The postal department takes 15 days to deliver a speed post resulting in a woman missing out on her chance of being appointed as a JBT teacher. However, the department stands protected against claims of deficiency in services by virtue of a statute which says a post office is not liable to compensate if damage caused was not wilful or fraudulent.
The post office derives this protection from section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 which says no official of the post office shall incur any liability by reason of any loss, mis-delivery, delay or damage, unless he has caused the same fraudulently or by his wilful act or default.
In the instant case, a woman from Gurgaon, was denied any relief by the Gurgaon District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum when she claimed a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh from three post offices after her applications for JBT teacher’s appointment failed to reach the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board’s office in time.
The woman had sent two applications for appointment of JBT teacher by way of speed post registry on December 31, 2009 through post office, Pataudi, Gurgaon with last date for submission as January 15, 2010.
The Speed Post registry failed to reach it in time to DSSS Board at Karkardooma here even as a speed post should have reached within 48 hours.
She moved the District Forum against Post Office, Pataudi, District Gurgaon, the main post office in Gurgaon and the post office at Karkardooma and also the DSSS Board seeking compensation.
In their reply, the post offices at Gurgaon told the Forum that the complainant’s post was dispatched to Speed Post Centre, Delhi on December 31, 2009 for being delivered to its destination. However, the centre in New Delhi inadvertently dispatched both the articles to Krishna Nagar head office due to heavy work in connection with mailing AIEEE admission forms. Her posts were received at Krishna Nagar office on January 15, 2010 and were anyway taken to DSSS Board but they refused to accept the same.
The post offices on their part said it was the fault of the Board that it refused to accept the applications and went on to claim protection under section 6 of the Indian Post Office Act. The Board in turn said it could not accept any application after the advertised date and time.
Accepting the arguments, the District Forum held the post office not liable. Consequently, no case of deficiency of service is made out, it said.