SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE OF A PART
Is specific performance of part of a contract permissible in law? If so, then under what circumstances?
Section 12 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, deals with the provisions of specific performance of part of a contract. According to this section, the court shall not grant the specific performance of part of a contract.
In the leading case of Merchant Trading Co. vs. Banner, the Hon’ble Court held that section 12 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, states that the specific performance of a part of contract cannot be granted by the court. But it is a general rule.
In some situations, the court has power to grant specific performance of a part of contract. According to section 12(2) of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, if there is a contract between two persons and out of them one person is ready to perform considerable part of a contract but due to some circumstances, he cannot perform the minor portion of the contract but for that minor portion of the contract he is ready to pay compensation, then in this situation, if an aggrieved person files a suit for specific performance, court can allow the specific performance for that major portion which can be performed.
For example: – If A contracts with B to supply him 500 bags but B could supply only 450 bags, then in this case, B can be asked to supply 450 bags and pay compensation to A for those 50 bags which could not be supplied by B.
But according to section 12(3) of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, if a person could not perform such part of contract which is major portion of the contract but he could perform the rest of the minor portion of the contract, then in such a case, if an aggrieved person claims the performance of that minor portion, the court can ask another party to perform that portion of the contract.
But if he claims the performance of that minor portion of the contract, he has to relinquish all his other rights alongwith right to claim compensation. According to section 12 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, if he has paid consideration for the unperformed portion of the contract, he can claim that amount of money. It was also held by the Hon’ble court in the leading case of Rutherford vs Acton Adams.
Moreover, according to section 12(4) of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, if a contract is of such a nature that it can be separated into two parts and one part of the contract can be specifically performed whereas another part of it cannot be specifically performed, then in such a case, the court can grant specific performance of that part of contract which can be specifically performed.