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The Specific Relief Act, 1877

( ACT NO. I OF 1877 )

Chapter II


(b) Contracts which cannot be specifically enforced

Contracts not specifically enforceable
21. The following contracts cannot be specifically enforced:–
(a) a contract for the non-performance of which compensation in money is an adequate relief;
(b) a contract which runs into such minute or numerous details, or which is so dependent on the personal qualifications or volition of the parties, or otherwise from its nature is such, that the Court cannot enforce specific performance of its material terms;
(c) a contract the terms of which the Court cannot find with reasonable certainty;
(d) a contract which is in its nature revocable;
(e) a contract made by trustees either in excess of their powers or in breach of their trust;
(f) a contract made by or on behalf of a corporation or public company created for special purposes, or by the promoters of such company, which is in excess of its powers;
(g) a contract the performance of which involves the performance of a continuous duty extending over a longer period than three years from its date;
(h) a contract of which a material part of the subject- matter, supposed by both parties to exist, has, before it has been made, ceased to exist.
And, save as provided by the Arbitration Act, 1940, no contract to refer present or future differences to arbitration shall be specifically enforced; but if any person who has made such a contract other than an arbitration agreement to which the provisions of the said Act apply and has refused to perform it sues in respect of any subject which he has contracted to refer, the existence of such contract shall bar the suit.
to (a)-
A contracts to sell, and B contracts to buy, a lakh of taka in the four per cent loan of the 1[* * *] Government.
A contracts to sell, and B contracts to buy, 40 chests of indigo at taka 1,000 per chest:
In consideration of certain property having been transferred by A to B, B contracts to open a credit in A's favour to extent of taka 10,000, and to honour A's drafts to that amount:
The above contracts cannot be specifically enforced, for in the first and Second both A and B, and in the third A, would be reimbursed by compensation in money.
to (b)-
A contracts to render personal service to B:
A contracts to employ B on personal service:
A, an author, contracts with B, a publisher, to complete a literary work:
B cannot enforce specific performance of these contracts.
A contracts to buy B's business at the amount of a valuation to be made by two valuers, one to be named by A and the other by B. A and B each name a valuer, but before the valuation is made, A instructs his valuer not to proceed:
By a charter-party entered into in Chittagong between A, the owner of a ship, and B, the charterer, it is agreed that the ship shall proceed to Karachi and there load a cargo of rice, and thence proceed to London, freight to be paid, one-third on arrival at Karachi, and two-thirds on delivery of the cargo in London:
A lets land to B and B contracts to cultivate it in a particular manner for three years next after the date of the lease:
A and B contract that, in consideration of annual advances to be made by A, B will for three years next after date of the contract grow particular crops on the land in his possession and deliver them to A when cut and ready for delivery:
A contracts with B that, in consideration of taka 1,000 to be paid to him by B, he will paint a picture for B:
A contracts with B to execute certain works which the Court cannot superintend:
A contracts to supply B with all the goods of certain class which B may require:
A contracts with B to take from B a lease of a certain house for a specified term, at a specified rent, "if the drawing-room is hand somely decorated", even if it is held to have so much certainty that compensation can be recovered for its breach:
A contracts to marry B:
The above contracts cannot be specifically enforced.
to (c)-
A, the owner of a refreshment-room, contracts, with B to give him accommodation there for the sale of his goods and to furnish him with the necessary appliances. A refuses to perform his contract. The case is one for compensation and not for specific performance, the amount and nature of the accommodation and appliances being undefined.
to (d)-
A and B contract to become partners in a certain business, the contract not specifying the duration of the proposed partnership. This contract cannot be specifically performed, for, if it were so performed, either A or B might at once dissolve the partnership.
to (e)-
A is a trustee of land with power to lease it for seven years. He enters into a contract with B to grant a lease of the land for seven years, with a covenant to renew the lease at the expiry of the term. This contract cannot be specifically enforced.
The Directors of a company have power to sell the concern with the sanction of a general meeting of the shareholders. They contract to sell it without any such sanction. This contract cannot be specifically enforced.
Two trustees, A and B, empowered to sell trust-property worth a lakh of taka contract to sell it to C for taka 30,000. The contract is so disadvantageous as to be a breach of trust. C cannot enforce its specific performance.
The promoters of a company for working mines contract that the company, when formed, shall purchase certain mineral property. They take no proper precautions to ascertain the value of such property- and in fact agree to pay an extravagant price therefore. They also stipulate that the vendors shall give them a bonus out of the purchase-money. This contract cannot be specifically enforced.
to (f)-
A company existing for the sole purpose of making and working a railway contract for the purchase of a piece of land for the purpose of erecting a cotton-mill thereon. This contract cannot be specifically enforced.
to (g)-
A contracts to let for twenty-one years to B the right to use such part of certain railway made by A as was upon B's land, and that B should have a right of running carriages over the whole line on certain terms, and might require A to supply the necessary engine-power, and that A should during the term keep the whole railway in good repair. Specific performance of this contract must be refuse to B.
to (h)-
A contracts to pay an annuity to B for the lives of C and D. It turns out that, at the date of the contract, C, though supposed by A and B to be alive, was dead. The contract cannot be specifically performed.

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs