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Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE INDIAN POST OFFICE ACT, 1898


1. Short title, extent, application and commencement.—
(1) This Act may be called the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
1 [(2) It extends to the whole of India 2 [***] and it applies also to all citizens of India outside India.]
(3) It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1898.]
2. Definitions.—In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,—
(a) the expression “Director General” means the Director General of 3 [Posts and Telegraphs]:
(b) the expression “inland”, used in relation to a postal article, means—
(i) posted in 4 [India] and addressed to any place in 4 [India] or to any place for which a post office is established by the 5 [Central Government] 6 [***] beyond the limits of 4 [India]; or
(ii) posted at any post office established by the 5 [Central Government] 6 [***] beyond the limits of 2[India] and addressed to any place for which any such post office is established or to any place in 4 [India]: 7 [Provided that the expression “inland” shall not apply to any class of postal articles which may be specified in this behalf by the 5 [Central Government] by notification in the 8 [Official Gazette], when posted in or at or addressed to any places of post offices which may be described in such notification;]
(c) the expression “mail bag” includes a bag, box, parcel or any other envelope or covering in which postal articles in course of transmission by post are conveyed, whether it does or does not contain any such article;
(d) the expression “mail ship” means a ship employed for carrying mails, pursuant to contract or continuing arrangement, by the 9 [Central Government] or Her Majesty’s Government or the Government of any British possession or foreign country;
(e) the expression “officer of the Post Office” includes any person employed in any business of the Post office or on behalf of the Post Office;
(f) the expression “postage” means the duty chargeable for the transmission by post of postal articles;
(g) the expression “postage stamp” means any stamp provided by the 9 [Central Government] for denoting postage or other fees or sums payable in respect of postal articles under this Act, and includes adhesive postage stamps and stamps printed, embossed, impressed or otherwise indicated on any envelope, wrapper, postcard or other article;
(h) the expression “post office” includes every house, building, room, carriage or place used for the purposes of the Post Office, and every letter-box provided by the Post Office for the reception of postal articles;
(i) the expression “postal article” includes a letter, postcard, newspaper, book, pattern or sample packet, parcel and every article or thing transmissible by post;
(j) the expression “Post Master General” includes a Deputy Post Master General or other officer exercising the powers of a Post Master General; and
(k) the expression “Post Office” means the department, 10 [established for the purposes of carrying the provisions of this Act into effect and] presided over by the Director General. 11 [***
3. Meanings of “in course of transmission by post” and “delivery”.—For the purposes of this Act,—
(a) a postal article shall be deemed to be in course of transmission by the post from the time of its being delivered to a post office to the time of its being delivered to the addressee or of its being returned to the sender or otherwise disposed of under Chapter VII;
(b) the delivery of a postal article of any description to a postman or other person authorized to receive postal articles of that description for the post shall be deemed to be a delivery to a post office; and
(c) the delivery of a postal article at the house or office of the addressee, or to the addressee or his servant or agent or other person considered to be authorized to receive the article according to the usual manner of delivering postal articles to the addressee, shall be deemed to be delivery to the addressee.
. Capital.—
(1) The authorised and paid-up capital of the National Housing Bank shall be three hundred and fifty crores of rupees: Provided that the Central Government may, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, by notification, increase the authorised capital up to two thousand crores of rupees.
(2) The Board may, on such terms and conditions, as determined by it from time to time, issue the increased authorised capital to the Reserve Bank, the Central Government, scheduled banks, public financial institutions, housing finance institutions or such other institutions, as may be approved by the Central Government: Provided that no increase in the issued capital shall be made in such manner that the Reserve Bank, the Central Government, public sector banks, public financial institutions or other institutions owned or controlled by the Central Government, hold in aggregate at any time, less than fifty-one per cent. of the issued capital of the National Housing Bank.]
5. Management.—
(1) The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs and business of the National Housing Bank shall vest in the Board of Directors, which shall exercise all powers and do all acts and things, which may be exercised or done by the National Housing Bank.
(2) Subject to the provisions of the Act, the Board, in discharging its functions, shall act on business principles with due regard to public interest.
(3) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1) and save as otherwise provided in the regulations made under this Act,— 1[(a) the Chairman, if he is a whole-time director or if he is holding offices both as the Chairman and the Managing Director, or
(b) the Managing Director, if the Chairman is not a whole-time director, or if the Chairman being a whole-time director, is absent,] shall also have powers of general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs and business of the National Housing Bank and may also exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by the National Housing Bank and shall act on business principles with due regard to public interest.
(4) The Managing Director shall, in the discharge of his powers and functions, follow such directions as the Chairman may give.
(5) In the discharge of its functions under this Act, the National Housing Bank shall be guided by such directions in matters of policy involving public interest as the Central Government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, or the Reserve Bank, may give in writing.
6. Board of Directors.—
(1) The Board of Directors of the National Housing Bank shall consist of the following, namely:—
(a) a Chairman and a Managing Director: Provided that the same person may be appointed as Chairman and as Managing Director;
(b) 1[two directors] from amongst the experts in the field of housing, architecture, engineering, sociology, finance, law, management and corporate planning or in any other field, special knowledge of which is considered useful to the National Housing Bank; 2[(c) two directors, who shall be persons with experience in the working of institutions involved in providing funds for housing or engaged in housing development or have experience in the working of financial institutions or scheduled banks;
(ca) two directors elected in such manner as may be prescribed by shareholders other than the Reserve Bank, the Central Government and other institutions owned or controlled by the Central Government;]
(d) two directors from out of the directors of the Reserve Bank;
(e) three directors from amongst the officials of the Central Government;
(f) two directors from amongst the officials of the State Government.
