you lend a book to your friend a book and take it back once he has finished reading it or ask your neighbor to take care of your car by giving him your car keys until you return from a trip. all these situations are very common in our life. did u know that you are entering into a contract in these situations? the contract of bailment is a special type of contract and i have tried to briefly explain the same in this article.

The sec. 148 of the Indian contract Act,1872 defines bailment” 148. ‘Bailment’, ‘bailor’ and ‘bailee’ defined.—A ‘bailment’ is the delivery of goods by one person to another for some purpose, upon a contract that they shall, when the purpose is accomplished, be returned or otherwise disposed of according to the directions of the person delivering them. The person delivering the goods is called the ‘bailor’. The person to whom they are delivered is called the ‘bailee’.” This section defines bailment as the delivery of goods by one person to another for a purpose and once the purpose is fulfilled, the goods will be returned to the owner or disposed as per the instructions of the owner.

The person delivering the goods is called bailor and the person to whom the goods are delivered is called bailee.

The sec.149 explains the meaning of delivery as” 149. Delivery to bailee how made. —The delivery to the bailee may be made by doing anything which has the effect of putting the goods in the possession of the intended bailee or of any person authorised to hold them on his behalf.” This delivery means by doing anything to transfer the possession of the goods to the person as intended which is the bailee or any other person who is authorised to possess them on behalf of the bailee.

The types of delivery are: –

  1. Actual or constructive delivery
  2. Delivery upon contract
  3. Conditional delivery

Duty of Bailor

  1. Duty of gracious bailor

Sec.150 states” 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. “ 

  • Duty of bailor for reward

The bailor has the duty to see that his goods which he delivers are reasonably safe for the purpose of bailment.

Duties of Bailee

  1. Duty of reasonable care

Sec.151 says that the bailee must take good care of the goods bailed to him.

Sec.152 says that if the bailee has taken reasonable care[1] , then he will not be held liable for the theft, loss, etc.. of the goods bailed to him

  • Duty not to make unauthorised use

The Sec.154 says that the bailee makes un unauthorised use of the goods bailed to him, he will be liable for the paying the compensation to the bailor accordingly.

 The sec.153 says that the bailor can terminate the contract if the bailee does not act according to the contract, made by them.

  • Duty not to mix

The sec.155 says that that if the bailee mixes his goods with that of the bailors with the interest of the bailee, they would receive their proportion at from the mixture.

The sec.156 says that if the bailee mixes the goods of the bailor with his goods and they can be seperatable, then the expense of separation an mixture is bared by the bailee.

The sec.157 says that if the bailee mixes that goods of his and the bailor and his goods in such a manner that they cannot be separated, the loss beard by the bailor must be compensated by the bailee.

  • Duty to return

The sec.160 says that it is the duty of the bailee to return the goods bailed to him on the completion of purpose or expiration of time.   

The sec. 159 says the goods that are lent graciously are to be returned to the owner.

  • Duty not to set up jus tertii

The sec. 166 says if the bailor has not title to the goods, and the bailee delivers the goods to the bailor in good faith, the bailee will not be responsible to the owner in respective of such delivery.

The sec.167 says a third person may apply to the court to stop the goods from being delivered to the bailor and confirm the title of the goods.

  • Duty to return increases

The sec. 163 says in the absence of a contract the bailee is bound to deliver to the bailor any increase or profit which he may have gained from the goods bailed.


The sec.168 says that the finder of the goods may claim from the owner if any reward was offered by his and if not the finder must act as a bailee and return the goods to its owner.

The sec. 169 says the finder may sell the goods found when the good is perishable or loosing its value or when the lawful charges of the finder in respect of the thing found amount to the two third of its value.

Rights of the bailee 

  1. Right to compensation

The sec.164 says the bailor is entitled to any loss that the bailee may sustain with the reason that bailor was not entitled to make the bailment.

  •  Right to necessary expenses or remuneration

The sec. 158 says that the bailee shall repay to the bailee the necessary expenses incurred by him for the purpose of the bailment.

  • Right of lien

This sec. 170 says the bailee is entitled only you particular lian which means that right to retain only that goods in respective of which the charge is due.

The sec.171 says the general lian means that right to hold the goods bailed as a security for general balance of account. 

  • Right to sue

The scec.180 says that if any third person deprives the bailee from usage or possession of the goods, a suit can be brought for the deprivation against the third person.

The sec. 181 says about the appropriation of relief or compensation obtained by such suits as in sec. 180.

[1] AS PER SEC.151

Published by Tanmayi Kss

I am a first year law student.

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