Cabinet nod to amend Specific Relief Act for ease of business

Updated: Dec 15, 2017, 17:59 IST | IANS

The government has been contemplating amendments to the Specific Relief Act to limit the compensation and relief that courts can give in cases involving execution of infrastructure and development projects

In a move to further ease procedures for doing business in the country, the cabinet on Friday approved a bill proposing to amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced. Briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting, the Minister said that with the concerned bill slated to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament, he was unable to elaborate any further on the proposed legislation apart that it was for "ease of doing business."

Ravi Shankar Prasad announces proposal to amend the Specific Relief ActUnion Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announces proposal to amend the Specific Relief Act. Pic/ANI

"Among the significant decisions, the cabinet approved the proposal to introduce amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963, as part of the ease of doing business," Prasad said. "The Specific Relief Act, 1963, is being changed substantially..being modernised for promoting growth and investment," he added.

The government has been contemplating amendments to the Specific Relief Act to limit the compensation and relief that courts can give in cases involving execution of infrastructure and development projects. According to official sources, the proposed changes seek to introduce guidelines for reducing the discretion granted to courts and tribunals while granting performance and injunctive relief.

The government constituted a five-member expert committee last year, to review the Act and suggest changes needed to remove bottlenecks in execution of contract-based infrastructure development, public-private partnerships and other public projects.

In its report, the committee recommended changes in the law to limit the powers of courts to award relief. "Any public work must progress without interruption. This requires consideration whether a court's intervention in public works should be minimal. The role of courts in this exercise is to interfere to the minimum extent so that public works projects will not be impeded or stalled," the committee "aid in its report.

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