(2) The Chairman, the Managing Director and other directors 3[excluding the directors referred to in clauses (ca) and (d)], shall be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank and directors referred to in clause (d) shall be nominated by the Reserve Bank.
7. Power to fix rates of inland postage.—
(1) The 19 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 17 [Official Gazette], fix the rates of postage and other sums to be charged in respect of postal articles sent by the inland post under this Act, and may make rules as to the scale of weights, terms and conditions subject to which the rates so fixed shall be charged: Provided that the highest rate of postage, when prepaid, shall not exceed the rate set forth for each class of postal articles in the First Schedule.
(2) Unless and until such notification as aforesaid is issued, the rates set forth in the said Schedule shall be the rates chargeable under this Act.
(3) The 18 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 3[Official Gazette], declare what packets may be sent by the inland post as book, pattern and sample packets within the meaning of this Act.
8. Power to make rules as to payment of postage and fees in certain cases.—The 20 [Central Government] may, by rule,—
(a) require the prepayment of postage on inland postal articles or any class of inland postal articles, and prescribe the manner in which prepayment shall be made;
(b) prescribe the postage to be charged on inland postal articles when the postage is not prepaid or is insufficiently prepaid;
(c) provide for the redirection of postal articles and the transmission by post of articles so redirected, either free of charge or subject to such further charge as may be specified in the rules; and
(d) prescribe the fees to be charged for the “express delivery” of postal articles, in addition to, or instead of, any other postage chargeable thereon under this Act. Explanation.—“Express delivery” means delivery by a special messenger orconveyance.
9. Power to make rules as to registered newspapers.—
(1) The 21 [Central Government] may make rules providing for the registration of newspapers for transmission by inland post as registered newspapers.
(2) For the purpose of such registration, every publication, consisting wholly or in great part of political or other news, or of articles relating thereto or to other current topics, with or without advertisements, shall be deemed a newspaper, subject to the following conditions, namely:—
(a) that it is published in numbers at intervals of not more than thirty-one days; and
(b) that it has a bona fide list of subscribers.
(3) An extra or supplement to a newspaper, bearing the same date as the newspaper and transmitted therewith, shall be deemed to be part of the newspaper: Provided that no such extra or supplement shall be so deemed unless it consists wholly or in great part of matter like that of the newspaper and has the title and date of publication of the newspaper printed at the top of each page. Explanation.—Nothing in this section or in the rules thereunder shall be construed to render it compulsory to send newspapers by the inland post.
Power to declare rates of foreign postage.—
(1) Where arrangements are in force with the United Kingdom, or with any British possession or foreign country, for the transmission by post of postal articles between 22 [India] and the United Kingdom or such possession or country, the 23 [Central Government] may, in conformity with the provisions of such arrangements, declare what postage rates and other sums shall be charged in respect of such postal articles, and may make rules as to the scale of weight, terms and conditions subject to which the rates so declared shall be charged.
(2) Unless and until such declaration as aforesaid is made, the existing rates and regulations shall continue in force.
11. Liability for payment of postage.—
(1) The addressee of a postal article on which postage or any other sum chargeable under this Act is due, shall be bound to pay the postage or sum so chargeable on his accepting delivery of the postal article, unless he forthwith returns it unopened: Provided that, if any such postal article appears to the satisfaction of the Post Master General to have been maliciously sent for the purpose of annoying the addressee, he may remit the postage.
(2) If any postal article on which postage or any other sum chargeable under this Act is due, is refused or returned as aforesaid, or if the addressee is dead or cannot be found, then the sender shall be bound to pay the postage or sum due thereon under this Act.
12. Recovery of postage and other sums due in respect of postal articles.—If any person refuses to pay any postage or other sum due from him under this Act in respect of any postal article, the sum so due may, on application made by an officer of the Post Office authorized in this behalf by the written order of the Post Master General, be recovered for the use of the Post Office from the person so refusing, as if it were a fine imposed under this Act, by any Magistrate having jurisdiction where that person may for the time being be resident; and the Post Master General may further direct that any other postal article, not being on 24 [Government] service, addressed to that person shall be withheld from him until the sum so due is paid or recovered as aforesaid.
13. Customs duty paid by the post office to be recoverable as postage.—When a postal article, on which any duty of customs is payable, has been received by post from any place beyond the limits of 25 [India], and the duty has been paid by the postal authorities at any customs-port or elsewhere, the amount of the duty shall be recoverable as if it were postage due under this Act.
14. Post Office marks prima facie evidence of certain facts denoted.—In every proceeding for the recovery of any postage or other sum alleged to be due under this Act in respect of a postal article,—
(a) the production of the postal article, having thereon the official mark of the Post Office denoting that the article has been refused, or that the addressee is dead or cannot be found, shall be prima facie evidence of the fact so denoted, and
(b) the person from whom the postal article purports to have come, shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to be the sender thereof.
15. Official mark to be evidence of amount of postage.—The official mark on a postal article denoting that any postage or other sum is due in respect thereof to the Post Office of 26 [India] or to the Post Office of the United Kingdom or of any British possession or foreign country, shall be prima facie evidence that the sum denoted as aforesaid is so due.
16. Provision of postage stamps and power to make rules as to them.—
(1) The 27 [Central Government] shall cause postage stamps to be provided of such kinds and denoting such values as it may think necessary for the purposes of this Act,
(2) The 27 [Central Government] may make rules as to the supply, sale and use of postage stamps.
