Telegraph Act, 1885








Short title, local extent and commencement


Repeal and saving








Exclusive Privilege in respect of Telegraphs, and Power to Grant Licenses.


Power for Government to take possession of licensed telegraphs and to order interruption of Messages.


Power to establish telegraph on land of Railway Company.


Power to make rules for the Conduct of Telegraphs.


Recovery of duties in respect to telegraph, etc


Revocation of licences.


Government not responsible for loss of damage






Power for telegraph authority to place and maintain telegraph lines and posts.


Power to enter on property in order to repair or remove telegraph lines or posts.


Power for local authority to give permission under Section 10, clause (c), subject to conditions.


Power for Local Authority to require removal or alternation of telegraph line or post.


Power to alter position of gas or water pipes or drains.


Dispute between Telegraph Authority and local authority.


Exercise of powers conferred by Section 10, and disputes as to compensation, in case of property other than that of a local authority.


Removal or alternation of telegraph line or post on property other than that of a local authority.


Removal of trees interrupting telegraphic communication.


Telegraph lines and posts, placed before the passing of this Act.


Person exercising legal rights likely to damage telegraph or interfere, with telegraphic communication to give notice.


Power to confer upon licensee powers to telegraph authority under this Part.






Establishing, maintaining or working unauthorised telegraph.


Breach of conditions of license.


Using unauthorized telegraphs.


Opposing establishment of telegraphs on railway land.


Intrusion into signal-room, trespass in Telegraph Officer or obstruction.


Unlawfully attempting to learn contents of messages.


Intentionally damaging or tampering with telegraph.


Injury to or interference with a telegraph line or post.


Theft on Telegraph Line.


Penalty for tampering, etc., of telegraph line.


Penalty for causing annoyance, etc.


Application of Chapter XX, Act V of 1898.


Burden of proof in certain cases.


Telegraph Officer or other official making away with or altering or unlawfully intercepting or disclosing messages, or divulging purport of signals.


Telegraph Officer fraudulently sending messages without payment.




Sending fabricated or absence message.




Retaining a message delivered by mistake.




Attempts to commit offences.






Power to employ additional police in places where mischief to telegraphs is repeatedly committed.


Application of Act to acceding States.


Telegraph Act, 1885
No. XIII of 1885

22nd July, 1885

An Act to amend the law relating to Telegraphs in Pakistan.

<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>


Whereas it is expedient to amend the law relating to telegraphs in Pakistan. It is hereby enacted as follows:-


1. Short title, local extent and commencement.

(1) This Act may be called the Telegraph Act, 1885.

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan, and it applies also to all citizens of Pakistan and persons in the service of Government wherever they may be.

(3) It shall come into force on the first day of October, 1885.

2. Repeal and Saving. Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1938 (I of 1938), S. 2 and Sch.
3. Definitions. In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or contex,
(1) ‘telegraph’ means any apparatus, equipment or plant used for transmitting, emitting, making or receiving signs, signals, writing, speech, sound or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio or visual or electromagnetic system.

(2) ‘telegraph officer’ means any person employed . either permanently or temporarily in connection with a telegraph established, maintained or worked by the Federal Government or by a person licensed under this Act;

(3) ‘message’ means any communication, whether in written, printed, pictorial or spoken form, transmitted, emitted, made, received or delivered by telegraph or given to a telegraph officer to be transmitted, or emitted and includes alt contents thereof;

(4) ‘telegraph line’ means a wire or cable used for the purpose of telegraph, including any casing, coating, tube, tunnel, duct or pipe enclosing the same, and includes any apparatus connected therewith,

(5) ‘post’ means a post, pole standard, stay, strut or other  contrivance for carrying, suspending or supporting a telegraph line and includes masts and towers required for telegraph.

(6) ‘telegraph authority’ means the Director-General, Pakistan Telegraph and Telephone Department, and includes any officer empowered by him to perform all or any of the functions of the telegraph authority under this Act;

(7) ‘local authority’ means any municipal committee, district board, Body of Port Commissioners or other authority legally entitled to, or entrusted by the Federal or any Provincial Government with, the control or management of any municipal or local fund;

(8) ‘works means a manhole, cabinet, housing for cable repeater or radio repeater or any other structure above or under the ground, required for a post or telephone line.

