1. I have heard the counsel in this case. I do not think any ground has been made out for interference with the judgment of the court below. The facts are simple enough. The plaintiff Badhey Lal sent a parcel containing a number of brass rings from Muttra to Badrinath.
2. This parcel was sent V.-P.P. and apparently never reached the consignee at Badrinath. The evidence is to the effect that the label had become torn and the result of all this was that in due course the parcel reached the Dead Letter Office at Lucknow.
3. There the parcel was opened but no clue having been obtained as to where the parcel had come from nothing more could be done. The officer in charge of the Dead Letter Office says that the seal of the office of posting had left an indistinct impression so that it was impossible to say from what post office the article had been posted. After being kept in the Dead Letter Office for a period of about a year the parcel was sold and brought a sum of Rs. 15 odd.
4. The plaintiff in this suit claimed the value of the goods contained in this parcel, the amount stated being Rs. 86-8-0, for which the court below has given a decree.
5. The Secretary of State sought to avoid liability on the basis of Sections 6 and 34 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898. I think the court below was right in holding that Section 6 did not apply in this case inasmuch as there was no loss, misdelivery or delay of, or damage to, any postal article in the course of transmission by post. The article sent was never lost in the course of transmission. All that happened was that by reason of the label having been torn it was not possible to deliver it to the addressee. As for Section 34 that too does not seem to me to have any application. The suit here is not one for recovery of money which the Secretary of State had recovered or was bound to recover from the addressee of the V.-P. parcel. On the contrary, the suit was brought to recover the value of the property which was sent by post.
6. It seems to me on the whole that this is not a case in which the Secretary of State can disclaim, liability and I think the order of the court below should be upheld. I dismiss this application with costs to the opposite party.