Report No. 38
110. Section 39.-
Under proviso (b) to section 39, money or saleable property (not being of a perishable nature), found in any undelivered postal article, shall be detained for one year in the office of the Postmaster-General. Thereafter (if no person has established him right thereto), then the money is to be credited to the Post Office, and the saleable property is to be sold and the proceeds credited to the Post Office.
It has been suggested1 that, in section 39, in place of the period of one year, such period as the Central Government may specify may be substituted. The suggestion states that the number of undelivered postal articles is increasing owing to increased postal traffic, and it would be desirable to reduce the period.
1. S. No. 96 (Suggestion of the Department).
111. We considered the suggestion1 at some length. There are certain risks in reducing the period in the manner suggested.
The periods taken up in various formalities under section 37(3) and section 38(1)2, and in detention under section 39, main paragraph3, may not, in a particular case, take up more than, say, five months. If the period of compulsory detention under section 39, proviso (b), is reduced to, six months, there is a risk of the articles being destroyed before the period of limitation has expired4. The claimant can get the sale proceeds, it is true, but valuable evidence will be lost, if the article is destroyed. We are not, therefore, in favour of the proposed change.
1. Para. 110, supra.
2. See also rules 208 and 209, Indian Post Office Rules, 1933.
3. See Rules 212 and 213, Indian Post Office Rules, 1933.
4. As to the period of limitation, see discussion in this Report on the subject, para. 83 et seq. infra.