Report No. 38
4. Scheme of the existing Act.-
We shall first examine the scheme of the Act. The existing Act is intended to consolidate and amend the law relating to the Post Office in India. Sections 1 to 3 contain preliminary provisions, and sections 4 to 5 embody the exclusive privilege of conveying letters reserved to the Government. Section 6 deals with the liability of the Government or its officers in respect of loss, misdeliever, delay or damage of postal articles in the course of transmission by post. Sections 7 to 15 deal with the rates of postage and incidental matters. Provisions as to postage stamps are contained in sections 16 and 17. The general conditions of transmission of postal articles would be found in sections 18 to 27D.
Having so far dealt with provisions applicable to all articles, the Act proceeds next to deal in detail with specific kinds of postal services. Thus, sections 28 to 33 deal with registered and insured articles, and sections 34 to 36 are intended to provide for value-payable postal articles. Undelivered postal articles are regulated by sections 37 to 39, and previsions regarding the obligations of ships to carry and bring letters are dealt with in sections 40 to 42. Money orders are covered by sections 43 to 48 and, with this, the substantive provisions of the Act come to an end.
The Act, thereafter, proceeds to prescribe the penalties for various offences. The provisions on the subject are, divided into two groups, namely
(i) offences by officers of the Post Office, sections 49 to 57;
(ii) other offences, sections 58 to 69.
General provisions regarding penalties are contained in sections 70 to 72.
Supplemental provisions constitute sections 73 to 75, and the maximum rates of inland postage are given in the First Schedule.