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Report No. 38

75. Section 24 and action under other sections.-

Section 24 does not, in our view, apply to action under other sections of the Post Office Act itself.1

In its comment on our draft Report, a State Government2 had stated as follows:-

"This Government cannot agree that the opening words of section 24 exclude its application to cases under the different clauses of section 23, though it may be otherwise excluded. So far as opening words of section 24 are concerned, they constitute an all-embracing provision for a notice in all cases of receipt by Post Office for delivery of articles sent in contravention of the Post Office Act as well as other Acts. The notice, however, will have to be a notice to the addressee."

The State Government, further, observed that the real difficulty is that the opening words of section 24 cannot, at least in the case of some of the postal articles, be reconciled with the second proviso, and therefore how those general words are to be construed in their bearing on the duty of giving notice, is a question.

1. See also Appendix 4, under section 19A.

2. S. No. 170 (Comment of a State Government).

76. The matter was discussed at length before us. The history of the opening words of section 24 (substituted by the Amendment Act of 1912) was looked into. In our view, section 24 does not apply to the matters provided for in sections 19 to 23, having regard to its history, and also having regard to the consideration that the words "Except as otherwise provided in this Act" are adequate to exclude the operation of the section in relation to cases specifically provided for.

We may, in this connection,refer to the relevant part of the statement of Objects and Reasons to the Amendment. Act of 19121-

"Clause 5-The absence of any definition of "contraband goods" in the existing Act has been repeatedly felt, and it is proposed to substitute a defining phrase making it clear that the provisions of section 24 are applicable to goods of which the import or transmission by post has been prohibited under the Excise, Opium or other laws."

1. Extract from the Statement of Objects and Reasons to the Bill which led to Act 3 of 1912.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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