K. Narendra vs Riviera Apartments(P) Ltd, by Anubrati Debnath at lexcliq.

In the case of K. Narendra vs Riviera Apartments(P) Ltd, a conflict arose over land which was given under lease to the petitioner by the President of India. The only usage of the concerned land that could be carried out was building a single storey residential building for bringing up private dwelling homes. The appellant further agreed with the respondent thereby assigning the rights, interests, and titles of the concerned property. 

 

The purpose was to construct a multi-storeyed building on the land. Modification in the existing terms and conditions was brought in the agreement. The petitioner was said to be facing several hardships in terms of social, financial problems. This was one of the reasons on the part of the petitioner to transfer the property to the respondent who was believed to take care of the property in a better way. Issues raised relating to the fact that whether there was a complete transfer of possession from the appellant to the respondent of the property or not. The court was also made to decide whether a breach of a contract taking place due to hardships of one of the parties of the contract is a valid ground for the court to not issue specific performance or not. The court based its judgment on Section 20 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 which makes the declaration of specific performance to be discretionary on the part of the court. 

 

The Section also provides that the court is not bound to provide such relief to the parties just because the activities carried out by both of them is lawful. The court mentioned in this case that if the defendant has to go through hardships while performing a contract that was not foreseen by the defendant during non-performance of such contract, it does not cause any hardship to the plaintiff. This is one such circumstance under which the court can exercise discretion properly. But this discretion should be executed by the court only in relevant situations with sound reasonability and not arbitrary or irrationally. This was observed in the case of  Lourdu Mari David and others v. Louis Chinnaya Arogiaswamy and others.

 

Alongside this, it was in the case of K.S.Vidyanagar & others vs. Vairavan where the court observed that specific performance can be refused on grounds of difficulties even if difficulties arise after the contract is concluded. These difficulties may affect the defendant rather than the terms of the contract and for these scenarios, the plaintiff will be in no way held responsible. The court in this case of K.Narendra vs Riviera Apartments opinionated that although specific performance will not be provided, the respondent must receive some amount of compensation for the activities of the petitioner under Section 21 of the Specific Relief Act,1963 which lays down awards of compensation either as an addition or a substitution of the specific performance.

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