Who can demand performance of the contract? When is time the essence of the contract?
The Persons who can Demand Performance of the contract are:
Only the promisee can demand ‘the performance of the contract, and not a. third party. Even if the contract is for its benefit. For example, A promises B to pay Rs. 500 to C. It’s B who can demand performance and not C.
In the event of death of the promisee, it’s the legal representative unless a contrary intention appears, may demand performance of the contract. For example, A agrees to marry B. However, before the marriage takes place, B dies. As this is a contract of personal nature the legal representative of B cannot demand performance of the promise from A.
Only under some exceptional case, like beneficiary in case of trust, can also demand performance of the contract even though he is not a party to the contract.
In case a promisee is made. to two or more persons jointly, then, unless a. contrary intention appears from the contract, the performance of the promise may be demanded either
- By all the promisees jointly, or
- In case of death of any of the joint promisees, by his surviving promisees, or
- In case of death of all the joint promisees, by the representatives of all of them.
Time is considered as an important essence of the contract in the following cases:
Performance of a promise within a reasonable time: According to Section 45, where time for performance is not specified in the contract and the promisor has undertaken to perform without any application by the promisee, and then the contract must be performed with in a reasonable time.
Performance of promise where time is specified: According to Section 47, when the time for performance is specified in the contract and the promisor has undertaken to perform without any application by the promisee, then the promisor must perform his promise on that particular day in the usual business hours and at the place where the promise ought to be performed.
Performance of promise on an application by the promisee: According to Section 48, when the day for performance is specified in the contract and the promisor does no undertake to perform it without any application of demand by the promisee, and then the promisee must apply for performance at a proper place and within the usual hours of business.