‘Readiness’, ‘Willingness’ important factors for grant of specific performance: SC

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of India reiterated that ‘readiness’ and ‘willingness’ are the most important factors for considering the grant of specific performance of the contract.

“The issue of readiness and willingness, in our view, is the most important issue for considering the grant of specific performance of the contract”, the Court said.

Stating that the grant of specific performance is a discretionary and equitable relief, the Court pointed out the following material questions, which are required to be gone into for grant of the relief of specific performance:

1) Whether there exists a valid and concluded contract between the parties for sale/purchase of the suit property;

2) Whether the plaintiff has been ready and willing to perform his part of contract and whether he is still ready and willing to perform his part as mentioned in the contract;

3) Whether the plaintiff has, in fact, performed his part of the contract and, if so, how and to what extent and in what manner he has performed and whether such performance was in conformity with the terms of the contract;

4) Whether it will be equitable to grant the relief of specific performance to the plaintiff against the defendant in relation to suit property or it will cause any kind of hardship to the defendant and, if so, how and in what manner and the extent if such relief is eventually granted to the plaintiff; and

5) Whether the plaintiff is entitled for grant of any other alternative relief, namely, refund of earnest money etc. and, if so, on what grounds.

The Court said that these requirements have to be properly pleaded by the parties in their respective pleadings and proved with the aid of evidence in accordance with law. It is only then the Court is entitled to exercise its discretion and accordingly grant or refuse the relief of specific performance depending upon the case made out by the parties on facts.

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