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Report No. 38

39. Section 6 and suggestion to make Post Office liable for misdelivery, etc., due to dishonesty etc.-

With reference to section 6, a High Court has expressed this view1. "The existing section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 gives complete immunity to the Government. In the opinion of the Court the principles laid down by the Single Bench of the Allahabad High Court in AIR 1960 All 672, should be given statutory recognition2 by amending section 6 of the Act so as to make the Post Office liable where misdelivery, delay or damage to any postal article is due either to negligence or dishonesty on the part of the postal employees. The necessity of giving the principles laid down by the Allahabad High Court a statutory basis arises because it is a judgment of a single Judge and may not necessarily be followed by the other High Courts".

This suggestion may be examined with reference to the various categories of postal articles, namely:-

(i) ordinary;

(ii) registered.;

(iii) V.P.P.; and ,

(iv) insured.

For ordinary (unregistered articles), no change is desirable. The Government cannot be made liable, having regard to the voluminous business that is transacted by the Post Office. For insured articles, no change is needed, as there are specific provision.3 As to registered articles, we are recommending certain changes.4

As to V.P.P. articles, the changes which we are recommending will suffice.5

1. S. No. 167 (Suggestion of a High Court).

2. As to the Allahabad case, see para. 20, supra.

3. See section 33.

4. See section 28 as proposed.

5. See section 34 as proposed.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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