Uttar Pradesh



S.K. TRIPHATHI - Complainant(s)



06 Aug 2015


Complaint Case No. CC/554/2009
For the Complainant:
For the Opp. Party:


CASE No.554 of 2009

       Sri K.K. Tripathi,

      R/o Vandijya Anubahg,

      Mandal Office, East Railway,

      Hazratganj, Lucknow.



                1.  Post Master General (PMG),

                    Mahatma Gandhi Road,

                    Hazratganj, Lucknow.


               2. Manager,

                   Speed Post,

                   GPO, Lucknow.


               3.  Post Master,

                    Lalbagh Post Office,


                                                                                .......Opp. Parties


Sri Vijai Varma, President.

Smt. Anju Awasthy, Member.



This complaint has been filed by the Complainant against the OPs for payment of cost of 6 tickets of Rs.3,534.00, cost of speed post of Rs.25.00 with interest, compensation of Rs.5,000.00 and cost of suit and advocate fees of Rs.5,000.00.

          The case in brief of the Complainant is that his relative Sri Akshewar Nath Tripathi was to attend the marriage ceremony with his family and he requested the Complainant to get the berth reserved for him through DRM quota as the Complainant is working in the DRM office. The Complainant got 6 tickets reserved in sleeper class for 14.04.2008 on 09.04.2008 by Mahanagri Express from Mumbai to Varanasi. On 09.04.2008 at about 2.28 pm Complainant sent speed post



for Sri Akshewar Nath Tripathi at District Thana Maharashtra from Lalbagh Post Office and on the envelope the phone number and mobile number were written so that there may not be delay in contacting him. The OP No.3 charged Rs.25.00 for the purpose but Complainant was astonished to find that the envelope was received back by him unserved without any remark whereupon the Complainant immediately lodged a complaint with the Manager, Speed Post, GPO, Lucknow mentioning the fact that he had kept 6 railway tickets for Mumbai to Varanasi costing Rs.3,534.00 of Tatkal services the amount of which is non refundable. The Complainant asked the OP No.2 to send the speed post containing tickets immediately to his relatives but nothing was done. The Complainant was much harassed for which he is entitled to Rs.5,000.00 as compensation. The OPs have committed deficiency in not getting the speed post served on the addressee and returning it back to the Complainant and also did not pay the amount even after the complaint was made. Therefore, the Complainant is also entitled to Rs.3,534.00 from the OPs and also Rs.2,000.00 as cost of the suit.

          The OPs have filed the WS wherein it is submitted that it appears from annexure No.2 that incomplete address of addressee was mentioned and being so the said speed post article could not be transmitted properly. The name of the post office concerned and pin code was also not written on the envelope. The district mentioned on the envelope was also not correct as the name of district so given in Hindi was ‘Thana’ whereas the correct spelling of the district is ‘Thane’. The Complainant had not lodged any complaint in prescribed format regarding non delivery of speed post article within the prescribed time limit. It is submitted that the answering OPs were not aware of the contents of the said envelope and if it is supposed that the complaint dated 11.04.2008 was received by the answering OPs the same could not be acted upon as the Complainant by way of annexure No.3 had claimed the


loss/damages of the worth of Tatkal Tickets. The OP No.2 was never informed about the contents of speed post article at the time of booking and if it is supposed that the said article was returned to the Complainant undelivered to addressee, even then the said article could be sent to the addressee on the same day through the means available. So far as alleged loss is concerned, the Complainant has to prove that no journey was done and tickets were not utilized. If the address was correctly mentioned on envelope the double of speed post charges would have been refunded as per rules. The Complainant vide its alleged complaint dated 11.04.2008 had made a claim of Rs.3,534.00 and Rs.5,000.00 towards railway ticket cost and compensation which was not admissible as per the rules and as such the answering OPs could not proceed with the matter. The Complainant is not entitled for reliefs sought by him. The Complainant has himself committed mistake in not mentioning the correct address on the speed post article including the name of district, secondly the said article could have been sent immediately to the addressee but the Complainant did not want to do so and was adamant to get the compensation and cost of railway tickets. As per section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898, the Government shall not incur any liability by reason of the loss, misdelivery or delay of, of damage to, any postal article in course of transmission by post, except in so far as such liability may in expenses 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 wilful act or default. The Complainant has failed to make out and prove the fraudulent or wilful act or default on the part of any officer of the post office and thus exemption from any liability on the Government or its employee is provided by the provision of section 6 of the Act. Even otherwise no compensation, more



