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Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai

Bailee Rights and Duties

Submitted to: Mr. Anant Raut Submitted by: Shivraj Madav

(Course Instructer) Roll no.:2017050

Submission date: 25.02.2019




Bailment is a concept of common law. Under Common law, bailment is the process of placing
personal property or goods in the temporary custody or control of another. For a valid bailment,
it is necessary that Bailee must have actual physical control of the property with the intent to
possess it. The Bailee is generally not entitled to the use of the property during his possession. A
bailor can demand for return of the property at any time.

SECTION 149 explains the mode of delivery to the Bailee and states that the delivery of goods
maybe either actual or constructive. When the bailor hands over to the Bailee physical possession
of the goods that is called actual delivery. Constructive delivery on the other hand, does not involve
handing over the physical possession, but something is done which has the effect of putting the
goods in the possession of the Bailee.


The goods are delivered for some purpose. When goods are delivered by mistake without any
purpose, there is no bailment.

To constitute a bailment there must be delivery of possession of goods for a specific purpose.

Scope and Limitation

According to the topic given in hand the research became limited to the rights and duties of bailee
but in this research paper the researcher wants to increase the scope of the project by also focusing
on liabilities of the bailee.

Literature review

In this research the researcher will rely on books, articles, legislation, news, etc. bare act, and the
will also focus on liabilities of Bailee

Since a finder of goods is at par with a Bailee, it is essential to analyse the liability of a bailor so as
to in case of a finder of goods. The terms of the section clearly defines the extent of care to be
taken by a Bailee. The Bailee must take reasonable care of goods entrusted in bailment to him as
a man of ordinary prudence would take of his own goods of similar bulk, quality and value. So an
obligation has been set out on the Bailee under this section. The section is not concerned with any
degree of care and negligence. It declares a uniform standard of care without even recognising any

distinction between gratuitous and non-gratuitous bailments. Therefore, it is difficult to fix an

inflexible standard for the measure of the Bailee’s care as it depends on the facts and circumstances
of each case. It varies with the situation and the nature of goods too. So the section prescribes an
irreducible minimum care required from bailers in general. A finder of goods steps into the shoes
of Bailee. Section 151 postulates a rule general to all kinds of bailment whether gratuitous or for
hire. The duty of Bailee for hire is not greater than the duty of a gratuitous Bailee. Both are to take
the same care of goods entrusted to them as a reasonably prudent and careful man may fairly be
expected to take of his own property of the same bulk, quality and value.4 A ‘sanctioning right’5
has been allowed to the bailor to claim damages from the Bailee for wrongful detention of the
goods bailed or for their loss; destruction or deterioration, if the Bailee will not take reasonable are
of the goods. Therefore ‘the obligation .of the Bailee starts as soon as the Bailee accepts delivery
or receives property.


1 Bailment
2 Rights of Baileee
a)Duty to take reasonable care of goods delivered to him
b) Duty not to make unauthorized use of goods entrusted to him
c) Duty not to mix goods bailed with his own goods
d) Duty to return the goods
e) Duty to deliver any accretion to the goods
3 Duties of Bailee
a) Enforcement of bailor’s duties
b) Right to deliver goods to one of several joint bailor
c) Right to deliver goods, in good faith, to bailor without title
d) Right to lien
4 Liabilities of Bailee
5 Relevant Cases
6 Conclusion