What are the rights of bailee ?

The rights of a bailee are:

(i) The bailor is bound to make good to the bailee the loss which the latter may sustain by reason of the fact that the bailor had no right to make the bailment or receive back the goods or give directions respecting them (sec. 164).

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(ii) If several joint owners of the goods bail them, the bailee is entitled to deliver them back to or according to the direction of any one of them, in absence of a contract to the contrary(sec. 165).

(iii) A bailee is not responsible to the true owner if he, in good faith, delivers the goods back to or according to the directions of the bailor, if it turns out that he has no title (sec. 166). This is because in law, a bailee is stopped for disputing the title of the bailor (see Evidence Act, sec. 177). Thus where N entrusted certain bails of cotton to L, a warehouse man (muccadam), and L thereafter made a pledge of these bales with B for his own purposes, it was held, in a suit by N against L and B, that a bonafide return of the goods bailed by B to L, on redemption was a complete defense to N’s suit. If a person other than the bailor claims the goods bailed, he should apply to the Court to stop delivery of the goods and decide the title thereto (sec. 167). The bailor himself can, in such a case, file and interpleader suit.

(iv) The bailor also has (a) particular lien as well as, (b) in some cases a general lien of the goods bailed (secs. 170-71).

(v) If a third person wrongfully causes injury to the goods bailed or deprived the bailee of the possession of them, the bailee is entitled to file suit against wrong-doer , just as much as the bailor himself is (sec. 180) . Anything recovered such suit shall be divided between the bailor and bailee according to their respective interests (sec. 181).


Rights of a finder (secs. 168-69): A finder of goods being by law (see ses71) in the same position as a bailee, his rights is defined by the above secs. These right are:

(i) he has no right to sue the owner for the trouble and expenses voluntarily incurred by him for preserving the goods and for finding out true owner but (ii) he has a right to retain them, i.e. he has a lien on the goods and for such disbursement, which he may exercise against the true owner for the reward if he has found the goods after knowledge of the offer (sec.168). (iv) where a thing which is commonly the subject of sale is lost, its finder may sell it, if the owner cannot been found, or if when found he, refuses to pay the finder his lawful charges, (a) when the thing is in danger of perishing or losing a greater part of its value or (b) where lawful charges of the finder, exceed two thirds of its value (sec.169).

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