Volume 1 Issue 1 (2020)

The Force Majeure and Hardship provide a legal instrument to deal with the effect of unexpected future events and unforeseen changes in circumstances, particularly when the contracts are long-termed. Looking at the current and unprecedented dimensions, it seems that the post-pandemic period would get burdened with the litigations dealing with these two concepts. Such an epidemic has occurred for the first time in the history of mankind which led the entire world a standstill, and therefore, measures not only for tackling such a situation but also for dealing with its aftermath are necessary. A principle of law (Force Majeure Clause) which was almost forgotten or was often overlooked for a long period has now started gaining importance, rather it can be said that the principle which was an exceptional legal remedy has now become a normal law and is referred to on the regular basis. Due to the nationwide lockdown on account of the COVID 19 pandemic, the performance of the contract is hindered because either the contracting parties are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations, or such is delayed until the situation returns to the state of affairs that existed pre-pandemic. And this is where the parties rely upon the force majeure clause to conclude such delay or nonperformance of the contract. But the difficulty arises when such a clause is absent in the contract. The law exempts the performance of the contract upon the frustration of the contract. But while considering the application of force majeure clause, one has to carefully understand whether the contract is indeed frustrated or not because sometimes despite the frustrating event, the object and purpose of the contract is capable of being performed substantially. These are the few aspects that the article intends to light upon.

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