(3) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) fix the price at which postage stamps shall be sold;
(b) declare the classes of postal articles in respect of which postage stamps shall be used for the payment of postage or other sums chargeable under this Act;
(c) prescribe the conditions with regard to perforation, defacement and all other matters subject to which postage stamps may be accepted or refused in payment of postage or other sums;
(d) regulate the custody, supply and sale of postage stamps;
(e) declare the persons by whom and the terms and conditions subject to which postage stamps may be sold; and
(f) prescribe the duties and remuneration of persons selling postage stamps.
17. Postage stamps to be deemed to be stamps for the purpose of revenue.— 28 [
(1) ] Postage stamps provided under section 16 shall be deemed to be stamps issued by Government for the purpose of revenue within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and, subject to the other provisions of this Act, shall be used for the prepayment of postage or other sums chargeable under this Act in respect of postal articles, except where the 2[Central Government] directs that prepayment shall be made in some other way.
30 [(2) Where the 29 [Central Government] has directed that prepayment of postage or other sums chargeable under this Act in respect of postal articles may be made by prepaying the value denoted by the impressions of stamping machines issued under its authority, the impression of any such machine shall likewise be deemed to be a stamp issued by Government for the purpose of revenue, within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).]
18. Redelivery to sender of postal article in course of transmission by post.—
(1) The 31 [Central Government] may, by rule, provide for the redelivery to the sender, without reference to the consent of the addressee and subject to such conditions (if any), as may be deemed fit, of any postal article in course of transmission by post.
(2) Save as provided by any rules that may be made under sub-section (1), the sender shall not be entitled to recall a postal article in course of transmission by post.
19. Transmission by post of anything injurious prohibited.—
(1) Except as otherwise provided by rule and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed thereby, no person shall send by post any explosive, dangerous, filthy, noxious or deleterious substance, any sharp instrument not properly protected, or any living creature which is either noxious or likely to injure postal articles in course of transmission by post or any officer of the Post Office.
(2) No person shall send by post any article or thing which is likely to injure postal articles in course of transmission by post or any officer of the Post Office.
32 [19A. Transmission by post of tickets, proposals, etc., relating to unauthorised lotteries prohibited.—No person shall send by post,—
(a) any ticket, proposal or advertisement relating to a lottery; or
(b) any other matter descriptive of, or otherwise relating to, a lottery, which is calculated to act as an inducement to persons to participate in that lottery. Explanation.—In this section “lottery” does not include a lottery organised or authorised by the Government.]
20. Transmission by post of anything indecent, etc., prohibited.—No person shall send by post—
(a) any indecent or obscene printing, painting, photograph, lithograph, engraving, book or card, or any other indecent or obscene article, or
(b) any postal article having thereon, or on the cover thereof, any words, marks or designs of an indecent, obscene, seditious, scurrilous, threatening or grossly offensive character.
21. Power to make rules as to transmission by post of postal articles.— 33 [
(1) The 34 [Central Government] may make rules as to the transmission of articles by post.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) specify articles which may not be transmitted by post;
(b) prescribe conditions on which articles may be transmitted by post;
(c) provide for the detention and disposal of articles in course of transmission by post in contravention of rules made under clause (a) or clause (b);
(d) provide for the granting of receipts for, and the granting and obtaining of certificates of, posting and delivery of postal articles and the sums to be paid, in addition to any other postage, for such receipts and certificates; and
(e) regulate covers, forms, dimensions, maximum weights, and enclosures, and the use of postal articles, other than letters, for making communications.]
(3) Postal articles shall be posted and delivered at such times and in such manner as the Director General may, by order, from time to time, appoint.
22. Power to postpone despatch or delivery of certain postal articles.—
(1) Where the despatch or delivery from a post office of letters would be delayed by the despatch or delivery therefrom at the same time of book, pattern or sample packets and parcels, or any of them, such packets or parcels, or any of them, may, subject to such rules as the 35 [Central Government] may make in this behalf, be detained in the Post Office so long as may be necessary.
(2) Where separate parcel posts are established, parcels may be forwarded and conveyed by them, being detained, if necessary, in the Post Office for that purpose.
23. Power to deal with postal articles posted in contravention of Act.—
(1) Any postal article sent by post in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act may be detained and either returned to the sender or forwarded to destination, in each case charged with such additional postage (if any), as the 36 [Central Government] may, by rule, direct.
(2) Any officer in charge of a post office or authorized by the Post Master General in this behalf may open or unfasten any newspaper or any book, pattern or sample packet, in course of transmission by post, which he suspects to have been sent by post in contravention of 37 [section 20, clause (a), or of] section 21 or of any of the provisions of this Act relating to postage.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1)—
(a) any postal article sent by post in contravention of the provisions of section 19 38 [or section 19A] may, under the authority of the Post Master General, if necessary, be opened and destroyed; and
39 [(b) any postal article sent by post in contravention of the provisions of section 20 may be disposed of in such manner as the Central Government may, by rule, direct.]
