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Report No. 38

102. Section 28 and liability of the State for registered articles.-

In the comment of a State Government1 on our draft Report, the following suggestion was made (The suggestion was made under section 6):-

"It appears to this Government that some relaxation of the absolute terms of section 6 is called for. It will not make any extreme suggestion, but thinks that the law in this country should at least be brought into conformity with the present law in England in this regard. In the opinion of this Government, section 6 of the Indian Act should be amended so as to provide for an exception in the case of registered articles on the lines of the British Statute."

A High Court2 has also made a similar suggestion (on the assumption, that in England the Post Office is liable to pay compensation in respect of registered inland packets where loss or damage is caused by any wrongful act done or any default committed by a person employed as a servant or agent of the Crown).

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

2. S. No. 167 (Comment of a High Court).

103. The question of liability in England for "registered" articles was considered by us in detail. It appears to us, that "registration" in England really corresponds to "Insurance" under the Indian Post Office Act1. Hence the analogy of the English Act would not be appropriate, in this context.

1. For a detailed discussion, see Appendix 14.

104. The matter was, however, considered by us on the merits. It was felt, that having regard to the high fees now charged for registration, some liability for registered articles should be imposed on the Post Office. A modified proposal was submitted to us, namely, a statutory maximum for registration fee. But that was not approved. We think that a fixed liability of (say) Rs. 50 should be imposed. To implement this, we recommend a suitable amendment1 of section 28.

1. See section 28 as proposed.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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