Given the rapidly evolving nature of business transactions in India and across the globe, a need was felt to update the mechanism for specific enforcement of contracts in India. The Central Government thus, constituted an expert committee (“Expert Committee”) to study the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (“the Act”) and recommend amendments thereto.
Based on the Expert Committee’s recommendations made in its report dated 26 May 2016 (“the Report”), an Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (“the Bill”) was formulated. Pursuant to the President’s assent to the Bill on 1 August 2018, the Bill was published in the Official Gazette as the Specific Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018 (“the Amendment Act”).
While the amendments introduced to the Act remain to be tested before the courts of the country, below are certain key changes brought about by the Amendment Act.
• Widened ambit of who can file suit if dispossessed of immovable property
• Specific performance to be granted as a rule, monetary compensation as an exception
• Contracts in relation to trusts to be mandatorily specifically enforced
• Contracts not specifically enforceable
• Courts can take assistance of experts
• No need to aver readiness and willingness to perform contract
• LLPs equated to companies for the purpose of specific performance
• Right to substituted performance
• Stricter requirements for granting injunctions in infrastructure projects
• Special courts to be constituted for infrastructure project contracts
• Compensation can be sought in addition to specific performance
Attached herewith is a brief snapshot of the key amendments along with a comparison of the Amendment Act with the Report. We hope you will find this an interesting and informative read. For any queries or comments on this update, please feel free to contact us at Insight@elp-in.com.
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