24. Power to deal with postal articles containing goods contraband or liable to duty.— 40 [Except as otherwise provided in this Act, where a postal article suspected to contain any goods of which the import by post or the transmission by post is prohibited by or under any enactment for the time being in force,] or anything liable to duty, is received for delivery at a post office, the officer in charge of the post office shall send a notice in writing to the addressee inviting him to attend, either in person or by agent, within a specified time at the post office, and shall in the presence of the addressee or his agent, or if the addressee or his agent fails to attend as aforesaid then in his absence, open and examine the postal article: Provided, first that, if the Director-General so directs in the case of any post office or class of post offices, the officer in charge of the post office shall call in two respectable persons as witnesses before he opens a postal article in the absence of the addressee or his agent: Provided, secondly, that in all cases a postal article, after being opened under this section, shall be delivered to the addressee, unless it is required for the purpose of any further proceeding under this or any other law or enactment for the time being in force and that the opening of the postal article and the circumstances connected therewith shall be immediately reported to the Post Master General. 41 [***]
42 [24A. Power to deliver such articles to Customs authority.—The 43 [Central Government] may, by general or special order, empower any officer of the Post Office, specified in such order, to deliver postal article, received from beyond the limits of 44 [India] and suspected to contain anything liable to duty, to such customs authority as may be specified in the said order, and such customs authority shall deal with such article in accordance with the provisions of the Sea Customs Act, 1878 (8 of 1878), or of any other law for the time being in force.]
5. Power to intercept notified goods during transmission by post.—Where a notification has been published under section 19 of the Sea Customs Act, 1878 (8 of 1878), in respect of any goods of any specified description 45 [or where the import or export into or from 46 [India] of goods of any specified description has been prohibited or restricted by or under any other enactment for the time being in force], any officer of the Post Office empowered in this behalf by the 47 [Central Government] may search or cause search to be made, for any such goods in course of transmission by post, and shall deliver 48 [all postal articles reasonably believed or found to contain such goods] to such officer as the 47 [Central Government] may appoint in this behalf and such goods may be disposed of in such manner as the 47 [Central Government] may direct. 49 [in carrying out any such search, such officer of the Post Office may open or unfasten, or cause to be opened or unfastened, any newspaper or any book, pattern or sample packet in course of transmission by post.]
26. Power to intercept postal articles for public good.—
(1) On the occurrence of any public emergency, or in the interest of the public safety or tranquillity, the 50 [Central Government], or a 51 [State Government], or any officer specially authorized in this behalf 52 [by the Central or the 51 [State Government] may, by order in writing, direct that any postal article or class or description of postal articles in course of transmission by post shall be intercepted or detained, or 53 [shall be disposed of in such manner as the authority issuing the order may direct].
(2) If any doubt arises as to the existence of a public emergency, or as to whether any act done under sub-section (1) was in the interest of the public safety or tranquillity, a certificate 54 [of the Central Government or, as the case may be, of the 51 [State Government] shall be conclusive proof on the point.
55 [27A. Prohibition of transmission by post of certain newspapers.—No newspaper printed and published in 56 [India] without conforming to the rules laid down in the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (25 to 1867), shall be transmitted by post.]
57 [27B. Power to detain newspapers and other articles being transmitted by post.—
(1) Any officer of the Post Office authorized by the Post Master General in this behalf may detain any postal article in course of transmission by post which he suspects to contain—
(a) (i) any newspaper or book as defined in the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (25 of 1867); or
(ii) any document; containing any seditious matter, that is to say, any matter the publication of which is punishable under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860); or
(b) any newspaper as defined in the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (25 of 1867), edited, printed or published otherwise than in conformity with the rules laid down in this Act; and shall deliver any postal article so detained to such officer as the 57 [State Government] may appoint in this behalf.
(2) Any officer detaining any postal article under the provisions of sub-section (1) shall forthwith send by post to the addressee of such article, notice of the fact of such detention.
(3) The 58 [State Government] shall cause the contents of any postal article detained under sub-section (1) to be examined, and, if it appears to the 57 [State Government] that the article contained any newspaper, book or other document, of the nature described in clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1), may pass such orders as to the disposal of the article and its contents as it may deem proper, and, if it does not so appear, shall release the article and its contents, unless the same be otherwise liable to seizure under any law for the time being in force: Provided that any person interested in any article detained under the provisions of clause (a) of sub-section (1) may, within two months from the date of such detention, apply to the 58 [State Government] for release of the same, and the 57 [State Government] shall consider such application and pass such orders thereon as it may deem to be proper: Provided also that, if such application is rejected, the applicant may, within two months from the date of the order rejecting the application, apply to the High Court for release of the article and its contents on the ground that the article did not contain any newspaper, book or other document containing any seditious matter.
(4) In this section “document” includes also any painting, drawing or photograph, or other visible representation.]
59 [27C. Procedure for disposal by High Court of applications for release of newspapers and articles so detained.—Every application made under the second proviso to sub-section (3) of section 27B shall be heard and determined in the manner provided by sections 99D to 99F of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), by a Special Bench of the High Court constituted in the manner provided by section 99C of that Code.]
60 [27D. Jurisdiction barred.—No order passed or action taken under section 27B shall be called in question in any court otherwise than in accordance with the second proviso to sub-section (3) of that section.]
28. Registration of postal articles.—The sender of a postal article may, subject to the other provisions of this Act, have the article registered at the post office at which it is posted, and require a receipt therefor; and the 61 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 62 [Official Gazette], direct that, in addition to any postage chargeable under this Act, such further fee as may be fixed by the notification shall be paid on account of the registration of postal articles.
29. Power to make rules as to registration.—
(1) The 63 [Central Government] may make rules as to the registration of postal articles.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) declare in what cases registration shall be required;
(b) prescribe the manner in which the fees for registration shall be paid; and
(c) direct that twice the fee for registration shall be levied on the delivery of a postal article required to be registered on which the fee for registration has not been prepaid.
