Concept of Bailment: An overview

Concept of Bailment: An overview

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Concept of Bailment

We witness bailment in our every day lives whether we are not familiar with the term or not. The concept of bailment is applied when we perform our daily lives errands like hiring some tools, give or take appliances for repairing, gratuitously take people’s stuff for safekeeping, etc. So today we take a look at Concept of bailment and understand our rights and duties as bailor and bailee.


In India, Concept of bailment is dealt in Indian Contract Act, 1872 from section 148-181. According to section 148 Bailment can be defined as “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.”

In general Concept of bailment is the delivering movable goods to someone for a purpose for a temporary period and when the purpose is achieved the goods are returned to the owner or whatever according to the wishes of the bailor. The same section defines the Bailor as the person who delivers the goods and bailee as the person to whom goods are delivered.

Bailment is of two types-

  1. Gratuitous Bailment- Where bailee receives goods out of gratuity and expects no rewards for the bailment, then that bailment is called Gratuitous Bailment.
  2. Non- gratuitous Bailment- In this Bailment, bailee expects a reward for the goods bailed.

Essential of Bailment

  1. Presence of implied or express contract
  2. Movable Property
  3. Delivery of goods for some purpose
  4. Return of the goods after the purpose is achieved or disposed of according to the directions of the bailor.

Rights of Bailor

  1. Bailor has a right to receive his goods after the purpose is achieved.
  2. He has a right to claim damages if that has been caused due to the negligence of bailee.
  3. He also has a right to claim compensation if the goods bailed has been used for unauthorised use.
  4. He also a right to claim compensation if the bailed goods have been mixed with goods of bailee and can’t be separated without the prior approval of bailor.
  5. He has a right to receive profit or accretion of the goods bailed. Example- cow giving a birth to calf during the time of bailment

Duties of Bailor

  1. He has a duty to disclose faults known to him. Failure to which can render him liable to the bailee.
  2. He has a duty to pay necessary expenses incurred during the period of bailment.
  3. In case of non-gratuitous bailment, he has a duty to indemnify the bailee.
  4. He has a duty to claim the bailed goods back.

Rights of Bailee

  1. Bailee has a right to recover necessary expenses incurred on bailment like upkeeping and security of goods.
  2.  He has a right to recover compensation from the bailor
  3. He also has a right of particular lien and general lien on the goods bailed.
  4. He can also sue a third person if he wrongfully deprives the person from the use or possession of goods.

Duties of Bailee

  1. Bailee has a duty to take reasonable care of the bailed goods. The standard of care is same as that of ordinary.
  2. He has a duty not to make unauthorised use of goods bailed. Failure to this makes him liable to make compensation to the bailor.
  3. He has also a duty not to mix bailed goods with his own goods. IF he mixes goods with bailor’s consent then respective proportionate share in the mixture should be given to bailor. If they are mixed without bailor’s consent and goods can’t be separated then, bailor can recover compensation.
  4. He has a duty to return the goods to the bailor after purpose is achieved.
  5. In the absence of contract otherwise, Bailee has a duty to return profit or accretion on the goods bailed.


The Concept of bailment is used in our day to day lives. So, it becomes necessary to know the rights and duties arising out of Concept of bailment. Awareness helps to minimize the wrongs. Knowledge of the Concept of Bailment helps to protect our rights and interests.


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