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Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 47 of 1963

  • Part I
  • Part II
    • Chapter I
    • Chapter II
    • Chapter III
    • Chapter IV
    • Chapter V
    • Chapter VI
  • Part III
    • Chapter VII
    • Chapter VIII
  • Act nº 47 of 1963



[Act, No. 47 of 1963]

[13th December, 1963]


An act to define and amend the law relating to certain kinds of specific relief.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fourteenth Year of the Republic of India as follow:--

Part I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called theSpecific Relief Act, 1963.

(2)It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

(3)It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

1. It came into force on 1st March, 1964 vide NotificationNo. S.O. 189, dated 13th January, 1964, Gazette of India, Pt. II,Section. 3 (ii), p. 214.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "Obligation" includes every duty enforceable by law;

(b) "Settlement" an instrument (other than a will or codicil as defined by the Indian Succession Act, 1925) whereby the destination or devolution of successive interests movable or immovable property is disposed of or is agreed be disposed of;

(c) "trust" has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, and includes an obligation in the nature of a trust within the meaning of Chapter IX of that Act;

(d) "trustee" includes every person holding property in trust;

(e) all other words and expression used herein, but not defined, and defined in the Indian Contract Act 1872, have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act.

Section 3. Savings

Except as otherwise provided herein, nothing in this Act shall be deemed--

(a) to deprive any person of any right to relief, other than specific performance, which he may have under any contract;or

(b) to affect the operation of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, on documents.

Section 4. Specific relief to be granted only for enforcing individual civil rights and not for enforcing penal laws

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.

Part II

Chapter I

Section 5. Recovery of specific immovable property

A person entitled to the possession of specific immovable property may recover it in the manner provided by the Code of Civil Procedure,1908.

Section 6. Suit by person dispossessed of immovable property

(1) If any person is dispossessed without his consent of immovable property otherwise than in due course of law, he or any person claiming through him may, by suit, recover possession thereof, notwithstanding any other title that may be set up in such suit.

(2) No suit under this section shall be brought--

(a) after the expiry of six month from the date of dispossession; or

(b) against the Government.

(3) No appeal shall lie from any order or decree passed in any suit instituted under this section, nor shall any review of any such order or decree be allowed.

(4) Nothing in this section shall bar any person from suing to establish his title to such property and to recover possession thereof.

Section 7. Recovery of specific movable property

A person entitled to the Possession ofspecific movable property may recover it in the manner provided by the Code ofCivil Procedure, 1908.

Explanation1.--A trustee may sue under this section for the possession of movable propertyto the beneficial interest in which the person for whom he is trustee isentitled.

Explanation2.--A special or temporary right to the present possession of movable propertyis sufficient to support a suit under this section.

Section 8. Liability of person in possession, not as owner, to deliver to persons entitled to immediate possession

Any person having the possession or control of a particular article of movable property, of which he is not the owner, may be compelled specifically to deliver it to the person entitled to its immediate possession, in any of the following cases.--

(a) when the thing claimed is held by the defendant as the agent or trustee of the plaintiff;

(b) when compensation in money would not afford the plaintiff adequate relief for the loss of the thing claimed;

(c) when it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the actual damage caused by its loss;

(d) when the possession in the thing claimed has been wrongfully transferred from the plaintiff.

Explanation.--Unless and until the contrary is proved, the court shall, in respect of any article of movable property claimed under clause (b) or clause (c) of this section, presume--

(a) that compensation in money would not afford the plaintiff adequate relief for the loss the thing claimed, or, as the case may be;

(b) that it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the actual damages caused by its loss.

Chapter II

Section 9. Defences respecting suits for relief based on contract

Except as otherwise provided herein, where any relief is claimed under this Chapter in respect of a contract, the person against whom the relief is claimed may plead by way of defence any ground which is available to him under any law relating to contracts.

Section 10. Cases in which specific performance of contract enforceable

Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, the specific performance of any contract may, in the discretion of the court, be enforced--

(a) when there exists no standard for ascertaining actual damage caused by the non-performance of the act agreed to be done; or

(b) when the act agreed to be done in such that compensation in money for its non-performance would not afford adequate relief.

Explanation.--Unless and until the contrary is proved, the court shall presume

(i) that the breach of a contract to transfer immovable property cannot be adequately relieved by compensation in money; and

(ii) that the breach of a contract to transfer movable property can be so relieved except in the following cases:--

(a) where the property is not an ordinary article of commerce, or is of special value or interest to the plaintiff, or consists of goods which are not easily obtainable in the market;

(b) where the property is held by the defendant as the agent or trustee of the plaintiff.