(3) Postal articles made over to the Post Office for the purpose of being registered, shall be delivered, when registered, at such times and in such manner as the Director General may, by order, from time to time appoint.
30. Insurance of postal articles.—The 64 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 65 [Official Gazette], direct—
a) that any postal article may, subject to the other provisions of this Act, be insured at the post office at which it is posted, against the risk of loss or damage in course of transmission by post, and that a receipt therefor shall be granted to the person posting it; and
(b) that, in addition to any postage and fees for registration chargeable under this Act, such further fee as may be fixed by the notification shall be paid on account of the insurance of postal articles.
31. Power to require insurance of postal articles.—The 66 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 67 [Official Gazette], declare in what cases insurance shall be required, and direct that any postal article containing anything required to be insured, which has been posted without being insured, shall be returned to the sender or shall be delivered to the addressee, subject to the payment of such special fee as may be fixed by the notification: Provided that the levy of such special fee as aforesaid shall not impose any liability upon 68 [the Central Government] 69 [***] in respect of the postal article.
32. Power to make rules as to insurance.—
(1) The 70 [Central Government] may make rules as to the insurance of postal articles.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) declare what classes of postal articles may be insured under section 30;
(b) fix the limit of the amount for which postal articles may be insured; and
(c) prescribe the manner in which the fees for insurance shall be paid.
(3) Postal articles made over to the Post Office for the purpose of being insured, shall be delivered, when insured, at such places and times and in such manner as the Director General may, by order, from time to time, appoint.
33. Liability in respect of postal articles insured.—Subject to such conditions and restrictions as the 71 [Central Government] may, by rule, prescribe 72 [the Central Government] shall be liable to pay compensation, not exceeding the amount for which a postal article has been insured, to the sender thereof for the loss of the postal article or its contents, or for any damage caused to it in course of transmission by post: Provided that the compensation so payable shall in no case exceed the value of the article lost or the amount of the damage caused.
34. Transmission by post of value-payable postal articles.—The 73 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 74 [Official Gazette], direct that, subject to the other provisions of this Act and to the payment of fees at such rates as may be fixed by the notification, a sum of money specified in writing at the time of posting by the sender of a postal article shall be recoverable on the delivery thereof from the addressee, and that the sum, so recovered, shall be paid to the sender: Provided that 75 [the Central Government shall not] incur any liability in respect of the sum specified for recovery, unless and until that sum has been received from the addressee. Explanation.—Postal articles sent in accordance with the provisions of this section may be described as “value-payable” postal articles.
35. Power to make rules as to value-payable postal articles.—
(1) The 76 [Central Government] may make rules as to the transmission by post of value-payable postal articles.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) declare what classes of postal articles may be sent as value-payable postal articles;
(b) direct that no postal article shall be so sent unless the sender declares that it is sent in execution of a bona fide order received by him;
(c) limit the value to be recovered on the delivery of any value-payable postal article; 77 [***]
(d) prescribe the form of declaration to be made by the senders of value-payable postal articles, and the time and manner of the payment of fees;
78 [(e) provide for the retention and repayment to the addressee in cases of fraud of money recovered on the delivery of any value-payable postal article; and
(f) prescribe the fees to be charged for inquiries into complaints regarding the delivery of or payment for value-payable postal articles.]
(3) Postal articles shall be made over to the Post Office for the purpose of being sent as “value-payable” and shall be delivered, when so sent, at such times and in such manner as the Director-General may, by order, from time to time, appoint.
78 [(4) No suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted against 79 [the Central Government] 80 [***] or any officer of the Post Office in respect of anything done, or in good faith purporting to be done under any rule made under clause (e) of sub-section (2).]
36. Power to give effect to arrangements with other countries.—
(1) Where arrangements 81 [made] with the United Kingdom, or with any British possession, [ 82 [ 83 * * *] or foreign country are in force], for the transmission by post of registered, insured or value-payable postal articles between 84 [India] and the United Kingdom or such possession 85 [ 86 [***] or country], the 87 [Central Government] may make rules to give effect to such arrangements.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may prescribe—
(a) the form of declaration to be made by the senders of such postal articles as aforesaid; and
(b) the fees to be charged in respect thereof.
37. Power to make rules as to disposal of undelivered postal articles.—
(1) The 88 [Central Government] may make as to the disposal of postal articles which for any reason cannot be delivered (hereinafter referred to as “undelivered postal articles”).
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) prescribe the period during which undelivered postal articles at a post office shall remain in that office; and
(b) provide for the publication of lists of undelivered postal articles, or of any class of undelivered postal articles.
(3) Every undelivered postal article, after being detained at a post office for the period prescribed by rule under the foregoing provisions of this section, shall be either forwarded, free of further charge, to the post office at which it was posted, for return to the sender, or sent to the office of the Post Master General.
38. Disposal of undelivered postal articles at office of Post Master General.—
1) Every postal article received at the office of the Post Master General under sub-section (3) of section 37 shall be dealt with as follows:—
(a) if practicable, it shall be redirected and forwarded by post to the addressee; or
(b) if it cannot be redirected and forwarded as aforesaid, it shall be opened by some officer, appointed by the Post Master General in this behalf and bound to secrecy, in order to ascertain the name and address of the sender.
(2) If the name and address of the sender are so ascertained, it shall be returned by post to the sender, free of further charge or subject to such further charge as the Central Government may, by rule, direct.
