouldalsobemadetotheplaintiff,itshall
awardhimsuchcompensationaccordingly.
(4) In determining the amount of any compensation awarded under this section, the court shall be guided by the
principlesspecifiedinsection73oftheIndianContractAct,1872(9of1872).
(5)Nocompensationshallbeawardedunderthissectionunlesstheplaintiffhasclaimedsuchcompensationinhisplaint:
Providedthatwheretheplaintiffhasnotclaimedanysuchcompensationintheplaint,thecourtshall,atanystageofthe
proceeding, allow him to amend the plaint on such terms as may be just, for including a claim for such compensation.
Explanation.The circumstance that the contract has become incapable of specific performance does not preclude the
courtfromexercisingthejurisdictionconferredbythissection.

The plaintiff in a suit for specific performance of contract, under Section 21 may also ask for
compensation in case of the breach of the contract, either in addition to or in substitution for such
performancebutiftheplaintiffinasuitforspecificperformanceomitstoaskforcompensatoryrelief
and his suit for specific performance is dismissed them his subsequent suit for compensatin will be
[50]
barredbytheprovisionsofSection24.InJagdishSinghV.NathuSingh
theSupremeCourthasheld
that when the plaintiff has made specific performance impossible, Section21 doesnot entitle him to
[51]
seek damages. In Jaya Sen V. Sujit Kumar Sarkar
it has been held that the parties are bound by
theirpleadingsandtheycanbeawardedonlysuchreliefasisclaimedintheplaint.
Section22.Powertograntreliefforpossession,partition,refundofearnestmoney,etc.
(1)NotwithstandinganythingtothecontrarycontainedintheCodeofCivilProcedure,1908(5of1908),anypersonsuing
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forthespecificperformanceofacontractforthetransferofimmovablepropertymay,inanappropriatecase,askfor
(a)possession,orpartitionandseparatepossession,oftheproperty,inadditiontosuchperformance;or
(b)anyotherrelieftowhichhemaybeentitled,includingtherefundofanyearnestmoneyordepositpaidor1*[made
by]him,incasehisclaimforspecificperformanceisrefused.
(2)Noreliefunderclause(a)orclause(b)ofsubsection(1)shallbegrantedbythecourtunlessithasbeenspecifically
claimed:Providedthatwheretheplaintiffhasnotclaimedanysuchreliefintheplaint,thecourtshall,atanystageofthe
proceeding,allowfor"madeto".himtoamendtheplaintonsuchtermsasmaybejustforincludingaclaimforsuch
relief.
(3)Thepowerofthecourttograntreliefunderclause(b)ofsubsection(1)shallbewithoutprejudicetoitspowersto
awardcompensationundersection21.

[52]
In P.C. Verghese V. Devaki Amma
the apex court held that in view of Section 22 (1)(a) of the
Specific Relief Act a decree of partition and separate possession of the property can be granted in
additiontoadecreeforspecificperformance.
[53]
In Satya Narayana V. Yelloji Rao
the Supreme Court has observed that discretion referred in
Section22oftheSpecificReliefActcannotbedefinedasitisnotpossibleordesirabletolaydownthe
circumstancesunderwhichthecourtwillexercisediscretionagainsttheplaintiff,butatthesametime
thesaiddiscretionshallnotbearbitraryandmustbeinaccordancewithsoundandreasonablejudicial
principles.
[54]
GoparajuVenkataBharataRaoV.NagulaRamakotayya
Therewasagreementforsaleofpropertyinfavouroftheplaintiff.Theplaintiffwasputinpossessionof
suitproperty.Theexecutionoftheagreementwastotakeplaceafterentireconsiderationwaspaidby
theplaintiff.Theoriginalownerdied.Herlegateesunderwilldispossessedtheplaintiffandpostponed
executionofsaledeed.Theplaintiffprovedthattheagreementtosellwasagenuinedocument.Itwas
heldthattheplaintiffwasentitledtoreliefofspecificperformanceofagreementpossessionofproperty
againstthelegateesoftheoriginalownerproperty.
Section23.Liquidationofdamagesnotabartospecificperformance.
(1) A contract, otherwise proper to be specifically enforced, may be so enforced, though a sum be named in it as the
amounttobepaidincaseofitsbreachandthepartyindefaultiswillingtopaythesame,ifthecourt,havingregardto
thetermsofthecontractandotherattendingcircumstances,issatisfiedthatthesumwasnamedonlyforthepurposeof
securingperformanceofthecontractandnotforthepurposeofgivingtothepartyindefaultanoptionofpayingmoney
inlieuofspecificperformance.
(2)Whenenforcingspecificperformanceunderthissection,thecourtshallnotalsodecreepaymentofthesumsonamed
inthecontract.
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Section24.Barofsuitforcompensationforbreachafterdismissalofsuitforspecificperformance.
The dismissal of a suit for specific performance of a contract or part thereof shall bar the plaintiff's right to sue for
compensationforthebreachofsuchcontractorpart,asthecasemaybe,butshallnotbarhisrighttosueforanyother
relieftowhichhemaybeentitled,byreasonofsuchbreach.

