Section 16 in The Specific Relief Act, 1963
Title: Personal bars to relief.
Specific performance of a contract cannot be enforced in favour of a person—
1[(a) who has obtained substituted performance of contract under section 20; or]
(b) who has become incapable of performing, or violates any essential term of, the contract that on his part remains to be performed, or acts in fraud of the contract, or wilfully acts at variance with, or in subversion of, the relation intended to be established by the contract; or
(c) 2[who fails to prove] that he has performed or has always been ready and willing to perform the essential terms of the contract which are to be performed by him, other than terms of the performance of which has been prevented or waived by the defendant.
Explanation.--For the purposes of clause (c),--
(i) where a contract involves the payment of money, it is not essential for the plaintiff to actually tender to the defendant or to deposit in court any money except when so directed by the court;
(ii) the plaintiff 3[must prove] performance of, or readiness and willingness to perform, the contract according to its true construction.
1. Subs. by s. 7, ibid., for clause (a) (w.e.f. 1-10-2018).
2.Subs. by s. 7, ibid., for who fails to aver and prove (w.e.f. 1-10-2018).
3. Subs by s. 7, ibid., for must aver (w.e.f. 1-10-2018).
Title: Contract to sell or let property by one who has no title, not specifically enforceable.
(1) A contract to sell or let any immovable property cannot be specifically enforced in favour of a vendor or lessor—
(a) who, knowing himself not to have any title to the property, has contracted to sell or let the property;
(b) who, though he entered into the contract believing that he had a good title to the property, cannot at the time fixed by the parties or by the court for the completion of the sale or letting, give the purchaser or lessee a title free from reasonable doubt.
(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall also apply, as far as may be, to contracts for the sale or hire of movable property.
Title: Non-enforcement except with variation.
Where a plaintiff seeks specific performance of a contract in writing, to which the defendant sets up a variation, the plaintiff cannot obtain the performance sought, except with the variation so set up, in the following cases, namely:--
(a) where by fraud, mistake of fact or mis-representation, the written contract of which performance is sought is in its terms or effect different from what the parties agreed to, or does not contain all the terms agreed to between the parties on the basis of which the defendant entered into the contact;
(b) where the object of the parties was to produce a certain legal result which the contract as framed is not calculated to produce;
(c) where the parties have, subsequently to the execution of the contract, varied its terms.
Title: Relief against parties and persons claiming under them by subsequent title.
Except as otherwise provided by this Chapter, specific performance of a contract may be enforced against—
(a) either party thereto;
(b) any other person claiming under him by a title arising subsequently to the contract, except a transferee for value who has paid his money in good faith and without notice of the original contract;
(c) any person claiming under a title which, though prior to the contract and known to the plaintiff, might have been displaced by the defendant;
1[(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.]
(d) when a company has entered into a contract and subsequently becomes amalgamated with another company, the new company which arises out of the amalgamation;
(e) when the promoters of a company have, before its incorporation, entered into a contract for the purpose of the company and such contract is warranted by the terms of the incorporation, the company:
Provided that the company has accepted the contract and communicated such acceptance to the other party to the contract.
1. Ins. by Act 18 of 2018, s. 8 (w.e.f. 1-10-2018). /hr1
Title: Substituted performance of contract
1, 2[20. Substituted performance of contract.-- (1) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9 of 1872), and, except as otherwise agreed upon by the parties, where the contract is broken due to non-performance of promise by any party, the party who suffers by such breach shall have the option of substituted performance through a third party or by his own agency, and, recover the expenses and other costs actually incurred, spent or suffered by him, from the party committing such breach.
(2) No substituted performance of contract under sub-section (1) shall be undertaken unless the party who suffers such breach has given a notice in writing, of not less than thirty days, to the party in breach calling upon him to perform the contract within such time as specified in the notice, and on his refusal or failure to do so, he may get the same performed by a third party or by his own agency:
Provided that the party who suffers such breach shall not be entitled to recover the expenses and costs under sub-section (1) unless he has got the contract performed through a third party or by his own agency.
(3) Where the party suffering breach of contract has got the contract performed through a third party or by his own agency after giving notice under sub-section (1), he shall not be entitled to claim relief of specific performance against the party in breach.
(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the party who has suffered breach of contract from claiming compensation from the party in breach.]
1. Subs. by s. 9, ibid., for "Discretion and powers of Court"(w.e.f. 1-10-2018).
2. Subs. by s. 10, ibid., for section 20 (w.e.f. 1-10-2018).