Money & Banking

Post offices cannot be hauled up for deficiency of service

S. Murlidharan | Updated on November 05, 2012

Section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act says the Government shall not incur any liability by reasons of the loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage to any postal article in course of transmission by post except when expressly undertaken by the Central Government. And no officer of the post office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his wilful act or default.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, therefore, was constrained to dismiss the appeal in S. Parameshwar vs Chief Post Master General, Bangalore despite deficiency in service writ large on the part of Speed Post.

The appellant had instructed his employer on his retirement to pay off his society from which he had borrowed from out of his retirement benefits. Accordingly, a cheque for about Rs 50,000 was made out and dispatched through Speed Post.

The post office admitted that it had misplaced it and, accordingly, the appellant had to face the wrath of the society which insisted on an additional payment of Rs 17,000.

The NCDRC expressed helplessness in giving relief in the face of the legal immunity post offices enjoy and the appellant’s inability to make out a case of fraud or wilful default on the part of the officer concerned in the post office.

(The author is a New Delhi-based chartered accountant.)

Published on November 05, 2012

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