The doctrine of part performance is dealt with under Section 53A of the Indian Contract Act(hereinafter referred as the Act). If a person contracts with another for transfering any immovable property on certain terms and if the transferee has taken possession of the property and has done some act in furtherance of such contract, then the transferor cannot breach the contract of transfer. This rule is formed on the basis of equity. The section intends to protect the interests of bonafide transferees who have done their part in the performance of the contract. The section intends to value the efforts of transferee.
In a case before the Honourable High Court of Kerala in Damodaran v. Shekharan,it was laid down that Where the transferor has contracted to transfer for consideration any immovable property by writing signed by him and the transferee has in part performance of the contract taken possession of the property or any part thereof and has done some act in furtherance of contract and has performed or is willing to perform his part of the contract,then Section53A is attracted.
The Honourable High Court of Kerala in another case Bhargavi v. Lakshmi held that there must be a lawful and enforceable contract to avail the benefits of Section 53A. So the essential ingredients of Doctrine of Part Performance under the Act can be summarised as follows:
1. There must be a contract to transfer some immovable property for consideration.
2. The contract must be in writing.
3. The contract must be signed by the transferor and transferee.
4. There must be certainty to the terms associated with the contract.
5. The transferee must take possession of the property.
6. The transferee must have done some act in furtherance of the terms of the contract.
7. There must be willingness and readiness on the part of the transferee to perform his part of the contract.
However this right cannot be pressed in service against a third party as laid down by Honourable Supreme Court of India in Rambhau Namdeo Gajre v. Narayan Bapuji Dhotra(C.A.No4610 of 2000).