Business Law

Duties Of Bailee Under Provisions Of Indian Contract Act

Duties Of Bailee – Hello friends, In this article you can easily understand the duties of bailee. For reading the rights of bailee, there is a link in the article. Please click on that for reading rights of bailee.

Duties Of Bailee

(1) Taking proper care of the goods bailed – Under the provisions of Section 151, in all cases of bailment, gratuitous or non-gratuitous, it is the duty of the bailee to take as much care of the goods bailed to him as a man of ordinary prudence would, under similar circumstances, take of his own goods of similar quality, bulk and value. Under Section 152, if the bailee has taken reasonable care of goods, and there is a loss, destruction or deterioration of goods in spite of it, the bailee cannot be held responsible for such loss, destruction or deterioration. Normally, the bailee is not responsible for such loss or damage which is the result of circumstance beyond the control of the bailee-e.g., a los or damage caused by fire, flood, storm or lightning, or an enemy attack.

(2) Not doing any act inconsistent with the terms of bailment – According to Section 153, if the bailee does any act with respect to the goods in bailment which is inconsistent with the terms of the contract, the bailor, if he so desires, can terminate the contract of bailment and recover the goods under bailment. For example, if A gives a horse to B for riding, and B uses it to drive a carriage, the contract for bailment can be terminated at the desire of A.

(3) Not making unauthorised use – According to Section 154, if the bailee uses the goods under bailment in manner which is not authorised under the contract, then he is liable to pay damages to the bailor for the deterioration of the goods by such usage. For example, A lends his horse to B for his personal riding, and B lets another person use the horse for riding, resulting in an accident that injures the horse. In this case, A would be entitled to claim damages from B for the unauthorised use of his horse by the latter.

(4) Returning the goods bailed – According to Sections 160 and 161, after the expiration of the stipulated time period or the fulfilment of the objective of bailment, the bailee should return the goods to the bailor without the bailor having to demand their return. If the bailee fails to do that, he is responsible for any damage or loss suffered by the bailor after that period. If there are co-owners of the goods under bailment, the bailee can inform one of the co-owners and return the goods without informing the other co-owners

(5) Returning any accretion or profit – According to Section 163, the bailee is liable to return any accretion in the goods under bailment or a profit that accrues therefrom because of any other contract to the bailor. For example, A gives a cow in bailment to B for a specific period. If the cow gives birth to a calf during this period, B is liable to return both the cow and the calf to A.

(6) Not setting up an adverse title – According to Indian Evidence Act, Section 147, it is the duty of the bailee not to do any act that has an adverse effect on the title of the bailor or on the goods under bailment. The bailee cannot sell or pledge the goods that are kept with him under the contract of bailment.

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