It is open for the party to a contract to sue for its specific performance and for compensation for its
breach in addition to or in substitution for such performance by the defendant. In those cases the
plaintiff doesnot treat the contract to be at an end and asserts that he has been all along willing to
performancehispartofthecontract.Ifthecourtgrantshimthespecificperformance,hewilldischarge
hisobligation.Butinanactionfordamagesonlyforbreachofthecontract,thatcannotbetheposition
[55]
there,thecontractistakentobenolongersubsistingtobeenforced.
Section 25. Application of preceding sections to certain awards and testamentary directions to
executesettlements.TheprovisionsofthisChapterastocontractsshallapplytoawardstowhichtheArbitrationAct,
1940(10of1940),doesnotapplyandtodirectionsinawillorcodiciltoexecuteaparticularsettlement.

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chapterv

rectificationofinstruments
Section26:Wheninstrumentmayberectified.
(1) When, through fraud or a mutual mistake of the parties, a contract or other instrument in writing (not being the
articles628ofassociationofacompanytowhichtheCompaniesAct,1956(1of1956),applies)doesnotexpresstheirreal
intention,then
(a)eitherpartyorhisrepresentativeininterestmayinstituteasuittohavetheinstrumentrectified;or
(b)theplaintiffmay,inanysuitinwhichanyrightarisingundertheinstrumentisinissue,claiminhispleadingthatthe
instrumentberectified;or
(c)adefendantinanysuchsuitasisreferredtoinclause(b),may,inadditiontoanyotherdefenceopentohim,askfor
rectificationoftheinstrument.
(2)If,inanysuitinwhichacontractorotherinstrumentissoughttoberectifiedundersubsection(1),thecourtfinds
that the instrument, through fraud or mistake, does not express the real intention of the parties, the court may, in its
discretion, direct rectification of the instrument so as to express that intention, so far as this can be done without
prejudicetorightsacquiredbythirdpersonsingoodfaithandforvalue.
(3)Acontractinwritingmayfirstberectified,andthenifthepartyclaimingrectificationhassoprayedinhispleadingand
thecourtthinksfit,maybespecificallyenforced.
(4) No relief for the rectification of an instrument shall be granted to any party under this section unless it has been
specificallyclaimed:Providedthatwhereapartyhasnotclaimedanysuchreliefinhispleading,thecourtshall,atany
stageoftheproceeding,allowhimtoamendthepleadingonsuchtermsasmaybejustforincludingsuchclaim.

