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Report No. 38

69. Section 23(3)(a).-

We have received a suggestion1 from the Department to add "Superintendent of Post Offices" in section 23(3)(a). Having regard to the fact that under section 23(3)(a) any postal article sent by post in contravention of the provisions of sections 19 and 19A can (under the authority of the Postmaster-General) be opened and destroyed2, it is not desirable to extend the scope of the section in this manner. We have not, therefore, accepted the suggestion.

1. S. No. 96 (Suggestion of the Department).

2. Section 19 deals with injurious articles, and section 19A deals with tickets, advertisements, etc., relating to lotteries not authorised by the Government.

70. In its comment on the draft Report, the Department reiterated its suggestion, stating that "leaky articles are received in a large number in post offices and every case of destruction of such articles has to be referred to the Postmaster-General and this unnecessarily takes considerable time".1

We do not, however, think that it is wise, to give the power of destruction to lower officers. Delay should not be caused even by the existing provision, because in cases of urgency, instructions can be obtained by phone.

1. S. No. 169 (Suggestion of the Department).

71. In its comment on our draft Report, a State Government1 had stated that section 19 prohibits the transmission by post of, inter alia, explosive, dangerous or deleterious substance and also of living creatures and things likely to injure postal articles or officers of the Post Office. If a postal packet was found to contain such substances or creatures or things, it would (it was stated) be dangerous to wait for the direction of the Postmaster-General before the articles were destroyed. In the opinion of the State Government, therefore, the suggested addition2 of the Superintendent of Post Offices should be made to section 23(3)(a).

The Comment was discussed before us at length. In our view, no such change is needed. It may be noted, that even under the suggested change, the directions of the Superintendent would have to be awaited, so that the position may not be better.

1. S. No. 170 (Comments of a State Government).

2. Para. 70, supra.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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