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THE SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT, 1963

Title : THE SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT, 1963

Year : 1963



(1) Any person interested in a contract may sue to have it rescinded,and such rescission may be adjudged by the court in any of the following cases, namely:-

(a) Where the contract is voidable or terminable by the plaintiff;

(b) Where the contract is unlawful for causes not apparent on its face and the defendant is more to blame than the plaintiff.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the court may refuse to rescind the contract-
 
(a) Where the plaintiff has expressly or impliedly ratified the contract; or

(b) Where, owing to the change of circumstances which has taken place since the making of the contract (not being due to any act of the defendant himself), the parties cannot be substantially restored to the position in which they stood when the contract was made; or

(c) Where third parties have, during the subsistence of the contract, acquired rights in good faith without notice and for value; or

(d) Where only a part of the contract is sought to be rescinded and such part is not severable from the rest of the contract.

Explanation.-In this section "contract", in relation to the territories to which the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, does not extend, means a contract in writing.



(1) Where in any suit a decree for specific performance of a contract for the sale or lease of immovable property has been made and the purchaser or lessee does not, within the period allowed by the decree or such further period as the court may allow, pay the purchase money or other sum which the court has ordered him to pay, the vendor or lessor may apply in the same suit in which the decree is made, to have the contract rescinded and on such application the court may, by order, rescind the contract either so far as regards the party in default or altogether, as the justice of the case may require.
 
(2) Where a contract is rescinded under sub-section (1), the court-
 
(a) Shall direct the purchaser or the lessee, if he has obtained possession of the property under the contract, to restore such possession to the vendor or lessor; and

(b) May direct payment to the vendor or lessor of all the rents and profits which have accrued in respect of the property from the date on which possession was so obtained by the purchaser or lessee until restoration of possession to the vendor or lessor, and if the justice of the case so requires, the refund of any sum paid by the vendee or the lessee as earnest money or deposit in connection with the contract.

(3) If the purchase or lessee pays the purchase money or other sum which he is ordered to pay under the decree within the period referred to in sub-section (1), the court may, on application made in the same suit, award the purchaser or lessee such further relief as he may be entitled to, including in appropriate cases all or any of the following reliefs, namely:-

(a) The execution of a proper conveyance or lease by the vendor or lessor;

(b) The delivery of possession, or partition and separate possession, of the property on the execution of such conveyance or lease.

(4) No separate suit in respect of any relief which may be claimed under this section shall lie at the instance of a vendor, purchaser, lessor or lessee, as the case may be.

(5) The costs of any proceedings under this section shall be in the discretion of the court.



A plaintiff instituting a suit for the specific performance of a contract in writing may pray in the alternative that, if the contract cannot be specifically enforced, it may be rescinded and delivered up to be cancelled; and the court, if it refuses to enforce the contract specifically, may direct it to be rescinded and delivered up accordingly.



On adjudging the rescission of a contract, the court may require the party to whom such relief is granted to restore, so far as may be, any benefit which he may have received from the other party and to make any compensation to him which justice may be require.

Last updated on September, 2016

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