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Report No. 38

32. Liability of the officers themselves-Indian and English Law.-

(a) So far as the officers themselves are concerned, section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act provides, that an officer of the post office shall not incur any liability by reason of loss, misdelivery or delay of or damage to, a postal article in course of transmission by post, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his wilful default. "Default" has been interpreted as failure in duty, care, etc., which is the cause of some untoward event1.

(b) In England, an officer of the Crown is not subject to any civil liability for anything done or omitted to be done in relation to postal packet, except at the suit of the Crown2-3.

The English Act goes too far in excluding liability even of the servants for a postal packet4-5.

In this respect, the Indian Act is more just and fair to the sender, as section 6 preserves the liability of the postal officer for wilful acts.

1. Rikhan Lal v. Banarasi Singh, AIR 1932 All 139:

2. Section 9(1), Crown Proceedings Act, 1947.

3. See Garner, Administrative Law, (1963), p. 225.

4. Winfield on Tort, (1963), p. 63.

5. See also Wade, Administrative Law, p. 220.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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