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What is Bailment ? – Important of Bailment – Judiciary Exams – Free PDF Download

  • There are many cases of bailment in our day to day life. For example, in the case of laundry, we give our clothes for getting washed. Once they are washed, they are to be returned back to us. We place the other person in temporary possession of our clothes for a specific purpose and there is an express or implied understanding between the two to return the good once the purpose has been fulfilled.
  • General rules relating to Bailment are mentioned in Chapter IX (Section 148-181) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
  • Bailment has been defined under the Section 148 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, according to which Bailment involves the delivery of goods from one person to another for a specific purpose and upon a contract, when the purpose is fulfilled the good has to be returned or dealt with on the direction of the person who has delivered the goods.
  • Contract
  • Delivery of Goods
  • Change in possession
  • Movable item
  • Return
  • There are generally two parties to the contract of Bailment. The person who is the owner and delivers the good is called ‘bailor’ while the person to whom the goods are delivered is called ‘bailee’.
  • Section 149 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. The delivery of possession can either be actual or constructive. It means that either the good can directly be put in the actual physical possession of the bailee or put the bailee in a position of power over such goods that can be physically possessed later, if possible. In constructive delivery, the bailor gives the bailee means of accessing the custody of the good and not its actual delivery.
  • For example, C has a rare coin locked safe deposit box. As the delivery of a safe deposit box is impossible, when C, bailor, gives the key of the deposit box for the bailment of the coin to A, bailee, it would be considered as constructive delivery.
  • 150. Bailor’s duty to disclose faults in goods bailed.—The bailor is bound to disclose to the bailee faults in the goods bailed, of which the bailor is aware, and which materially interfere with the use of them, or expose the bailee to extraordinary risks; and if he does not make such disclosure, he is responsible for damage arising to the bailee directly from such faults. If such goods are bailed for hire, the bailor is responsible for such damage, whether he was or was not aware of the existence of such faults in the goods bailed.

  • According to Section 155, if mixed with the consent of the bailor, both of them will have a proportionate interest in the mixture produced.
  • As per Section 156, if mixed without the consent of the bailor, and if it can be mixed/divided, the bailor has to bear all the expenses for the same and damages caused due to the mixture.
  • According to Section 157, if mixed without the consent of the bailor, and if the mixture is beyond separation, the bailee is required to compensate the bailor for the loss of the goods.

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