Duties of Bailor under the Indian Contract Act 1872

Duties of bailor are provided in the Indian Contract Act 1872. Bailor has some duties towards the bailee in a bailment. Section 148 of Indian Contract Act 1872 defines ‘bailment’ as 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 ‘balior’ and the person to whom they are delivered is called the ‘bailee’. Duties of bailor are as follows:-

1. To disclose known faults

It is the first and foremost duty of the bailor to disclose the known faults about the goods bailed to the bailee. If he does not make such disclosure, he is responsible for any damage caused to the bailee directly from such faults (Sec. 150, para 1).

Example. A lends a horse, which he knows to be vicious, to B. He does not disclose that the horse is vicious. The horse runs away and B is thrown and injured. A is responsible to B for damage sustained.

In case the goods are bailed for hire, the duty of the bailor is still greater. He is responsible even for those faults which are not known to him (Sec. 150, para 2).

(a) A hires a carriage of B. The carriage is unsafe, though B is not aware of it, and is
injured. B is responsible to A for the injury.

(b) A hires a motor launch from B for holiday on the river Thames. The launch caught fire and A was unable to extinguish it as the fire-fighting equipment was out of order. As such he was injured and suffered loss. Held, B was liable [Read v. Dean, (1949)1 K.B. 188].

In a gratuitous bailment, however, the bailor is responsible only for those faults which are known to him and which are not disclosed [Coughlin v. Gillison, (1899) 1 Q.B. 145].

In Hyman v. Nye & Sons(1881) 6 Q.B.D. 65 the plaintiff hired a carriage and horses from the defendant for a particular journey. The carriage being defective, it was upset and the plaintiff was injured thereby. The defendant was held liable for the injury to the plaintiff.

Continuity of Service with back wages can be directed in cases where the retrenchment was not bonafide

2. To bear extraordinary expenses of bailment

The bailee is bound to bear ordinary and reasonable expenses of the bailment but for any extraordinary expenses the bailor is responsible.


A lends his horse to B, a friend, for two days. The feeding charges are to be paid by B. But if the horse meets with an accident, A will have to repay B medical expense, incurred by B.

Where in case of a gratuitous bailment, the goods are to be kept or to be carried, or some work is to be done upon the goods by the bailee for the bailor, the bailor must repay to the bailee all the necessary expenses incurred by him for the purpose of the bailment (Sec. 158).


A leaves his car with B, a friend, for safe custody for two months, B has to pay 100 per month to the night watchman for keeping a watch over the car. It is the duty of A to pay B the necessary expenses incurred by B.

3. To indemnify bailee for loss in case of premature termination of gratuitous bailment

A gratuitous bailment can be terminated by the bailor at any time even though the bailment was fora specified time or purpose. But in such a case, the loss accruing to the bailee from such premature termination should not exceed the benefit he has derived out of the bailment. If the loss exceeds the benefit, the bailor shall have to indemnify the bailee (Sec. 159).


A lends an old discarded bicycle to B gratuitously for three months. B incurs 120 on its repairs. If A asks for the return of the bicycle after one month, he will have to compensate B for expenses incurred by B in excess of the benefit derived by him.

4. To receive back the goods

It is the duty of the bailor to receive back the goods when the bailee returns them after the expiry of the term of the bailment or when the purpose for which bailment was created has been accomplished. If the bailor refuses to receive back the goods, the bailee is entitled to receive compensation from the bailor for the necessary expenses of custody.

5. To indemnify the bailee

Where the title of the bailor to the goods is defective and the bailee suffers as a consequence, the bailor is responsible to the bailee for any loss which the bailee may sustain by reason that the bailor was not entitled to make bailment, or to receive back the goods,or to give directions respecting them (Sec. 164).

Also Read What is Bailment? What are essentials of Bailment?

Also Read Distinguish between Pledge and Bailment

Also Read What is contract of indemnity?

Also Read Contract of Indemnity and Insurance

Also Read When can an indemnifier be made liable ?

Also Read What is Contract of Guarantee?

Also Read Nature and Extent of Liability of Surety

Also Read Continuing Guarantee

Also Read Discharge of surety from liability

Also Read Rights of Surety

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