47. Mistake as a defence to a suit for specific performance.

Specific performance is equitable relief, given by the court to enforce against a defendant the duty of doing what he agreed by contract to do1. Where a contract is void, no question of specific performance (or of damages2) arises. On the other hand, if a contract is valid, but the defendant was mistaken in some way (ex hypothesi insufficient to avoid the contract), the court may in its discretion refuse to award specific performance to the claimant3