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Discharge by lapse of time

A contract must be performed within the stipulated time or reasonable time. Non performance of the contract within a reasonable time or stipulated time would lead to discharge of the contract depending on whether or not time is the essence of the contract
  • If time is the essence of the contract, then the performance must take place within the stipulated time. A delay will make the contract voidable at the option of the other party.
  • If time is not the essence of the contract then such a contract is not discharged even if the obligations are not performed on time.
A contract is discharged, if it is not performed within the period of limitation. i.e., the period specified by the Law of Limitation Act. The Limitation Act lays down different limitation periods for different kinds of contracts.



The period of limitation for recovering a moveable property is 3 years and is 12 years for the recovery of immovable property.


Note: If the contractual rights are not enforced within the specified limitation period, the court will not enforce the contract.

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