DoctrineofRectification
Rectificationmeanscorrectionofanerrorinaninstrumentinordertogiveeffecttotherealintentionof
theparties.Whereacontracthasbeenreducedintowriting,inpursuanceofapreviousengagement
andthewriting,owningtofraudormutualmistake,failstoexpresstherealintentionoftheparties,the
court will rectify the writing instrument in accordance with their true intent. Here the fundamental
assumption is that there exists in between the parties a complete and perfectly unobjectionable
contract but the writing designed to embody it, either from fraud or mutual mistake is incorrect or
imperfectandthereliefsoughtistorectifythewritingsoastobringitintoconformitywithtrueintent.
Insuchacasetoenforcetheinstrumentasitsstandmustbetoinjureatleastonepartytoit;torescind
italltogethermustbetoinjureboth,butrectifyitandthenenforceitistoinjureneitherbuttocarry
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outtheintentionofboth.Incasesofrectificationthecourtdoesnotputittotheotherpartytosubmit
tothevariationallegedbutmakestheinstrumentconfirmabletotheintentionofthepartieswithout
[56]
[57]
suchofferorsubmission.
InDagduV.Bhana
itwasobserved:
The Court in administering equitable principles permits mistakes to be proved where they are
common; that is where the expression of the contract is contrary to the concurrent intention of the
parties. If such mistakes be established, them the court can give relief of rectification, but what is
rectifiedisnottheagreement,butthemistakenexpressionofit.

WhocanapplyforRectification
Thefollowingpersonsmayapply:
[58]
a)Eitherpartyorhisrepresentativeininterest
b)Theplaintiffinanysuit
c)Adefendantinsuchsuit
ConditionsNecessary
Theconditionsnecessaryforobtainingrectificationare:
1. Theremust have been a complete agreement reached prior to the written instrument which is

sought to be rectified. There must be two distinct stages: i) an agreement, verbal or written,
which clearly expresses the final intention of the parties, and ii) instrument which purports to
embodythatintention.
2. Both the parties must have intended, and still intending, that the exact terms of the prior

[59]
contractshouldbereducedtowriting.
3. ClearevidenceofMistakecommontobothpartiesoroffraud.

Theprincipleonwhichthecourtactsincorrectinginstrumentsisthatthepartiesaretobeplacedinthe
[60]
positionasthatinwhichtheywouldhavestoodifnoerrorhadbeencommitted.

HajiAbdulRahmanAllarakiaV.TheBombayandPersiaSteamNavigationCompany

[61]

The plaintiff chartered as steamer from the defendants to sail from Jedda on 10th August, 1892 (15
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days after the Haj) in order to convey pilgrims returning to Bombay. The plaintiff believed that 10th
August,1892correspondedwiththefifteenthdayafterHaj.Butthedefendantshadnobeliefonthe
subject, and contracted only with respect to the English date. The 19th July, 1892 and not 10th
August,1892correspondedwiththefifteenthdayaftertheHaj.Onfindingoutthemistake,theplaintiff
suedthedefendantsforrectificationofthecharterparts.Itwasheldthattheagreementwasonefor
the10thAugust,1892thatthemistakewasnomutual,butontheplaintiffspartalone,andtherefore,
therecouldbenorectification.Thecourtfurtherexpresseditsopinionthatevenifbothpartieswere
under the mistake, the court would not rectify but only cancel the instrument as the agreement was
oneforthe10thAugust,1892andthatdatewasamattermateriallyinducingtheagreement.

chaptervi

declaratorydecrees
Section34.Discretionofcourtastodeclarationofstatusorright.Anypersonentitledtoanylegalcharacter,
ortoanyrightastoanyproperty,mayinstituteasuitagainstanypersondenying,orinterestedtodeny,histitletosuch
characterorright,andthecourtmayinitsdiscretionmakethereinadeclarationthatheissoentitled,andtheplaintiff
neednotinsuchsuitaskforanyfurtherrelief:
Providedthatnocourtshallmakeanysuchdeclarationwheretheplaintiff,beingabletoseekfurtherreliefthanamere
declarationoftitle,omitstodoso.
Explanation.Atrusteeofpropertyisa"personinterestedtodeny"atitleadversetothetitleofsomeonewhoisnotin
existence,andforwhom,ifinexistence,hewouldbeatrustee.

