The position regarding award of interest after the Interest Act, 1978 came into force, can be stated thus :
(a) where a provision has been made in any contract, for interest on any debt or damages, interest shall be paid in accordance with the such contract.
(b) where payment of interest on any debt or damages is expressly barred by the contract, no interest shall be awarded.
(c) where there is no express bar in the contract and where there is also no provision for payment of interest then the principles of section 3 of Interest Act will apply in regard to the pre-suit or pre- reference period and consequently interest will be payable :
(i) where the proceedings relate to a debt (ascertained sum) payable by virtue of a written instrument at a certain time, then from the date when the debt is payable to the date of institution of the proceedings;
(ii) where the proceedings is for recovery of damages or for recovery of a debt which is not payable at a certain time, then from the date mentioned in a written notice given by the person making a claim to the person liable for the claim that interest will be claimed, to date of institution of proceedings.
(d) payment of interest pendente lite (date of institution of proceedings to date of decree) and future interest (from the date of decree to date of payment) shall not be governed by the provisions of Interest Act, 1978 but by the provisions of section 34 of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 or the provisions of the law governing Arbitration as the case may be.
Supreme Court of India
State Of Rajasthan & Anr vs M/S. Ferro Concrete Construction ... on 22 April, 2009
Bench: R.V. Raveendran, Lokeshwar Singh Panta
Read full judgment here; click here