One of the most important aspects of civil rights is the fulfilment of expectations created by a contract, executed voluntarily by the parties.
There is a silver lining here: For the past two years, the Modi government has been adopting a broad strategy to substantially improve India's dismal WB ranking for ease of doing business. Concerted efforts have been made to remove serious bottlenecks that exist in the numerous business laws and a "holistic approach"taken. These efforts have started showing results and, according to an official announcement made by the WB in October 2017, the overall WB ranking for 2017 improved by 30 points and India currently ranks 100 out of 183 countries. The Hon'ble PM has announced in the Parliament that several innovative measures, such as laying down new transparent policies, will be taken before WB's next annual review to further improve India's WB ranking in ease of doing business. The next WB review is scheduled on 1 May 2018, with the date being advanced by a month.
Towards this effort, several key economic bills were listed - the details of which are given below - for consideration and passage in the Winter Session of the Parliament.
The government had earlier constituted a committee of experts to review the provisions of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 which have remain unchanged in the past 54 years and to suggest need-based changes to remove the bottlenecks in the enforcement of contracts pertaining to infrastructure development, public-private partnerships and other public projects.
What do we mean by specific relief? One of the most important aspects of civil rights is the fulfilment of expectations created by a contract, executed voluntarily by the parties. Specific relief is an alternative to performing a contract when monetary compensation for failing to complete contractual obligations is not enough. The law prescribes that in the event where the actual damage for not performing the contract cannot be measured/ascertained or monetary compensation is not adequate, the party suffering from the breach of contract can ask the Court to direct the other party (that has failed to perform its contractual obligations) to fulfil the requirements of the contract. This is called specific performance of a contract. This extends to infrastructure contracts, construction of residential/commercial buildings, sale and purchase of land, etc. It is a discretionary relief, left to the Court to decide whether specific performance should be given to the party asking for it. This gives rise to uncertainty in contracts. There will be no specific performance of those contracts where monetary compensation is sufficient or the contract involves performance of a continuous duty which the Court cannot supervise. Specific relief can be granted only for the purpose of enforcing individual civil rights and not for the mere purpose of enforcing a penal law.
Types of specific reliefs which can be granted (as on date) are as follows: