Updated: Sep 17, 2021
THE SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT, 1963
In 1877, the Specific Relief act was enacted and put into force. This was amended in 1963 Whereas the contract act deals with contractual obligations, the specific relief act aims at providing for various legal remedies for violation of the contractual obligations. If A is illegally dispossessed of his house 'H', the specific relief act, provides for a specific remedy to get that very house H, not any other house or money compensation. That is specific relief. This is only an example. Various reliefs like injunctions, Rescission of contracts, Declaratory decrees,cancellation & Rectification of Instruments etc are provided for in the Act.
Much attention should be given to the illustrations and examples.
SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT, 1963 Indian Contract Act, 1872 provides relief of compensation in case of breach of contract, but there are stances where the grant of compensation would not afford adequate relief. There are also circumstances could be rendered only when the defendant was refrained from trespassing or prevented from the right of the plaintiff. In such cases grant of compensation could not grant adequate relief or render stice Thus, to provide certain reliefs in appropriate cases such as speciﬁc performance of contract and injunctions, the Speciﬁc Relief Act, 1877 was enacted.
Later the Speciﬁc Relief Act of 1877 was replaced with the Speciﬁc Relief Act, 1963 to cope with the changing and circumstances. The Act of 1963 came into force with effect from 1 March 1964. The Act applies to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Speciﬁc Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018
The Statement History of Objects and Reasons to the amendment bill provides that the Amendment Act has been nated to bring the law in tune with rapid economic growth and the expansion of infrastructure activities in the quntry. The Amendment Act has been enacted with the primary intent of bringing greater certainty in mforcement of contracts and enabling faster and easier resolution of contractual disputes. The Amendment Act eved the Presidential assent on 1 August 2018and the Amendment Act came into force with effect from 1st October 2018.
Key Highlightsof the Speciﬁc Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018
1. The discretion of courts to grant speciﬁc performance has been done away with and the speciﬁc performance of contracts has been made a general rule than exception. Going forward, the courts will no longer have the discretion and must grant speciﬁc performance unless expressly barred by the provisions of the Speciﬁc Relief Act, 1963 i.e., sections 11(2), 14 and 16.
2. The discretion of courts to grant speciﬁc performance has been done away with and the speciﬁc performance of contracts has been made a general rule than exception. Going forward, the courts will no longer have the discretion and must grant speciﬁc performance unless expressly barred by the provisions of the Speciﬁc Relief Act, 1963 i.e., sections 11(2), 14 and 16.
3. The Amendment Act provides for substituted performance of contracts. Thus, where a contract is broken, the party who suffers would be entitled to get the contract performed by a third party or by his own agency and to recover expenses and costs, including compensation from the party who failed to perform his part of contract.
4. The substituted performance of contracts would be an alternative remedy at the option of the suffering party.
5. A new section 14A has been added which provides forengagement of experts to assist on speciﬁc issues involved in a case.
6. * A new section 20A hasbeen added for contracts relating to infrastructure projects. The new section 20A provides that the court shall not grant injunction in any suit, where it appears to it that granting injunction would cause hindrance or delay in the continuance or completion of the infrastructure projects.
7. Special courts have been designated to try suits in respect of contracts relating to infrastructureprojects and to dispose of such suits within a period of twelve months from the date of serviceof summons to the defendant.