Power of courts to engage experts


Author: Ayushi Ranade, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla


On July 23, 2018, the Parliament exceeded the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (“Amendment Bill”). The Amendment Bill notably alters the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (“Original Act”). The Amendment Bill has been exceeded by using the Parliament and is waiting for Presidential assent. The amendments are made under the guidelines in the Expert Committee’s Report on Specific Relief Act, 1963 dated May 26, 2016 (“Expert Committee Report”). The Amendment Bill includes very restrained grounds for refusal of unique overall performance in line with worldwide ideas such as the Principles of European Contract Law and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. These amendments are added to preserve tempo with a fast financial increase in the country. The amendments, which intend on growing contract enforceability, will probably amplify India’s rating on the ‘ease of doing commercial enterprise index’ which is launched through the World Bank.

Key Highlights of the amended Act

No discretion to the courts in ordering particular overall performance of contracts- Section 10 of the Act has been amended and now it has been made obligatory for the courts to furnish unique overall performance of a contract formerly unique overall performance of a contract used to be a treatment that courts had the discretion to grant, solely in the case where

(a) the proper harm brought on due to the non-performance of the motion should no longer be ascertained; or
(b) when financial compensation would no longer be ample alleviation for the nonperformance of the contract.
Further part eleven has additionally been amended and the discretionary strength of the courts in case of the trusts has additionally been taken away as a result now it is obligatory for trusts as well.

Contracts now not especially enforceable- Section 14 of the Act has been substituted to encompass the following contracts which can’t be especially enforced:

a) the place an aggrieved party has got substituted overall performance of the contract utilizing the advantage of section 20.

b) Where the contract entails overall performance of a non-stop obligation which can’t be supervised via the court;

c) the place the contract is structured on non-public skills of an individual, such that enforcement of the cloth phrases is now not possible; and

d) the contract is determinable with the aid of its nature.

∙ Insertion of Section 14 A: Power of Court to interact experts- The newly delivered part confers electricity on the courts to appoint professionals to are seeking for an opinion on any troubles in a suit.

∙ Insertion of clause (fa) in Section 15- A clause pointing out who shall gain precise overall performance in case a restrained legal responsibility partnership enters into an amalgamation with any other constrained legal responsibility partnership has additionally been inserted to make clear the doubts.

∙ Persons in whose favor particular overall performance can’t be enforced- Section sixteen of the Act has additionally been amended to consist of humans who has received substituted overall performance of contract underneath part 20

∙ Substituted overall performance of the contract- Section 20 has been renamed into the substituted overall performance of contract beneath the modification Act and additionally been changed with new provisions. Further, the aggrieved party shall now not be entitled to declare remedy of precise overall performance towards the breaching party if he has received the contract carried out by way of the 1/3 celebration or his very own company alternatively he can declare for compensation from the breaching party.

∙ Insertion of Section 20B: Special Courts for Infrastructural projects- Section 20 B has been inserted giving route to the State Governments to set up one-of-a-kind courts in session with the Chief Justice of the High Courts for rapid disposal of fits about infrastructural projects.

∙ Insertion of Section 20C: Expeditious disposal of Suits- Section 20 C has been newly inserted via the modification Act supplying obligatory time duration for disposal of fits beneath the Act. Therefore fits filed underneath the Act shall have to be disposed of inside a duration of 12 months from the date of the carrier of summons which can, in addition, be prolonged for 6 months for a cause to be recorded in writing.


There have been some adjustments in the civil dispute decision exercise location through the Specific Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018 which has made some vital amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”). The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was once added in the Parliament on December 22, 2017. It used to be handed through the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2018, and the Rajya Sabha. The Amendment Bill has brought Section 14A which offers courts the electricity to get a specialist opinion on any precise issue, have interaction professionals to record to the courtroom on such difficulty, and procure specialists help in imparting proof and manufacturing of documents. Such an opinion or record will shape the section of the files of the go well with and the court. The professional can be the situation to examination via the events in an open courtroom with the permission of the court. The costs, expenses, or fees of the specialist will be payable with the aid of the events in the percentage decided by using the court. Comment: The Amendment Bill now offers courts the chance to acquire professional help when confronted with a technical or scientific issue. Although events can furnish specialist proof to guide their cases, a court-appointed specialist would additionally be greater unbiased and impartial. On July 23, 2018. It acquired the assent of the President on August 1, 2018.


The amendments to the Specific Relief Act are probable to minimize litigations and make sure the performance of the contractual work in a well-timed manner with the introduction of the ideas of substituted overall performance and the imposition of time limits for disposal of cases. Altering the nature of precise remedy from an incredible rule to a well-known rule will make certain contractual enforcement. It stays to be viewed how courts will interpret the applicability of the number of provisions of the Amendment Bill. There may additionally be litigation about this, for instance, questions such as whether or not the amendments will be relevant based totally on the date a contract is signed, breached or at the time of searching for comfort may additionally be raised. Further, there may additionally be a requirement for reconsideration or amendment of boilerplate clauses associated with unique overall performance in contracts. The fifth modification is the insertion of a new Section 14A which offers the strength of Courts to interact specialists to help the courtroom on any precise trouble worried in the suit. The provision is made to empower civil courts to have interaction with a professional whose opinion or file will structure section of the report of the swimsuit and can be examined on the same. The court might also besides direct any individual to provide applicable information or produce or furnish to the professional get right of entry to any applicable document, items or property for inspection. However, it would be fascinating to see how courts will use this provision for reaching the ends. Also, the provision saves the different provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 on this aspect.