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The Post Office Act, 1898

(VI OF 1898)

[22nd March, 1898]

(For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Gazette of India, [1871], Pt: V., p. 385; for Report of the Select Committee, see ibid., 1898, Pt. V., p. 211; for Proceedings‑in‑Council, see ibid., 1897, Pt. VI, p. 249; ibid., 1898, Pt. VI, pp. 23, 99 and 285 to 289.)

An Act to consolidate and amend the Law relating to the Post Office

Preamble: Whereas it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to the Post Office; It is hereby enacted as follows:‑–

CHAPTER I

1. Short title, extent, application and commencement: (1) This Act may be called the Post Office Act, 1898.

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan and applies 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 July, 1898.

CHAPTER I

2.         Definitions : In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,‑‑

(a)        the expression “Director‑General” means the Director‑General, Pakistan Post Office:

(b)        the expression “inland,” used in relation to a postal article, means‑­–

(i)         posted in Pakistan and addressed to any place in Pakistan or to any place for which a post office is established by the Federal Government beyond the limits of Pakistan; or

(ii)        posted at any post office established by the Federal Government beyond the limits of Pakistan and addressed to any place for which any such post office is established or to any place in Pakistan Provided that the expression “inland” shall not apply to any class of postal articles which may be specified in this behalf by the Federal Government by notification in the official Gazette, when posted in or at or addressed to any places or post offices which may be described in such notification

(c)        the expression “mail bag” includes a bag, box, parcel or any other envelope or covering in which postal articles in course of transmission by post are conveyed, whether it does or does not contain any such article

(d)        the expression “mail ship” means a ship employed for carrying mails, pursuant to contract or continuing arrangement, by the Federal Government or the Government of any foreign country;

Clause (d) subs. by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981, S. 3 and Second Sch.

(e)        the expression “officer of the Post Office” includes any person’ employed in any business of the Pose Office or on behalf of the Post Office; the expression “postage” means the duty chargeable for the transmission by post of postal articles;

(g)        the expression “postage stamp” means any stamp provided by the Federal Government for denoting postage or other fees or sums payable in respect of postal articles under this Act, and includes adhesive postage stamps and stamps printed embossed, impressed or otherwise indicated on any envelope, wrapper, postcard or other article;

(h)        the expression “post office” includes every house, building, room, carriage or place used for the purposes of the Post Office, and every letter‑box provided icy the Post Office for the reception of postal articles;

(i)         the expression “postal article” includes a letter, postcard, newspaper, printed paper or small packet, parcel and every article or thing transmissible by post;

(j)         the expression “Post Master‑General” includes a Deputy Post Master-­General or other officer exercising the powers of a Post Master-General ; and

(k)        the expression “Post Office” means the department established for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this Act into effect and presided over by the Director‑General.

3.         Meanings of “in course of transmission key post” and “delivery” For the purposes of this act,‑‑-

(a)        a postal article shall be deemed to be in course of transmission icy post from the time of its being delivered to a post office to the time of its being delivered to the addressee or of its being returned to the sender or otherwise disposed of under Chapter VII ;

(b)        the delivery of a postal article of any description to a postman or other person authorised to receive postal articles of that description for the post shall be deemed to be a delivery to a post office ; and

(c)        the delivery of a postal article at the house or office of the addressee, or to the addressee or his servant or agent or other person considered to be authorised to receive the article according to the usual manner of delivering postal articles to the addressee, shall be deemed to be delivery to the addressee.

CHAPTER II

PRIVILEGE AND PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT

4. Exclusive privilege of conveying letters reserved to the Government : (1) Wherever within Pakistan posts or postal communications are established by the Federal Government, the Federal Government shall have the exclusive privilege of conveying by post, from one place to another, all letters, except in the following cases, and shall also have the exclusive privilege of performing all the incidental services of receiving, collecting, sending, despatching and delivering all letters, except in the following cases, that is to say :‑‑

(a)        letters sent by a private friend in his way, journey or travel, to be delivered by him to the person to whom they are directed, without hire, reward or other profit or advantage for receiving, carrying or delivering them; .

