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Time of performance

Following are the rules regarding the time of performance of the contract:

Performance within a reasonable time (Sec. 46)

When the Contract specifies or mentions that a promisor is to perform his promise without an application by the promisee and no time for performance is specified, then the obligation must be performed within a reasonable time.
“What is reasonable time?” is a question of fact. It depends upon the circumstances of the case, the usage of trade and the intention of the parties at the time of entering into the contract.

Note: ‘Application’ here means a request from the party concerned.


Supply of order for books by a bookseller to the publisher given in July should be performed within 4-5 days, it being the time for the demand of books. The publisher needs to perform the promise within a reasonable time.

Specified time for performance (Sec. 47)

When a promise is to be performed at a certain time and the promisor undertakes to perform it without an application by the promisee. Under Sec. 47, it has been provided that “in such a case, the promisor may perform the promise at any time during the usual hours of business on such day and at the place at which the promise ought to be performed.”



Suraj promised to deliver 10 scooters at Pankaj’s godown on April 1. On that day, Suraj brought the scooters but after 10:00 p.m. The delivery was not taken as the godown was closed. Here it was held that Suraj has performed his promise beyond usual working hours.

Performance on a certain day (Sec. 48)

When a promise is to be performed on a certain day, the promisor undertakes to perform it after the application by the promisee to that effect. In such a case, it is the duty of the promisee to apply for performance at a proper place and within the usual hours of business. Proper time and place will depend upon the circumstances of the case.



Naveen entered into a contract with prashanth for sale of 100 bags of cotton. The delivery of cotton was to be made on 15th February. Naveen agreed to do so only after a request from Prashanth. In such case the promisee (Prashanth) must apply.

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