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  • This article provides section wise detailed analysis of the Specific Relief Act. ∙ This Act is considered to be in a branch of the Indian Contracts Act, 1872 that deals with the reliefs and recovery of damages of an injured person.
  • The suit under Specific Relief Act may be brought to compel the performance of the contract by the person in default.


  • This Act is divided into three parts containing a total of eight chapters and forty-four sections.
  • There are several important principles accommodated under the sections such as ∙ The article has analyzed all the important provisions.


  • The Act provides for a specific performance of a contract in absence of monetary relief, which makes it an alternative remedy.
  • The objective is to improve India's track record in enforcing contracts. It aims to protect contractual expectations and wipe out uncertainties.


  • The Specific Relief Act, 1963 was brought into force on 13-12-1963. Its main objective is to provide relief to the parties who have suffered civil wrong. Civil injury is a violation of an obligation, specific relief for which can be provided by courts. Specific relief is a remedy that the courts can provide. The right to property is also recognized by the Constitution. No person shall be denied his property without due process of law.
  • The provisions of the Constitution are supplemented by legal devices that help people enforce their rights. For instance, if a person has a contractual obligation to perform aspecific act, he or she must not fail to do so. In case of failure, the other party may sue for the performance of the contract.
  • Specific performance orders are issued when the damages are not enough to provide a proper remedy. This type of order is discretionary and is made considering the circumstances of a case.


Section 2: Important definitions

  • Section 2 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 deals with important definitions which one must know of to understand this Act
  1. Section 2(a) deals with obligations which are defined as the duties that a person has under the law.
  2. Section 2(b) defines settlement that means the delivery of the immovable or movable property to successive interests when it is agreed to be disposed of.
  3. Section 2(c) provides the same meaning of trust as under Section 3 the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
  4. Section 2(d) defines trustee as a person who holds the trust in the property.

Section 3: Savings

This section states that the provisions of this Act shall not deprive any person of any right to relief, other than specific performance, which he may have under any contract; or affect the operation of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, on documents, except as otherwise provided in the Act itself.

Section 4: Enforcing only civil individual rights

  • This section states that the Act grants special relief only to the enforcement of individual rights. It does not apply for enforcing penal laws.
  • It defines is a type of relief that is granted to individuals for their civil rights infringement by establishing substantive nature for that fact.

Section 5: Recovery of specific immovable property

  • The Specific Relief Act provides for the recovery of certain immovable property in a manner as provided under Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
  • It states that a person who is the lawful owner of immovable property can get possession of it by filing a suit under CPC and Order XXI, Rules 35 and 36 of CPC would apply. He may file a suit for ejectment on strength of his title and be granted a decree for ejectment based on title under this Section.
  • There are three types of actions that can be brought in law for the recovery of immovable property. These types of suits can be based on title by ownership, possessory title, and previous possession.
  • The word ‘entitled to possession’ means having a legal right to title to possession on the basis of ownership of which the claimant has been dispossessed. The plaintiff must show that he had possession before the alleged trespasser got possession.

Section 6: Suit by person dispossessed of immovable property

  • This section states that if a person is dispossessed of his or her immovable property without his consent, he or she may recover possession. This section shall not apply to any suit brought against the Government and no suit can be filed after expiry of six months from dispossession date. Additionally, no appeal or review shall be allowed from any order or decree passed under this section.
  • This Section discourages forcible dispossession by stating that one’s disputed rights must also be decided by due process of law. It provides for the restoration of possession of a dispossessed party within 6 months of its dispossessing, which provides a speedy remedy.

∙ Requisites:

  • The plaintiff must have his judicial possession i.e., recognized by law when dispossession occurred.
  • Dispossession must be without the consent of the plaintiff or against the procedure of law.
  • The suit must be initiated within 6 months of dispossession.
  • Suit must not be against government.
  • Order or decree passed is final, not open to review or appeal, although it is subject to revision by High Court.

Section 7: Recovery of specific movable property

This section states that in order to recover the possession of a movable property, a person can follow the procedure mentioned in the CPC. There are also two sub clauses that explain that a trustee can sue for possession against the beneficial interest he was entitled to.

The second sub clause explains that if person has a special or temporary right to the possession of movable property, this section provides for the recovery of such property in specie (things itself). The nature of the property to be recovered must be specific and consistent with the existing conditions of the property.

∙ Essentials:

  • There must be a physical presence of the property in question that can be used to deliver or dispose of it.
  • The person suing must also have the possession of the property.
  • There may be an existence of a special or temporary right on the property.

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