In India, many of the infrastructure projects get stalled due to unnecessary injunctions by the courts. How the proposed amendments in the Specific Relief Act, 1963 address this issue? Explain key proposals of the amendment bill.

A bill to amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963 has been tabled recently in the winter session of the Parliament. The bill when gets its approval, will ease the infrastructure contracts in several fronts.  This bill is perceived to limit the court granted compensation and relief with respect to the cases of infrastructure and development projects.
The key proposals include,

  • It is stated in the bill that the court will not grant an injunction to the firm in case of contract delays.
  • This step is reinforced by authorising the DEA nodal agency to specify the categories of the infrastructure projects which cannot be issued an injunction.
  • It restricts the courts in granting the performance and injunctive relief by reducing its power to grant such injunctions.
  • The bill also intends to constitute special courts to try suits with relation to the infra companies. It also asks for speedy trials and to fast track the cases. The maximum period to dispose a case is suggested to be 12 months.
  • The key provision of the bill is to make the specific performance in relation to contracts a general rule rather than an exception.
  • It allows for a substituted performance of the contracts and that third parties can also be used as substituted if any contract is broken.

This bill is welcomed by several infrastructure firms as this improves the ease of doing business with lesser litigations. When adopted, the public work projects will be less interrupted by the court, circumventing the delays and unnecessary stalling.


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