The Specific Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018 [salient features]

The Specific Relied (Amendment) Act, 2018 was notified on 01-08-2018, to further amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (‘Act’).

Following are the salient features of the changes made:

1. Section 10 — amended and substituted to empower the enforcement of specific performance of a contract , by Courts subject to S. 11(2), S. 14 and S.16 of the Act.

2. Section 14 — substituted to specify contracts which cannot be specifically enforced like where :-

  • party has obtained substituted performance by virtue of S.20;
  • performance involves performance of a continuous duty which the court cannot supervise;
  • contracts so dependent on personal qualifications of parties that, the court possibly cannot enforce specific performance on material terms;
  • nature of the contract is indeterminable.

3. New Section 14A — incorporated to provide engagement of experts to assist on specific issues involved in a suit and also direct the production of documents, in cases where Court considers it necessary.

4. Section 20 — introduces the ‘substituted performance of contract’, which enumerates that where a contract is broken due to non-performance of promise, such party suffering the breach shall have an option of substituted performance through a third party or by his own agency, and recover the expenses and other costs incurred (subject to the condition that it should be performed by a third party or his own agency).

5. New Section 20A — provides ‘Special Provision‘ for contracts relating to infrastructure projects, where granting injunction would cause impediment to the project itself.

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