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The Government departments are insisting to send documents either by registered post or ordinary post. The Income tax department after filing income tax return by electronic filing, we are asked to send the ITR V to Bangalore for generation acknowledgement by ordinary post. While sending the documents if there is any delay by postal department to deliver, we will not get any relief from Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Section 6 of Indian Post Act, 1898 provides exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage. It is clear that the government shall not incur any liability by reason of loss or delay of or, damage to, any postal article in course of transmission by post on the basis of Section 6 of Indian Post Act, 1898.. The sender has to prove that there was fraud or willful act or default by the departmental authorities. Postmaster Imphal vs Dr.Jamini Devi ( 2000) - National Commission -Consumer Forum. Brief facts of the case: The complainant sent pockets containing original certificate along with application form with necessary fee by Regd post to National Tutorial Mumbai. The same was not delivered on time. Due to the same, she was not able to appear the examination. The complainant appeal to state commission and after hearing both sides found that there was negligence and deficiency in service and State commission held that the postal authorities were liable. On appeal to National commission, it was informed that Section 6 of Indian Post Act, 1898 provides exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage. The postal authorities further contended that they are only providing service to the citizen not on commercial basis.The functions of government mainly provide cheap and better communication to those residing in remote villages. Further they contended that Section 3 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provision of any other law for the time being in force. After hearing the argument both sides, the National Commission has set aside the order of the State Commission and compliant was dismissed. Section 6 of Indian Post Act, 1898 : - The protection under Section 6 of Indian Post Act, 1898 available only when the loss or damage caused by fraudulently or by his (officer) willful act or default. In the case of Dr.Venkateshwara Rao vs PMG, the application for employment sent through the post office by mistake delivered to sender himself. It was pointed that there was no allegation of fraudulent or willful act of any employee, the exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage will be available under Section 6 of the Act. Section 6 of The Indian Post Act, 1898 provides exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage.- The [Government] shall not incur any liability by reason of the loss, misdelivery or delay of, or damage to, any postal article in course of transmission by post, except in so far as such liability may in express terms be undertaken by the Central Government as hereinafter provided; and no officer of the Post Office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss, misdelivery, delay or damage, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his willful act or default. Conclusion: The immunity will be available to Postal department on account of liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage only when the cause was not in the nature of fraudulent or willful act / default. The department has to prove the same that the delay was beyond their control and no fraudulent or willful act or default.




Category Others, Other Articles by - cs A Rengarajan 



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