<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

4. Exclusive Privilege in respect of Telegraphs, and Power to Grant Licenses (1)  Federal Government shall have the exclusive privilege of establishing, maintaining, and working telegraph:

Provided that Federal Government may grant a licence, on such conditions and in consideration of such payments as it thinks fit, to any person to establish. maintain or work a telegraph within any part of Pakistan;
Provided further that the Federal Government may by rules made under this Act and published in the official Gazette permit subject to such restrictions and conditions as it thinks fit, the establishment. maintenance and working-

(a.) of wireless telegraphs on ships within Pakistan territorial waters and on aircraft within or above Pakistan, Pakistan,  territorial waters, and

(b) of telegraphs other than wireless telegraphs within any part of Pakistan,

(2) The Federal Government may, by Notification in the official Gazette, delegate to the telegraph authority all or any of its powers under the first proviso to sub-section (.1).

The exercise by the telegraph authority of any power so delegated shall be subject to such restrictions and conditions as the Federal Government may. by the notification think fit to impose.

5. Power for Government to take possession of licensed telegraphs and to order interception of Messages. (1) On the occurrence of any public emergency, or, in .the interest of the public safety, the Federal Government or a Provincial Government or any officer specially authorised in this behalf by the Federal Government or a Provincial Government, may-

(a) take temporary possession of any telegraph established, maintained or worked by any person licensed under this Act: or

(b) order that any message or class of messages to or from any person or class of persons or relating to any particular subject brought for transmission by or transmitted or received by, any telegraph, shall not be transmitted, or shall be intercepted or detained, or shall be disclosed to the Government making the order or any officer thereof mentioned in the order.

(2) If any doubt arises as to the existence of a public emergency, or whether any act done under subsection (1) was in the interest of the public safety, a certificate of the Federal Government or, as the case may be, the Provincial Government shall be conclusive proof on the point.

6. Power to establish telegraph on land of Railway Company. The Railway Administration on being required so to do by the Federal Government shall permit the Government to establish and maintain a telegraph upon any part of the land under the management or control of the Administration, and shall give every reasonable facility for working the same.

7. Power To make rules for The Conduct of Telegraphs. (1) The Federal Government may, from time to time, by notification in the official Gazette make rules consistent with. this Act for the conduct of all or any telegraphs established, maintained or worked by the Government or by persons licences under this Act.

(2) Rules under this section may provide for all or any of the following, among other matters, that is to say-

(a) the rates at which, and the other conditions and restrictions subject to which, messages shall be transmitted;

(b) the precautions to be taken for preventing the improper interception or disclosure of messages;

(c) the period for which, and the conditions ‘subject to which, telegrams and other documents belonging to, by being in the custody of telegraph officers shall be preserved: and

(d) the fees to be charged for searching for telegrams or other documents in the custody of any telegraph officer.

(3) When making rules for the conduct of any telegraph established, maintained or worked by any person licensed under this Act, the Federal Government may, by the rules, prescribe fines for any breach of the same:

Provided that the fines so prescribed shall not exceed the following limits, namely: –

(i) when the person licensed under this Act is punishable for the breach, one thousand rupees, and in the case of a continuing breach a further fine of two hundred rupees for every day after the first during the whole or any part of which the breach continues:

(ii) when a servant of the person so licensed, or any other person, is punishable for the in-each, one-fourth of the amounts specified in clause (i),

7-A. Recovery of dues in respect of telegraph, etc. If any person does not pay any sum due from him under this Act in respect of any telegraph or message, the sum so due may, on application made by the telegraph authority in this behalf, be recovered from such person, as if it were a fine imposed under this Act by any Magistrate having jurisdiction where that person may for the time being the resident; and the Telegraph Authority may further direct that any message, not being on . Pakistan State Service, addressed to that person, shall be withheld from him until the sum so due is paid or recovered as aforesaid.

8. Revocation of licences. The Federal Government may. at any time. revoke any license granted under Section 4. on the breach of any of the conditions therein contained, or in default Of payment of any consideration payable thereunder.

9. Government not responsible for loss of damage. The Government shall not be responsible for any loss or damage which may occur in consequence of any telegraph officer failing in his duty with respect to the receipt, transmission or delivery of any message; and no such officer shall be responsible for any such loss or damage unless he causes the same negligently. maliciously or fraudulently.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email