A declaratory decree is a mode of relief where there is no specific performance and no award of
compensation.Thereisonlyadeclarationofrightsofthepartieswithoutanyconsequentialreliefwhich
canbeenforcedbytheexecutionofthedecree.Inotherwords,declaratorydecreesarethosewhere
somerightisdeclaredinfavouroftheplaintiffbutnothingissoughttobepaidorperformedbythe
defendant.Further,thedeclarationdoesnotconferanynewrightsupontheplaintiff;itmerelydeclares
whathehadbefore.
Object
Theobjectofsuchdecreesisthatwhereapersonsstatusorlegalcharacterhasbeendeniedorwhere
acloudhasbeencastuponhistitlestorightsandinterestsinsomeproperty,hemayhavethecloud
removedbyhavinghislegalstatusorrightsdeclaredbythecourt.Butitisnotamatterofabsoluteright
toobtainadeclaratorydecree.ItisdiscretionoftheCourt.TheobjectofSection34istoperpetuate
andstrengthentestimonyregardingtitleandprotectitfromadverseattacks.Thepolicyoflegislatureis
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notonlytosecuretoawrongedpartypossessionofthepropertytakenawayfromhimbutalsotosee
thatheisallowedtoenjoythatpropertypeacefully.
Essentialrequisitesforadeclaratoryaction.
1. Theplaintiffmustbeentitledtoanylegalcharacterortoanyrightastoanyproperty.

[62]

2. The defendant should have denied or be interested in denying the character or title of the

plaintiff.Itisthisdenialwhichgivesacauseofactionfordeclaratoryrelief.
3. Theplaintiffisnotinapositiontoclaimfurtherreliefthanmeredeclarationofhistitle,orwhere

heissoabletoseekfurtherrelief,heseekingsuchreliefalso.

[63]

Section35.Effectofdeclaration.AdeclarationmadeunderthisChapterisbindingonlyonthepartiestothesuit,
personsclaimingthroughthemrespectively,and,whereanyofthepartiesaretrustees,onthepersonsforwhom,ifin
existenceatthedateofthedeclaration,suchpartieswouldbetrustees.

Accordingtothissectionthedeclaratorydecreeisnotbindingoneverybodyintheworld.Itcannotbind
[64]
strangersandassuchadeclarationwillnotoperateasajudgementinrem
andwillbebindingonly
betweenpartiestothesuitandtheirrepresentatives.Hence,adeclaratorydecreeisbindingbetween
the parties inter se and its effect does not bind persons who are not connected with the suit in
[65]
question.

chaptervii

injunctions
Aninjunctionisaspecificorderofthecourtforbiddingthecommissionofawrongthreatenedorthe
continuanceofawrongfulcourseofactionalreadybegun,orinsomecases,whenitiscalledmandatory
injunctioncommandingactiverestitutionoftheformerstateofthings.InBarneysEncyclopediaofLaws
ofEnglanditisdefinedasajudicialprocessbywhichone,whohasinvadedoristhreateningtoinvade
therights(legalorequitable)ofanother,isrestrainedformcontinuingorcommencingsuchwrongful
act.LordHalsburyismostexplicitwhenhesays:Aninjunctionisajudicialprocesswherebyapartyis
ordered to refrain from doing or to do a particular act or thing.In former case it is called restrictive
injunctionandinthelattercaseitiscalledmandatoryinjunction.
Section36.Preventivereliefhowgranted.Preventivereliefisgrantedatthediscretionofthecourtbyinjunction,
temporaryorperpetual.
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Section37.Temporaryandperpetualinjunctions.
(1)Temporaryinjunctionsaresuchasaretocontinueuntilaspecifiedtime,oruntilthefurtherorderofthecourt,and
theymaybegrantedatanystageofasuit,andareregulatedbytheCodeofCivilProcedure,1908(5of1908).
(2)Aperpetualinjunctioncanonlybegrantedbythedecreemadeatthehearinganduponthemeritsofthesuit;the
defendantistherebyperpetuallyenjoinedfromtheassertionofaright,orfromthecommissionofanact,whichwouldbe
contrarytotherightsoftheplaintiff.

