The Expert Committee that was constituted to examine the Specific Relief Act, 1963 has submitted its report to Union Law and Justice Minister D. Sadananda Gowda.
The committee has suggested recommendations for modifications in the decades old law to ensure the ease of doing business in the country.
The recommendations have been made in the context of the various developments which have taken place since enactment of law in 1963. It also has taken into consideration of present changed scenario involving public private partnerships (PPP), contract-based infrastructure developments and other public projects, involving huge investments.
- Making changes in the present provisions of the Act so that specific performance is granted as a general rule.
- Suggested recommendations over the issue to grant compensation or damages for non-performance remained as an exception.
- Provide guidelines for reducing the discretion granted to tribunals and courts while granting performance and injunctive reliefs.
- Introduce provisions for rights of third parties (other than for contracts of Government) and consider addressing unfair contracts, unconscionable contracts, reciprocity in contracts etc.
- Need to classify diverse public utility contracts as a distinct class by recognising the inherent public interest and the importance to be addressed in the parent Act.
- Smooth functioning of Public works projects can be effectively managed through a monitoring system and regulatory mechanism.
- Any public work must progress without interruption. The role of courts in this exercise is to interfere to the minimum extent so that projects of public works will not be stalled or impeded.