RE-LOOK REQUIRED ON INDIAN POSTAL ACT 1898
SAYS APEX CONSUMER COMMISSION
‘We deem it appropriate to observe that since the Government of the day is keen to repeal all antiquated legislation , a legacy of Colonial Era, its high time to have a re-look at Indian Postal Act 1898,in particular on section 6 therein ,in order to infuse accountability ,competitiveness and efficient governance.’
This was the observations made by the National Commission in a case where entry letter for examination does not reach to a candidate resulting him to miss the exam but none could be held liable because willful act or default or fraud on the part of post office employees could not be proved and employees are protected under section 6 of Indian postal act reads as hereunder-
“the Government shall not incur any liabilityby reasons of loss,misdelivery or delay or damage to and postal article in course of transmission by post ,except in so far as such liability may in express terms be under taken by the central government as herein after provided and no officer of the post office shall incur any liability by reason of any such loss,misdelivery,delay or damage,unless he caused the same fraudulently or by his willful act or default..”
In the case in hand,UPSC at New Delhi dispatched to arun geo Thomas examination hall ticket for taking examination for admission to national defence academy and naval defence academy .the entrence exam was to be held on 18.5.2010 but complaianat received hall ticket only on 11.5.2010with the result he could not take the exam .But when Arun approached consumer forum and consumer commission , State commission as well as National Commission held that onus to prove fraud or willfullact or default on the part of postal department lies on the person who alleges and under the circumstances when it could not be proved with cogent evidence ,postal department enjoys the immunity for any liability in view of section 6 of the indian postal act 1898.
Commission while pronouncing the order further stated –
“…although an antiquated piece of legislation ,dating back to 1898,but as it stands today in 21st century still grants immunity to the postal department”.
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