What is specific relief?
What is a specific relief?
Certain times, if the contracted persons stop working as required, monetary compensation is not enough, because it is more important that the work be completed.
The specific performance of a contract where there is no monetary relief rather grants an alternative remedy.
In effect from 1st October 2018, the Specific Relief (Amendment) Act 2017 brings new provisions for granting specific relief, where the affected party can move to the Court for an order directing the other party to fulfil the commitments.
The plaintiff under the Specific Relief Act can seek a remedy of damages and specific relief both. It is on the plaintiff to satisfy the court that the monetary damage is inadequate and if the specific relief is not granted, the plaintiff shall be at a loss.
In other words, the remedies that can be sought under the Specific Relief Act, are as follows:
• Recovery of possession of the property
• Specific performance of contracts
• Rectification of instruments
• Rescission of contracts
• Cancellation of instruments
• Declaratory decrees
What are the provisions of specific relief under the Contract Act?
Specific performance is the enforcement of the exact term of the contract, where the plaintiff can claim for the specific work or thing which the plaintiff is entitled to get as per the contract.
Sec. 10 of the Specific Relief Act 1963 mentions the following conditions:
• If there is no standard for finding out the actual damage caused or being caused, to calculate the amount of loss caused due to the breach of contract, then in such a situation the remedy of specific performance can be sought.
• The Compensation of money is not adequate relief, and some of such situations are:
- The subject matter of the contract is immovable or movable property.
- Where the subject matter of the contract is not an ordinary article, which cannot be easily bought from the market.
- The article of special interest of the applicant
- Concerns a property that is held by the defendant as an agent or trustee of the plaintiff.
What kinds of contracts are specifically enforceable?
Sec. 14 (3) of the Act lists certain conditions where the specific performance can be enforceable:
• The contract is to execute a mortgage or furnish other security for the repayment of any loan that the borrower is not ready to pay at once, then the court may pass an order for specific performance to execute mortgagor give any other security
• The contract is made to pay for debentures of a company
• For the execution of the formal partnership deed at will when the business is commenced already.
• A contract for any building or the execution of any other work on the land.
• The plaintiff's interest is substantial for the performance of the contract and the monetary compensation is not enough.
• The defendant has obtained possession of the whole or part of the land as per the contract on which a work is to be executed.
Against whom the specific performance can be enforced?
Section 19 of the Act specifies against whom can the specific performance of the contract be enforced.
The Amendment in Section 19, after clause (c), seeks to insert a clause (ca); which says, "(ca) when a limited liability partnership has entered into a contract and subsequently becomes amalgamated with another limited liability partnership, the new limited liability partnership which arises out of the amalgamation."
As per Section 15, after the amendment, an LLP is authorized to obtain a specific performance of a contract.
Likewise, through the amendment, the provision of Section 20A was inserted which states the Special Provisions for Infrastructure Projects. Section 20A says that "No injunction shall be granted by a court in a suit under this Act involving a contract relating to an infrastructure project specified in the Schedule, where granting injunction would cause impediment or delay in the progress or completion of such infrastructure project."
This amendment focuses on the principle that any public work must proceed without any hindrance. The role of judges in this implementation is to restrict the interference as much as possible, to enable the projects of public works from being delayed. This amendment is helpful for public work projects to finish easily without any interference.