The government has started reviewing an over 50-year-old law dealing with specific fulfilment of a contract as part of its ease of doing business policy, days after commercial courts were established and arbitration law amended for faster disposal of business disputes.
The committee set up by the Legislative Department in the Law Ministry will review the Specific Relief Act, 1963, keeping in mind the present scenario involving contract-based infrastructure, public-private partnerships and other public projects involving huge investments and enforceability of the contracts.
The review of the law comes amid the government’s repeated emphasis on promoting the ‘ease of doing business’ in India.
The Specific Relief Act, 1963, provides for law relating to certain kind of specific relief. It is a remedy which aims at the exact fulfilment of an obligation or specific performance of the contract rather than grant of a general relief or damages or compensation.
The Specific Relief Act has not been amended since its inception.
“The decision has been taken in view of tremendous developments that have taken place after 1963 and also in the context of present scenario involving contract based infrastructure development, public-private partnerships and other public projects involving huge investments and enforceability of the contracts.
“The review of the Act will also ensure ease of doing business,” the ministry said in a statement.
The committee will have six members, including the chairman, and submit its report within three months.
Two bills aimed at creating commercial benches in select high courts and amending a law on arbitration for speedy settlement of high value business disputes were signed into Acts by the President earlier this month.
The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2016 and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act (Amendment) Act, 2016 are aimed at speedy settlement of commercial disputes.
The new laws come amid keenness of the government to attract greater foreign investment. Certain foreign companies were said to be hesitant about doing business in India because of long-drawn litigations.