The Specific Relief (Amendment) bill 2018
The Bill has been passed by the Parliament in both the Houses.
The Bill has taken away the discretionary power of Courts and has made the grant of specific performance of contract compulsory. Accordingly, the amendment states that the specific performance of a contract “shall” be enforced by the courts instead of “may” be enforced as it was found in Section 10 of the current Act.
The Bill envisages equally to take away the discretionary powers of the courts in granting specific performance in relation to trusts. Now, the Courts, with this amendment, have to grant specific performance of contract on trust related matters.
The Bill has introduced “Substituted Performance” for specific performance. The affected party can choose to get the contract performed by the third party, or by its own agency, at the cost of the party committing the breach. However, the party opting for substituted performance forfeits his rights to get specific performance of the contract. The words “who fails to aver and prove” as found in Section 16© is substituted by the words “who fails to prove” by relaxing the stringent condition on readiness and willingness of the plaintiff.
The Bill has brought in a new Schedule containing a list of activities coming under “Infrastructure Projects”. The Department of Economic Affairs is empowered as the agency to categorize projects under infrastructure projects. The Department may amend the Schedule in its inclusion of categories under infrastructure projects.
Section 20A of the Bill restrains courts from granting injunctions in suits involving contract relating to infrastructure projects if granting the injunction would cause delay or impedes the progress or completion of such infrastructure projects.
The Bill proposes Special Courts for hearing suits on infrastructure projects
The Bill, under Section 20C provides a time limit of 12 months for disposal of cases under the Act
The Bill, under Section 14A empowers the Courts to engage experts to seek opinion on matters related to the suits.
Dr. Gubbi. S. Subba Rao
Counselor & Advocate