(b)        letters solely concerning the affairs of the sender or receiver thereof, sent by a messenger on purpose; and

(c)        letters solely concerning goods or property, sent by sea or by land or by air to be delivered with the goods or property which the letters, concern, without hire, reward or other profit or advantage for receiving, carrying or delivering them Provided that nothing in the section shah authorise any person to make a collection of letters excepted as aforesaid for the purpose of sending them otherwise than by post.

(2) For the purposes of this section and Section 5, the expression “letters” includes postcards.

5. Certain persons expressly forbidden to convey letters Wherever within Pakistan posts or postal communications are established by the Federal Government, the following persons are expressly forbidden to collect, carry, tender or deliver letter, or to receive letters for the purpose of carrying or delivering them, although they obtain no hire, reward or other profit or advantage for so doing, that is to say :‑

(a)        common carriers of passengers or goods, and their servants or agents, except as regards letters solely concerning goods in their carts or carriages;

(b)        owners and masters of vessels sailing or passing on any river or canal in Pakistan, or between any ports or places in Pakistan, and their servants or agents, except as regards letters solely concerning goods on board, and except as regards postal articles received for conveyance under Chapter VIII; and

(c)        owners, pilots and other members of the crew of aircraft flying from or to any airports in Pakistan.

6.         Exemption from liability for loss, misdelivery, delay or damage: The Federal Government shall not incur any liability by reason of the loss, misdelivery or delay of, or damage to, any postal article in course c transmission by post, except in so far as such liability may in express terms be undertaken by the Federal 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 willful act or default.

CHAPTER III

POSTAGE

7. Power to fix rates of inland postage: (1) The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, fix the rates of postage and other sums to be charged in respect of postal articles sent by the inland post under this Act, and may make rules as to the scale of weights, terms and conditions subject to which the rates so fixed shall be changed.

Proviso (2): omitted by Finance Act, VII of 1992, S. 2.

(3) The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare what packets may be sent by the inland post as printed papers and small packets within the meaning of this Act.

8.         Power to make rules as to payment of postage and fees in certain cases : The Federal Government may, by rule,‑‑

(a)        require the prepayment of postage on inland postal articles or any class of inland postal articles, and prescribe the manner in which prepayment shall be made;

(b)        prescribe the postage to be charged on inland postal articles when the postage is not prepaid or is insufficiently prepaid;

(c)        provide for the redirection of postal articles and the transmission by post of articles to redirected, either free of charge subject to such further charge as may be specified in the rules; and

(d)        prescribe the fees to be charged for the “express delivery” of postal articles, in addition to, or instead of, any other postage chargeable thereon under this Act.

Explanation.‑‑”Express delivery’ means delivery by a special messenger or conveyance.

9. Power to make rules as to registered newspaper : (1) The Federal Government may make rules providing for the registration of newspapers for transmission by inland post as registered newspapers.

(2) For the purpose of such registration, every publication, consisting wholly or in great part of political or other news, or of articles relating thereto, or to other current topics, with or without advertisements shall be deemed a newspaper, subject to the following conditions, namely:‑‑

(a)        that it is published in numbers at intervals of not more than thirty‑one days; and

(b)        that it has a ,bona fide list of subscribers.

(3) An extra or supplement to a newspaper, bearing the came date as the newspaper and transmitted therewith, shall be deemed to be part of the newspaper:

Provided that no such extra or supplement shall be so deemed unless it consists wholly or in great part of matter like that of the newspaper and has the title and date of publication of the newspaper printed at the top of each page.

Explanation.‑‑Nothing in this section or in the rules thereunder shall be construed to render it compulsory to send newspapers by the inland post.

10. Power to declare rates of foreign postage : (1) Where arrangements are in force with [any foreign country for the transmission by post of postal articles between Pakistan and such] country, the Federal Government may, in conformity with the provisions of such arrangements, declare what postage rates and other sums shall be charged in respect of such postal articles, and may make rules as to the scale of weight, terms and conditions subject to which the rates so declared shall be charged.

Subs. by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, XXVII of 1981

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