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Doctrine of Anticipatory Breach

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HomeBrud.gifContract LawBrud.gifDoctrine of Anticipatory Breach
  • The time when a contract is to be performed is usually specified in the contract itself.
  • Even if it is not specified, provisions of various Contract Acts can be applied and the time for the performance be settled.
  • The promisee cannot require the promisor to perform the promise till the time for performance arrives.
  • But the promisor may intimate his refusal or become disabled to perform the promise even before the due date.
  • By doing so, he commits a breach of the contract even before the actual time of performance. This is known as the Anticipatory Breach.
  • 'Anticipating' means 'to be ahead of in doing something'. That 'something' here is the eventual breach and this is done ahead (in advance) of the stipulated time for performance.

Consequences of anticipatory breach

  • Promisee put an end to the contract
  • Anticipatory breach of refusal
  • Promisee may acquisce in the continuance of the contract

Recent Cases / Related Cases / Case Law

  • Hochster v De La Tour, 1853 (118) ER 922: 2 E&B 678
  • Frost v Knight, 1872 (7) Ex 111
  • Odessa Wheat Cases - Avery v Bowden, 1855 (5) E&B 714
  • White & Carter (Councils) Ltd v Mc Gregor, 1962 AC 413
  • Decrowall International SA v Practioners in Marketing Ltd., 1971 (2) All ER 216: 1971 (1) WLR 361
  • Heyman v Darwins Ltd., 1982 AC 356
  • Avery v Bowden
  • Steeel Bros & Co v Dayal Khata, ILR 1924 (47) Bom 924
  • Burn & Co v Lukhdirjee, 1924 (28) CWN 104
  • Phulchand v Jugal Kishore, ILR 1927 (8) Lah 501
  • Gaekwar, Baroda State Railway v Habibullah, 1934 ALJ 1093

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