39. Final disposal of undelivered postal articles.—Undelivered postal articles which cannot be disposed of under the foregoing provisions, shall be detained in the office of the Post Master General for such further period (if any), and shall be dealt with in such manner, as the 89 [Central Government] may, by rule, direct: Provided that—
(a) letters and postcards shall be destroyed;
(b) money or saleable property, not being of a perishable nature, found in any undelivered postal article, shall be detained for a period of one year in the office of the Post Master General, and, if on the expiration of that period no person has established his right thereto, shall, if money, be credited to the Post Office, and, if saleable property, be sold, the sale-proceeds being credited to the Post Office.
40. Duty of master of ship, departing from any port in india and not being a mail ship, to convey mail bags.—The master of ship, not being a mail ship, about to depart from any port in 90 [India] to any port within, or any port or place beyond, 90 [India], shall receive on board any mail bag tendered to him by any officer of the Post Office for conveyance, granting a receipt therefore in such form as the 91 [Central Government] may, by rule, prescribe and shall, without delay, deliver the same at the port or place of destination.
42. Allowances of gratuities for conveyance of postal articles by ships other than mail ships.—The 94 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 95 [Official Gazette], declare what gratuities shall be allowed to masters of ships, not being mail ships, in respect of postal articles received by them for conveyance on behalf of the Post Office; and the master of a ship, not being a mail ship, about to leave any port in 96 [India] as aforesaid shall, if he receives on board a mail bag for conveyance, be entitled to demand and obtain immediately the amount of the gratuity payable under this section in respect of the mail bag and its contents.
. Power to maintain money order system and to make rules as to remittances thereby.—
(1) 97 [The central government] may provide for the remitting of small sums of money through the post office by means of money-orders and may make rules as to such money orders.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may prescribe—
(a) the limit of amount for which money orders may be issued;
(b) the period during which money orders shall remain current; and
(c) the rates of commission or the fees to be charged on money-orders or in respect thereof.
44. Power for remitter to recall money order or alter name of payee.—
(1) Subject to such conditions as the 98 [Central Government] may, by rules made under section 43, prescribe in respect of the levy of additional rates of commission or fees or any other matters, a person remitting money through the Post Office by means of a money order may require that the amount of the order, if not paid to the payee, be repaid to him, or be paid to such person other than the original payee as he may direct.
(2) If neither the payee nor the remitter of a money order can be found, and if within the period of one year from the date of issue of the order no claim is made by such payee or remitter, the amount of such order shall not be claimable from the Government.
45. Power to provide for the issue of postal orders.— 99 [
(1) ] The 100 [Central Government] may authorize the issue, in such form as may be suitable, of money orders, to be called postal orders or by such other designation as may be deemed appropriate, for certain fixed amounts, and may make rules as to the rates of commission to be charged thereon and the manner in which, and conditions subject to which, they may be issued, paid and cancelled: 101 [***]
102 [(2) The 100 [Central Government] may also make rules prescribing the maximum limit of amount up to which postal orders may be issued from time to time].
46. Power to give effect to arrangements with other countries.—
(1) Where arrangements 103 [made] with the United Kingdom, or with any British possession 104 [ 105 [***] or foreign country are in force], for the issue and payment through the Post Office of money orders between 106 [India] and the United Kingdom or such possession, 107 [ 108 [***] or country], the 109 [Central Government] may make rules to give effect to such arrangements.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may prescribe—
(a) the manner in which, and the conditions subject to which, such orders may be issued and paid in 106 [India]; and
(b) the rates of commission to be charged thereon.
47. Recovery of money order paid to the wrong person.—If any person, without reasonable excuse, the burden of proving which shall lie on him, neglects or refuses to refund—
(a) any amount paid to him in respect of a money order by an officer of the Post Office in excess of what ought to have been paid to him in respect thereof, or
(b) the amount of a money order paid by an officer of the Post Office to him instead of to some other person to whom it ought to have been paid, such amount shall be recoverable by an officer of the Post Office authorized by the Post Master General in this behalf from the person so neglecting or refusing as if it were an arrear of land revenue due from him. 110
48. Exemption from liability in respect of money orders.—No suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted against 111 [the Government] or any officer of the Post Office in respect of—
(a) anything done under any rules made by the 112 [Central Government] under this Chapter; or
(b) the wrong payment of a money order caused by incorrect or incomplete information given by the remitter as to the name and address of the payee, provided that, as regards incomplete information, there was reasonable justification for accepting the information as a sufficient description for the purpose of identifying the payee; or
(c) the payment of any money order being refused or delayed by, or on account of, any accidental neglect, omission or mistake, by, or on the part of, an officer of the Post Office, or for any other cause whatsoever, other than the fraud or wilful act or default of such officer; or
(d) any wrong payment of a money order after the expiration of one year from the date of the issue of the order; 113 [or]
(e) any wrong payment or delay in payment of a money order beyond the limits of 114 [India] by an officer of any Post Office, not being one established by the 112 [Central Government].]
49. Penalty for misconduct of person employed to carry or deliver mail bags or postal articles.—Whoever, being employed to carry or deliver any mail bag or any postal article in course of transmission by post,—
(a) is in a state of intoxication while so employed, or
(b) is guilty of carelessness or other misconduct, whereby the safety of any such mail bag or postal article as aforesaid is endangered, or
(c) loiters or makes delay in the conveyance or delivery of any such mail bag or postal article as aforesaid, or
(d) does not use due care and diligence safely to convey or deliver any such mail bag or postal article as aforesaid, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.
