It is fundamental, whenever a material alteration takes place in terms of the original contract, on account of any act of omission or commission on part of one party, it is open to the other party not to perform the original contract. This will not amount to abandonment. Moreover, abandonment is normally understood in context of a right and not in context of a liability or obligation. A party to a contract may abandon his rights under a contract leading to a plea of waiver by the other party, but there is no question of abandoning an obligation. A refusal to perform obligations can perhaps be termed as a breach of contract and not abandonment.

A refusal of a contractor to continue to execute work, unless reciprocal promises are performed by the other party, cannot be termed as abandonment of contract. A refusal by one party to a contract, may entitle the other party either to sue for breach or to rescind and sue on a quantum meruit for work already done.

Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Shripati Lakhu Mane v. Member Secretary, Maharashtra Water Supply & Sewerage Board, [Civil Appeal No. 556 of 2012].