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(a) Performance of Contracts (Section 37)

Section 37 of the Act provides that the parties to a contract must either perform
or offer to perform their respective promises, unless such performance is dispensed /
with-or excused under the provision of the Indian Contract Act, or any other law. In . case of
death of the promisor before performance, the representatives of the promisor are bound to
perform the promise unless a contrary intention appears from the contract.
Illustration
X promises to deliver a horse to Y on a certain day on payment of Rs 1,000. X dies
before that day. X's representatives are bound to deliver the horse to Y and Y is bound is
pay Rs. 1,000 to X's representatives.
Tender of Performance (Section 38)
In cases of some contracts, it is sometimes sufficient if the promisor performs his side
of the contract. Then,if the performance is rejected,the promisor is discharged from
further liability and may sue for the breach of contract if he so wishes. This is called
discharge by tender.
To be valid, a tender must fulfil the following conditions
(a) it must be unconditional;
(b) if must be made at a proper time and place;
(c) it must be made under circumstances enabling the other party to ascertain
that the party by whom it is made is able and willing then and there to do the whole
of what he is bound, to do by his promise.
(d) if the tender relates to delivery of goods, the promisee must have a reasonable
opportunity of seeing that the thing offered is the thing which the promisor is bound
by his promise to deliver:
(e) tender made to one of several joint promisees has the same effect as a tender to
all of them:
Who can demand performance?
Generally speaking, a stranger to contract cannot sue and the person who can demand
performance is the party to whom the promise is made. But an assignee of the rights and
benefits under a contract may demand performance by the promiser, in the same way as the
assignor, (i.e the promisee) could have demanded.
Effect of refusal of party to perform wholly
Section 39 provides that when a party to a contract has refused to perform or disabled
himself from performing his promise in its entirety the the promisee may put an end to the
contract unless he had signified by words or conduct his acquiescence in its continuance.
llustraton
(a) X, a singer enters into a contract with Y, the manager of a theatre to sing at his
theatres two nights in every week during the next two months, and Y engaged to
pay her Rs. 100 for each nights performance. On the sixth night X wilfully absents
herself form the theatre. Y is at liberty to put an end to the contract. .
(b) If in the above illustration, with the assent of Y, X sings on the seventh night, Y is
presumed to have signified his acquiescence in the continuance of the contract and
cannot put an end to it; but is entitled to compensation for the damages sustained by
him through X's failure to sing on the sixth night.
By whom contract must be performed
Under Section 40 of the Act, if it appears from the nature of the case that it was
the intention of the parties to a contract that it should be performed by the promisor
himself such promise must be performed by the promisor himself. In other cases the
promisor or his representative may employ a competent person to perform it.
llustration
(a) X promises to pay Rs. 1,000 to Y. X may either personally pay the money to
Y or cause it to be paid to Y by another. If X dies .before making payment,
his representatives must perform the promise or employ some proper person
to do so.
(b) X promises to paint a picture for Y. X must personally perform the
promise.