Does the postal service come within the meaning of Consumer Protection Act?

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Two weeks before, my friend sent me a speed post consisting of some relevant documents. But the documents were lost due to the negligence of employees of the postal department. I want to file a consumer complaint against the postal department. Is it possible?

Postal services are availed by the public through government post offices and private courier companies.  Both public and private postal organizations are transferring the important documents and other articles from place to another, which also involves delivering such documents or articles to the concerned recipient.   The public postal services are governed by the Central Government. In M/s Airpak Couriers (India) Pvt. Ltd. Vs. S. Suresh it was held that there was deficiency of service on the part of the Appellant courier company and stated that beneficiary of the service is a Consumer and is entitled to file the complaint and receive compensation.  As the postal service is being done for consideration, it comes under scope of Section 2(1) (o) which defines “service” under Consumer Protection Act. Deficiency of service with respect to postal department includes delay in transit, nondelivery of courier/post, delay in letters/speed posts, wrong delivery of posts etc. Therefore, postal services come under the purview of consumer protection Act.  We need to prove the allegation against the postal officer that he caused loss due to delay in delivery or wrong delivery or any such allegation by willful act. In Senior Post Master, GPO Pune vs Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchyat (1995) 2 CTL 625. National Commission held that complainant is not entitled to compensation if he failed to prove the allegation made against post officer.  In M/s Airpak Couriers (India) Pvt. Ltd. Vs. S. Suresh, it was also held that “if the documents consigned were of great value the consignee ought to have insured them.  Also in Bharathi Knitting Co. v. DHL World wide Express Courier Division of Airfreight Ltd., The Supreme Court held that limited liability applicable based on the contract between parties and limit of damages depends on the terms of the contract.   It was clear that when the value of the consignment not declared and not insured and then limited liability is applicable as per consignment note.  If services are provided for consideration, then such service comes under purview of  the Act.

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Adv. Anitha Gutti