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Report No. 38

106. Section 33-insured articles.-

Section 33 deals with insured articles1. It has been suggested2 (apparently with reference to section 33), that besides the sender, the addressee must also be entitled to recover compensation (in respect of insured articles). Now, as between the sender and the addressee, this has to be worked out according to the contract between the sender and the addressee. On that point, the Post Office Act cannot appropriately make a provision. But, as against the Government, only the sender is, as the law stands now. The addressee can (if so advised and if so permitted by the contract), sue only the sender, at present.

We think, that where the sender has assigned his rights to the addressee, the compensation should be payable to the addressee, by the Post Office.

To put the matter beyond doubt (particularly because the liability may be only "statutory")3 section 33 should be suitably amended to provide, that where the sender has assigned his rights to the addressee, the compensation shall be payable to the addressee.

An express provision is desirable in view of the restrictive language of section 33, which refers to the sender only.

1. See para. 31, supra.

2. S. No. 102 (A High Court).

3. See paras. 24, 25, 29, supra.

107. For the present purpose, it is unnecessary to consider whether, apart from such a provision as is proposed,1 the right to compensation under section 33 would be assignable as a benefit of contract and therefore as an "actionable claim".2

1. See para. 106, supra.

2. As to assignment in English law, see

(i) Bailey, articles in 47 LQR 516 and 48 LQR 248.

(ii) Chitty on Contracts, (1961), Vol. 2, para. 867.

(iii) Hardy, Ivarny General Principles of Insurance Law (1966), pp. 364, 372, 374, 376, 382.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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