than statutorily provided, could be given to the Complainant as the post office is a branch of public service functioning under a statute and the liability for misdelivery or late delivery of an article can be fastened on the postal department or its officers only on the basis of express provisions of the Post Office Act. In establishing the post offices and running the postal service, the Central Government performs the Governmental function and does not engage in commercial transaction with the sender of the article through post and the charges for the article transmitted by post or in the nature of charges imposed by the State for enjoying of the facilities provided by the postal department and not in consideration of any commercial contract. The post office cannot be equated with the common carrier. There is no case of wilful act or default or fraudulent act on the part of postal employees and thus the Complainant under reply is not maintainable. Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that “the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being enforce.” In view of the said provision, the Consumer Protection Act does not have overriding effect over the Indian Post Office Act. The complaint therefore is liable to be dismissed.

          The Complainant has filed his affidavit and 3 annexures with the complaint. The OPs have filed the affidavit of Sri Niyaz Ahmad, Chief Post Master General, GPO, Lucknow

          Heard Counsel for the parties and perused the entire record.

          Now, it is to be seen as to whether the OPs have committed any deficiency in service in not sending the speed post to the addressee and if so whether the Complainant is entitled to any compensation and if so to what amount he is entitled to.

          In this case, it is not disputed that the Complainant had sent a speed post through OP No.3 for which he had paid Rs.25.00 as fee. The disputed point according to the


Complainant is that he had sent 6 tickets for undertaking journey from Mumbai to Varanasi keeping them in the envelope of the speed post on 09.04.2008 for the journey to be undertaken on 14.04.2008 but the speed post was returned back to him on 11.04.2008 and therefore the cost of the tickets Rs.3,534.00 went in vain as the journey could not have been undertaken from Mumbai to Varanasi on 14.04.2008 and therefore the OPs have committed deficiency in service. On the contrary, the stand of the OPs is that first of all the address of the addressee was incomplete and secondly the OPs were aware of the contents of the said envelope and therefore they could not held liable for loss occurring, if any. Thirdly, the OPs could be held responsible for payment of double the amount of speed post charges only as per rules.

          With regard to the non delivery of the speed post article in question the OPs have taken the stand that address was not correctly written. It transpires from the photocopy of the address written on the speed post envelope that the name of the district is written as ‘Thana’ of Maharashtra whereas according to the OPs there is no district such as ‘Thana’ and there is only a district known as ‘Thane’, therefore the address was wrongly written, therefore the article could not be delivered to the addressee. There is substance in the argument advanced by the learned Counsel for the OPs that the name of the district has not been correctly written and therefore the article could not be delivered because the address was incomplete or wrong. Secondly, it is found that the Complainant had kept tickets in the envelope in question but it was not insured besides it is not to the knowledge of the OPs that the speed post in question did contain valuable articles. Under the circumstances, it cannot be said that the OPs could be held responsible for not delivering the article well in time thereby making the ticket useless. It was the duty of the Complainant to have paid insurance amount as applicable under the rules for the valuable kept in the envelope. In absence of such an insurance taken by the


Complainant the OPs cannot be held responsible for the valuables in the form of tickets in the case of speed post not being delivered to the addressee. Therefore, the OPs do not appear to be responsible for the loss, if any, of the value of the tickets because of the envelope not being delivered to the addressee. Besides in the circumstance of the case it transpires that the Complainant had received the undelivered speed post article on 11.04.2014 and then he could have immediately requested the OPs to get the article served before 14.04.2014 but instead of doing that the Complainant appears to have been made a complaint on 11.04.2008 for paying the Complainant the cost of the tickets Rs.3,534.00 and compensation of Rs.5,000.00. It is the stand of the OPs if the Complainant would have requested for the redelivery of the articles then the OPs might have delivered the articles before the journey date if the address etc. was complete in all respects but the same was not done by the Complainant, therefore the OPs are not at all responsible for the non delivery of the article and consequences thereof. In the entire circumstances of the case there does not appear to be any deficiency in service on the part of the OPs as the speed post article, returned back to the Complainant, was not correctly addressed besides it could well have been redelivered had there been a proper request for the same instead of asking for refund of the tickets and compensation by the Complainant. Therefore, the OPs do not appear to have committed any deficiency in service, therefore the complaint deserves to be dismissed.


          The complaint is dismissed.             

          The parties to bear their own costs.


     (Anju Awasthy)                                    (Vijai Varma)

          Member                                                   President

Dated:   06  August, 2015

[HON'BLE MR. Vijai Varma]
[HON'BLE MRS. Anju Awasthy]

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