Covid : an unforeseen pandemic
The emergence of Covid-19 as a pandemic around the world in an unprecedented manner as nobody could foresee has brought in many unforeseen restrictions in movement, stoppage of production, scarcity of raw materials, shortage of labour and disruption in supply chain. Such restrictions have put timely performance of contractual obligations by many in disarray or made timely performance of many contracts delayed or impossible.
Such failures in performance by the contracting parties under a valid contract are protected by law under Section 32 and 56 of the Indian contract Act, 1872, if such failures occurred due to reason beyond the control of the parties. The Section 32 of the contract act invokes the concept of force majeure and the Section 56 of the contract act invokes the concept of frustrated contracts.
In order to get protection under the Section 32 of the contract act a clause technically called ‘Force Majeure’ clause should be specifically provided in the contract.