29 September 2020

When addressee refuses to accept registered post, it is presumed due service and knowledge of contents of letter can always be imputed on the addressee

Coming to the issue regarding the alleged non-service of notice under Section 106 of the Act on the appellant, a bare look at the Exhibit-6, which is an undelivered Registered A/D envelop sent to the appellant reveals that the same was sent by the counsel for the plaintiff to the appellant. The appellant in his statement admitted that the address indicated on the envelop was correct. The envelop clearly bears the endorsement made by the postman regarding refusal to receive the article. It is well settled that a notice sent under Section 106 of the Act, if refused by the tenant, the same is a sufficient service of the notice.


    Hon'ble Supreme Court in Puwada Venketeswara Rao v. Chidamana Venkata Ramana : AIR 1976 SC 869, observed that where a notice by registered post is returned with endorsement 'refused' it is not always necessary to produce the postman who tried to affect the service.

When addressee refuses to accept registered post, it is presumed due service and knowledge of contents of letter can always be imputed on the addressee

    In Gujarat Electricity Board & Anr. v. Atmaram Sungomal Poshani : 1989 (2) SCC 602, the Supreme Court observed as under:

"8. There is presumption of service of a letter sent under registered cover, if the same is returned back with a postal endorsement that the addressee refused to accept the same. No doubt the presumption is rebuttable and it is open to the party concerned to place evidence before the Court to rebut the presumption by showing that the address mentioned on the cover was incorrect or that the postal authorities never tendered the registered letter to him or that there was no occasion for him to refuse the same. The burden to rebut the presumption lies on the Party, challenging the factum of service. In the instant case the respondent failed to discharge this burden as he failed to place material before the Court to show that the endorsement made by the postal authorities was wrong and incorrect. Mere denial made by the respondent in the circumstances of the case was not sufficient to rebut the presumption relating to service of the registered cover. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the letter dated 24-4-1974 was served on the respondent and he refused to accept the same. Consequently, the service was complete and the view taken by the High Court is incorrect."

    Again, in Anil Kumar v. Nanak Chandra Verma : AIR 1990 SC 1215, it was held that a bare statement of a tenant on oath denying receipt of the notice or that he has not refused to accept its delivery, is not sufficient to rebut the presumption of service which arises under Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, 1897.

    Similarly, in Basant Singh & Anr. v. Roman Catholic Mission : AIR 2002 SC 3557, it was held that a bald statement that registered letter was not tendered to him without any material evidence in support would not be sufficient to rebut the presumption of law regarding service of letter.

   In the case of Har Charan Singh (supra), it was held that when a registered envelope is tendered by postman to the addressee and he refuses to accept it, presumption of due service arises and in such cases knowledge of the contents of the letter can always be imputed to the addressee.

   In view of the above factual status and legal position, it cannot be said that there has been non-compliance of provisions of Section 106 of the Act.[Page No.13]


Rajasthan High Court

Bajrang Lal Swami
Vs.
Kanta Devi

Decided on 28/09/2020


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