. Penalty for voluntary withdrawal from duty, without permission or notice, of person employed to carry or deliver mail bags or postal articles.—Whoever, being employed to carry or deliver any mail bag or any postal article in course of transmission by post, voluntarily withdraws from the duties of his office without permission or without having given one month’s previous notice in writing, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to fifty rupees, or with both.
51. Penalty for making false entry in register kept by person employed to carry or deliver any postal articles.—Whoever, being employed to carry or deliver any postal article in course of transmission by post and required while so employed to keep any register, makes, or causes or suffers to be made, any false entry in the register with intent to induce the belief that he has visited a place, or delivered a postal article, which he has not visited or delivered, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with both.
52. Penalty for theft, dishonest misappropriation, secretion, destruction, or throwing away of postal articles.—Whoever, being an officer of the Post Office, commits theft in respect of, or dishonestly misappropriates, or, for any purpose whatsoever, secretes, destroys or throws away, any postal article in course of transmission by post or anything contained therein, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be punishable with fine.
53. Penalty for opening, detaining or delaying postal articles.—Whoever, being an officer of the Post Office, contrary to his duty, opens, or causes or suffers to be opened, any postal article in course of transmission by post, or wilfully detains or delays, or causes or suffers to be detained or delayed, any such postal article, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or with both: Provided that nothing in this section shall extend to the opening, detaining or delaying of any postal article under the authority of this Act or in obedience to the order in writing of the 115 [Central Government] or the direction of a competent Court.
54. Penalty for fraud in connection with official marks and for receipt of excess postage.—Whoever, being an officer of the Post Office,—
a) fraudulently puts any wrong official mark on a postal article, or
(b) fraudulently alters, removes or causes to disappear an official mark which is on a postal article, or
(c) being entrusted with the delivery of any postal article, knowingly demands or receives any sum of money in respect of the postage thereof which is not chargeable under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be punishable with fine.
55. Penalty for frauduently preparing, altering, secreting or destroying post Office documents.—Whoever, being an officer of the post office entrusted with the preparing or keeping of any document, fraudulently prepares the document incorrectly, or alters or secrets or destroys the document, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be punishable with fine.
56. Penalty for fraudulently sending unpaid postal articles.—Whoever, being an officer of the post Office, sends by post, or puts into any mail bag, any postal article upon which postage has not been paid or charged in the manner prescribed by this Act, intending thereby to defraud the Government of the postage on such postal article, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be punishable with fine.
57. Punishment of offences committed in a tribal area, acceding state or other indian state.—[Rep. by the Finance Act, 1950 (25 of 1950), sec. 11 and Sch. IV.]
59. Penalty for contravention of section 5.—
(1) Whoever, in contravention of the provisions of section 5, carries, receives, tenders or delivers letters, or collects letters, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees for every such letter.
(2) Whoever, having already been convicted of an offence under this section, is again convicted thereunder, shall, on every such subsequent conviction, be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
60. Penalty for breach of rules under section 16.—Whoever, being appointed to sell postage stamps,—
(a) takes from any purchaser for any postage stamp or quantity or postage stamps a price higher than that fixed by any rule made under section 16, sub-section (3), clause (a) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; or
(b) commits a breach of any other rule made under section 16, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.
61. Penalty for contravention of section 19, 19A or 20.—
1) Whoever, in contravention of the provisions of section 19 117 [or section 19A] or section 20, sends or tenders or makes over in order to be sent by post any postal article or anything, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
(2) The detention in the post office of any postal article on the ground of its having been sent in contravention of the provisions of section 19 117 [or section 19A] or section 20, shall not exempt the sender from any proceedings which might have been taken if the postal article had been delivered in due course of post.
62. Penalty for defiling or injuring post office letter-boxes.—Whoever places in or against any letter-box provided by the post office for the reception of postal articles any fire, match or light, any explosive, dangerous, filthy, noxious or deleterious substance, or any fluid, or commits a nuisance in or against any such letter box, or does anything likely to injure any such letter box or its appurtenance or contents, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
64. Penalty for making false declaration.—Whoever, being required by this Act to make a declaration in respect of any postal article to be sent by post or the content or value thereof, makes in his declaration any statement which he knows, or has reason to believe, to be false, or does not believe to be true, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, and, if the false declaration is made for the purpose of defrauding the Government, with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
65. Penalty for master of ship failing to comply with the provisions of section 40 or 41.—Whoever, being the master of a ship,—
(a) fails to comply with the provisions of section 40, or
(b) without reasonable excuse, the burden of proving which shall lie on him, fails to deliver any postal article or mail bag or to comply with the directions of the officer-in-charge of the post office at a port of arrival, as required by section 41, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.
66. Penalty for detention of letters on board vessel arriving in port. —
(1) Whoever, being either the master of ship arriving at any port in 118 [India] or any one on board, knowingly has in his baggage or in his possession or custody, after the postal articles on board or any of them have been sent to the post office at the port of arrival, any postal article within the exclusive privilege conferred on the 119 [Central Government] by section 4, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees for every such postal article as aforesaid.
(2) Whoever, being such master or other person as aforesaid, detains any such postal articles as aforesaid after demand made for it by an officer of the post office, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for every such postal article.
67. Penalty for detaining mails or opening mail bag.—
Whoever, except under the authority of this Act 120 [or of any other Act for the time being in force] or in obedience to the order in writing of the 121 [Central Government] or the direction of a competent court, detains the mail or any postal article in course of transmission by post, or on any pretence opens a mail bag in course of transmission by post, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees: Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the detention of an officer of the post office carrying the mails or any postal article in course of transmission by post, on a charge of having committed an offence declared to be cognizable by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), or any other law for the time being in force.
