Before discussing duties and rights of bailor and bailee, it may be pointed out that the duties of the bailor are more or less the rights of the bailee and vice-versa. The following are the duties and rights of the bailor.
Duties of the Bailor:
1. To disclose known faults:
It is the duty of the bailor to disclose known faults (defects) in the goods bailed so that bailee may not suffer any loss. Failure to disclose known defects will make the bailor liable to indemnify the bailee for any loss caused to the bailee directly due to such faults. In case of bailment for hire the liability of the bailor is very strict. The bailor is responsible for losses caused even by unknown defects (Sec. 50).
(1) A knows that his horse is vicious. A, while lending it to B, does not tell him that the horse is vicious. B is thrown by the horse resulting in injuries to B. A is liable to make good B's loss.
(2) A hires his horse to B. A does not know that his horse is vicious. B is thrown by the horse. A is still liable as in case of hire bailment,
The liability is strict one. Bailment and pledge are another class of special contracts. In our daily life, we enter into transactions of bailment very often. For example, when we give a piece of cloth for stitching to a tailor or when we give our watch for repair, etc.
The law relating to bailment has been discussed in Sees. 148 to 181. These provisions are not exhaustive in as much as all types of bailment's have not been discussed in the Act. Indian Contract Act deals only with the general principles of bailment. There are separate Acts to deal with special kinds of bailment, e.g., the carriage of goods has been dealt with in the Carriers Act, 1865, the Railway Act, 1989 and the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1925.
According to Sec. 148, "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 over, 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 the goods are delivered is called the 'bailee' and the transaction is called 'bailment'.
A is bailor Contractor is bailee (a) A gives his cycle to a cycle stand contractor for safe keeping, (b) B gives his suit to a dry-cleaner for dry cleaning.