Readiness and willingness to perform a contract is the most important issue for considering grant of specific performance of a contract

In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court, held that in the present case, readiness and willingness to perform a contract is a question of fact and the same is to be determined during appreciation of evidence and not in an appeal under Article 136 of Constitution of India, 1950.

The said ruling was delivered in the matter of Kamal Kumar vs. Premlata Joshi & Ors., Civil Appeal No. 4453 of 2009 decided on 07.01.2019.


The Appellant/Plaintiff had instituted the present suit for specific performance of contract relating to the suit property. The trial court dismissed the suit vide order dated 31.08.2000 and the said judgment was affirmed by the High Court in its impugned order while dismissing the appeal of the Plaintiff.


The Supreme Court held that the findings of the Trial Court as well as the High Court were concurrent and were recorded on appreciation of pleadings as well as evidence adduced by parties and were devoid of any perversity or illegal. Further, the settled principle of law that the relief of specific performance is a discretionary and equitable relief, was reiterated. The requisites for grant of specific performance, as envisaged in Sections 16(c), 20, 21, 22 and 23 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, are as follows:

  1. Existence of a valid contract between the parties,
  2. Readiness and willingness of the Plaintiff and whether the same is prevalent at the time of initiation of suit,
  • Plaintiff has performed his part of the contract,
  1. Determining whether grant of specific performance will be equitable or if the same will cause any kind of hardship to the Defendant,
  2. Determination of the extent of relief that the Plaintiff may be entitled to, and,
  3. If the Plaintiff has any other alternative remedy available.

The said requirements are to be specifically pleaded by parties in a suit for specific performance, however, the adjudicating court will have discretion to accordingly grant or refuse the relief sought.