CHAPTERVIIIPERPETUALINJUNCTIONS
Section38.Perpetualinjunctionwhengranted.
(1)SubjecttotheotherprovisionscontainedinorreferredtobythisChapter,aperpetualinjunctionmaybegrantedto
theplaintifftopreventthebreachofanobligationexistinginhisfavour,whetherexpresslyorbyimplication.633
(2) When any such obligation arises from contract, the court shall be guided by the rules and provisions contained in
ChapterII.
(3)Whenthedefendantinvadesorthreatenstoinvadetheplaintiff'srightto,orenjoymentof,property,thecourtmay
grantaperpetualinjunctioninthefollowingcases,namely:(a)wherethedefendantistrusteeofthepropertyforthe
plaintiff; (b) where there exists no standard for ascertaining the actual damage caused, or likely to be caused, by the
invasion; (c) where the invasion is such that compensation in money would not afford adequate relief; (d) where the
injunctionisnecessarytopreventamultiplicityofjudicialproceedings.

Section39.Mandatoryinjunctions.When, to prevent the breach of an obligation, it is necessary to compel the


performanceofcertainactswhichthecourtiscapableofenforcing,thecourtmayinitsdiscretiongrantaninjunctionto
preventthebreachcomplainedof,andalsotocompelperformanceoftherequisiteacts.

Section40.Damagesinlieuof,orinadditionto,injunction.
(1)Theplaintiffinasuitforperpetualinjunctionundersection38,ormandatoryinjunctionundersection39,mayclaim
damages either in addition to, or in substitution for, such injunction and the court may, if it thinks fit, award such
damages.
(2) No relief for damages shall be granted under this section unless the plaintiff has claimed such relief in his plaint:
Providedthatwherenosuchdamageshavebeenclaimedintheplaint,thecourtshall,atanystageoftheproceedings,
allowtheplaintifftoamendtheplaintonsuchtermsasmaybejustforincludingsuchclaim.
(3)Thedismissalofasuittopreventthebreachofanobligationexistinginfavouroftheplaintiffshallbarhisrighttosue
fordamagesforsuchbreach.

Section41.Injunctionwhenrefused.Aninjunctioncannotbegranted(a)torestrainanypersonfromprosecuting
ajudicialproceedingpendingattheinstitutionofthesuitinwhichthe634injunctionissought,unlesssuchrestraintis
necessary to prevent a multiplicity of proceedings; (b) to restrain any person from instituting or prosecuting any
proceedinginacourtnotsubordinatetothatfromwhichtheinjunctionissought;(c)torestrainanypersonfromapplying
toanylegislativebody;(d)torestrainanypersonfrominstitutingorprosecutinganyproceedinginacriminalmatter;(e)
topreventthebreachofacontracttheperformanceofwhichwouldnotbespecificallyenforced;(f)toprevent,onthe
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groundofnuisance,anactofwhichitisnotreasonablyclearthatitwillbeanuisance;(g)topreventacontinuingbreach
in which the plaintiff has acquiesced; (h) when equally efficacious relief can certainly be obtained by any other usual
modeofproceedingexceptincaseofbreachoftrust;(i)whentheconductoftheplaintifforhisagentshasbeensuchas
todisentitlehimtotheassistanceofthecourt;(j)whentheplaintiffhasnopersonalinterestinthematter.

Section42.Injunctiontoperformnegativeagreement. Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (e) of


section41,whereacontractcomprisesanaffirmativeagreementtodoacertainact,coupledwithanegativeagreement,
expressorimplied,nottodoacertainact,thecircumstancethatthecourtisunabletocompelspecificperformanceofthe
affirmativeagreementshallnotprecludeitfromgrantinganinjunctiontoperformthenegativeagreement:Providedthat
theplaintiffhasnotfailedtoperformthecontractsofarasitisbindingonhim.

chapterviii

conclusion
FromtheabovediscussionitcanbeconcludedthattheSpecificReliefAct,1963providesforspecific
reliefs. Specific relief means relief of certain species, i.e. an exact or particular, a named, fixed or
determinedrelief.Thetermisgenerallyunderstoodandprovidingreliefofaspecifickindratherthana
general relief or damages or compensation. It is a remedy which aims at the exact fulfillment of an
obligationorspecificperformanceofthecontract.
SpecificRelief,asaformofjudicialredress,belongstothelawofprocedure,andinabodyof
written law arranged according to natural affinities of the subject matter would find its place as a
distinct part or other division of Civil Procedure Code. It is in essence is adjective law and the
substantial law. The expression Specific relief is used in contract to compensatory relief. In executor
contracts,assuitmaybebroughttocompeltheperformanceofthecontractbythepersonindefault.
Suchreliefmaybepositiveornegative.
SpecificReliefActexplainsandenunciatesthevariousreliefswhichcanbegrantedunderthis
provisions,providesthelawwithrespecttothem.