67. Penalty for detaining mails or opening mail bag.—Whoever, except under the authority of this Act 122 [or of any other Act for the time being in force] or in obedience to the order in writing of the 123 [Central Government] or the direction of a competent court, detains the mail or any postal article in course of transmission by post, or on any pretence opens a mail bag in course of transmission by post, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees: Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the detention of an officer of the post office carrying the mails or any postal article in course of transmission by post, on a charge of having committed an offence declared to be cognizable by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), or any other law for the time being in force.
69. Penalty for unlawfully diverting letters.—Whoever, not being an officer of the Post Office, wilfully and maliciously, with intent to injure any person, either opens or causes to be opened any letter which ought to have been delivered, or does any act whereby the due delivery of a letter to any person is prevented or impeded, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both: Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to a person who does any act to which the section applies, if he is a parent, or in the position of a parent or guardian, of the addressee, and the addressee is a minor or a ward.
70. Penalty for abetting or attempting to commit, offences under Act.—Whoever, abets the commission of any offence punishable under this Act or attempts to commit any offence so punishable, shall be punishable with the punishment provided for that offence.
71. Property in cases of offences to be laid in the Post Office.—In every prosecution for an offence in respect of a mail bag or of any postal article sent by post, it shall be sufficient, for the purpose of the charge, to describe the mail bag or postal article as being the property of the Post Office, and it shall not be necessary to prove that the mail bag or postal article was of any value.
72. Authority for prosecutions under certain sections of Act.—No court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under any of the provisions of sections 51,53,54, clauses
(a) and (b), 55,56,58,59,61,64,65,66 and 67 of this Act, unless upon complaint made by order of, or under authority from, the Director General or a Post Master General.
73. Zamindari and other district posts.—
(1) The 124 [Central Government] may make rules for the management of any zamindari or other district posts.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may declare what portions of this Act shall be applicable to zamindari and other district posts and to the persons employed in connection therewith.
74. General power to make rules and provisions as to rules under Act.—
1) In addition to the powers hereinbefore conferred, the 125 [Central Government] may make rules to carry out any of the purposes and objects of this Act.
(2) In making any rule under this Act, the 125 [Central Government] may direct that a breach of it shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.
(3) All rules made by the 125 [Central Government] under this Act shall be published in the 126 [Official Gazette] and, on such publication, shall have effect as if enacted by this Act.
127 [(4) Every rule made by the Central government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions afore-said, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.]
75. Delegation of powers, other than rule-making powers to Director General.—The 128 [Central Government] may, by notification in the 129 [Official Gazette] authorize, either absolutely or subject to conditions, the Director General to exercise any of the powers conferred upon the 1[Central Government] by this Act, other than a power to make rules.
76. Repeal.—[Rep. by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1914 (10 of 1914), sec. 3 and Sch. II.]
77. Saving.—[Rep. by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1952 (48 of 1952), sec. 2 and Sch. I.]
THE INDIAN POST OFFICE ACT, 1898 1[THE FIRST SCHEDULE (See section 7) INLAND POSTAGE RATES Letters For a weight not exceeding twenty grams Rs. 5.00 For every twenty grams, or fraction thereof, exceeding twenty grams Rs. 5.00 Letter-cards For a letter-card Rs. 2.50 Post cards Post cards (not being post cards containing printed communication, competition post cards or Meghdoot post cards) Single 50 paise Reply Re. 1.00 Meghdoot post cards Post cards containing printed advertisement on the address side (not being post cards containing printed communication or competition post cards) For a Meghdot post card 25 paise Printed post cards Post cards containing printed communication (not being competition post cards or Meghdoot post cards) For a post card Rs. 6.00 Explanation.—A post card shall be deemed to contain a printed communication, if any matter (except the name and address of, and other particulars relating to, the sender and the place and date of despatch) is recorded by printing or by cyclostyling or by any other mechanical process, not being typewriting, on any part of the post card except the right hand half of the address-side thereof. Competition post card For a post card Rs. 10.00 Explanation.—A post card shall be deemed to be a competition post card if it is used in response to any competition organised on or through television, radio, newspaper, magazine or any other media. Book, pattern and sample packets For the first fifty grams or fraction thereof Rs. 4.00 For every additional fifty grams, or fraction thereof, in excess of fifty grams Rs. 3.00 Registered newspapers For a weight not exceeding fifty grams 25 paise For a weight exceeding fifty grams but not exceeding one hundred grams 50 paise For every additional one hundred grams, or fraction thereof, exceeding one hundred grams 20 paise In the case of more than one copy of the same issue of a registered newspaper being carried in the same packet— For a weight not exceeding one hundred grams 50 paise For every additional one hundred grams, or fraction thereof, exceeding one hundred grams 20 paise: Provided that such packet shall not be delivered at any addressee’s residence but shall be given to a recognised agent at the post office. Parcels For a weight not exceeding five hundred grams Rs. 19.00 For every five hundred grams, or fraction thereof, exceeding five hundred grams Rs. 16.00.] ------------------------------- 1. Subs. by Act 20 of 2002, sec. 156 (w.e.f. 1-6-2002). ------------------------------- THE INDIAN POST OFFICE ACT, 1898 THE SECOND SCHEDULE Enactments repealed [Rep. by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1914 (10 of 1914), sec. 3 and Sch. II.]

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