Question: Distinguish between “Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages”. [DJS 1999] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Distinguish between “Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages”.] Answer As per the doctrine of Quantum Meruit, where a party has in the performance of his contract done some work or rendered some service and the further… Read More »

Question: Distinguish between “Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages”. [DJS 1999] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Distinguish between “Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages”.] Answer As per the doctrine of Quantum Meruit, where a party has in the performance of his contract done some work or rendered some service and the further performance has been made useless by the other party, he may recover reasonable compensation for the work...

Question: Distinguish between “Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages”. [DJS 1999]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Distinguish between “Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages”.]

Answer

As per the doctrine of Quantum Meruit, where a party has in the performance of his contract done some work or rendered some service and the further performance has been made useless by the other party, he may recover reasonable compensation for the work or service.

“Quantum Meruit” and “Claim for Damages

A quantum meruit is only available if the original contract has been discharged. If the contract is still open the remedy of quantum meruit cannot be used but only damages can be claimed.

It has been laid down: Damages are compensatory and quantum meruit is restitution. The amount which an injured party is entitled to recover may differ according to as it is assessed on one the other of these two principles.

In Kanuri Sivaramakrishnaiah v. Vemuri Venkata Narahari Rao [AIR 1960 AP 186] a case of a building contract, the Supreme Court stated that a claim for quantum meruit is a claim for damages for breach of contract and the value of materials used in a building contract is a factor relevant only as furnishing a basis for assessing the amount of compensation.

The claim is not for the price of goods sold and delivered but for damages. What it stated was also the position under Section 65 of the Indian Contract Act.

Later in, Udit Narain Misr v. Muhammad Minnat-ulla [(1903) I.L.R. 25 All. 618], the Supreme Court said that where work is done under a contract pursuant to the terms thereof, no amount can be claimed by way of quantum meruit. The principle was explained thus:

“The principle of quantum meruit is rooted in English law under which there were certain procedural advantages in framing the action for compensation for work done. In order to avail of the remedy under quantum meruit, the original contract must have been discharged by the defendant in such a way as to entitle the plaintiff to regard himself as discharged from any further performance and he may have elected to do so.

The remedy, it may be noticed, is not available to the party who partially performed part of his obligation. This remedy by way of quantum meruit is restitution, that is, it is recompense for the value of the work done by the plaintiff in order to restore him to the position which he would have been in if the contract had never been entered into.

In this regard, it is different to a claim for damages which are compensatory remedies aimed at placing the injured party as never as may be the position he would have been in had the other party performed the contract.”


Law of Contract Mains Questions Series: Important Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Contract Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 10 Feb 2022 4:56 AM GMT
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