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booksreferred

S.No.

Nameofbook

Author

1.TheSpecificReliefAct,1963....ShailenderMalik
2.TheSpecificReliefAct,1963......AqilAhmed
3.TheEquity,TrustandSpecificrelief.M.P.Tandon
4.SpecificReliefAct...R.K.Bangia

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KartarSinghv.DayalDas;AIR1939PC210
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WaliMohd.V.AjodhyaKunda;ILR13ALL537
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(1905)29Bombay213
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[13]
AIR1999SC1999
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JalduVenkataSubbaRaov.AsiaticS.N.Co.ILRMad1(FB)
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AIR1998ker244
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HalsburysLawsofEngland,2ndedtion,vol.3
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PomeroysSpecificPerformanceofContract,3rdeditionp.447
[18]
Newmofussilco.v.ShankerlalNarayandasMundade,AIR1941Bom.247;J.I.J.Hyamv.M.E.Gubbay,AIR1916Cal.1
[19]
AIR1998Patna,page88
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(1949)FLJ216
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AIR1999Raj167
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DasarathGayanv.SatyanarainGhose,AIR1963Cal325
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Secretary,CommunistPartyofIndiaV.JudhistraPatnaik,AIR2004Ori.67
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WilliamGrahamv/KrishnaChandra,AIR1925PC45.
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SillaChandreSekharanv.RamchadraSahu,AIR1964SupremeCourt1789
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Meenakshisundarav.Rathnasami(1918)41Mad959
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GunpatNarainSinghRe(1876)1Cal74;BansiSahv.KrishnaChandraAIR1951Punj.508
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21Bom33
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OilandNaturalGasCorpnLtd.V.StreamlineShippingCo.P.Ltd.AIR2002Bom420
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(2001)5SCC101
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AIR2004SUPREMECOURT348"ShyamSinghv.DaryaoSingh"
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[37]
AIR1993SC1318
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GajananJaikishanjoshiV.ProbhakarMohanlalkalwar(1990)1SCC166;JagrajSinghv.LabhSingh,Air1995SC945;M.K.
MakboolKhanV.Shamsunisa,AIR2002NOC87;SardarJoginderSinghV.VasandranKakani,AIR2203NOC340(Ori);N.
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I.T.C.Ltd.V.GeorgeJosephFernandes,AIR1989SC839
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AIR1999SUPREMECOURT2309
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AIR2005SC2813
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RajkumariV.LachmanRam14CLJ627
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AIR2007SUPREMECOURT119
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AIR2007SUPREMECOURT1256
[49]
AIR2000Ker408
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AIR1992SC1604
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Air1998Cal,288
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AIR2006SC145
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AIR1965SC1045;MatadeenAgarwalV.SyedAbdulRazzak,AIR1997AP103
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[56]
Collett,pg260;261
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(1904)28Bom420
[58]
DurgaPrasadV.Bhajan,31Cal614(P.C.)
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AIR1937Assam49;Air1954Nag328
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[60]
SuddhaSinghV.MunshiRamAIR1927Cal605
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(1892)16Bom56
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PadminiChandrasekharanV.R.RajagopalReddy,(1996)8SCC632;SowrashtraVipraSabhaV.NamakalMunicipality,
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[63]
S.MadasamyV.A.M.ArjunaRaja,AIR2000Mad465;ithasbeenheldthatinasuitfordeclarationoftitleand
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SNPShippingServicePvt.Ltd.V.WorldTankerCarrierCorp.AIR2000Bom34
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