Friday 28 April 2023

Powers and Duties of Operative officers and employees in the Post Office

 Powers and Duties of Operative officers and employees in the Post Office

Powers and Duties of Operative officers and employees in the Post Office

​​Name of the Posts

Span of Control


​​Senior Postmaster


The Duties and responsibilities of a Sr. Postmaster are laid down in different Postal Manuals, Savings Bank Manuals and other Regulations dealing with financial transactions etc. However, some of the important duties are as follows:

o    Will perform the personal duties prescribed in the various Postal Manuals, Fundamental Rules (FRs) & Financial Hand Book (FHB) except those delegated to the Dy. Postmaster and assistant Postmaster.

o    Will exercise general supervision over all the branches and carryout the annual inspection of all departments in accordance with the standard questionnaire.

o    Will supervise the opening of Dak- ordinary and registered.

o    Will be responsible for maintaining discipline and control, grant of leave to staff, sanctioning advances like festival, leave salaries, reimbursement of medical bills, and Temporary & Final withdrawals from GPF and authorizing OTA to staff.

o    Will maintain CRs in respect of PAs and Group officers.

o    Will perform duties of drawing and disbursing officers as prescribed in FHB Vol – I.

o    Will sanction claim cases relating to SB, RD, MIS, etc accounts and savings certificates, process and forward cases of arrears of pay and allowances and pensions.

o    Will be in charge of staff, investigation branches, undertake investigation / Enquiries into fraud/loss cases concerning HO and sign references (other than routine ones) addressed to SSPOs, PMG and AO.

o    Will ensure prompt action is taken on VRs / IRs (Rule 157-Vol. V) and maintain the postmasters order book for recording changes, tests applied etc. (Rule 50 V​ol. VI).

o    Will issue PO Identity cards to general public and maintain all connected records therewith.

o    Will write postmasters balance sheet (Rule 43 FHB Vol II).

o    Will review the objection registers maintained by SBCO and exercise general supervision over the branch.

o    Any other duty or responsibility assigned to him from time to time.

Head Post Master


The duties of a Head Postmaster are laid down in various Postal Manuals and in Financial hand Book. However, some of the important duties are as follows:

o    Postmaster is in charge of office, maintain discipline and make arrangement for smoothly day to day function of office.

o    He will be in charge of Sub Accounts branch. He will regulate remittances to / from Bank, sub offices and check the balances held in Sub Offices, disposal of Excess Cash Balance(ECB) memos and Sub Postmaster Monthly Report (SMRs).

o    He will be responsible for proper financing of subordinate post offices under the account jurisdiction of HPO and transactions with bank where HPO is in account with Bank for withdrawal and deposit of cash.

o    He will ensure proper maintenance of stock register of the office. (Rule 369 of Volume VI) and also maintain the stock register of ACG- 53 (Rule 8 and 173 of FHB Vol. I).

o    He will also see the periodical returns and statements that are submitted to the respective authorities. i.e. Divisional Circle/Region and Postal Accounts Offices.

o    He will be solely responsible for the correspondence with the Divisional and Postal Accounts Offices.

o    He will be solely responsible for all the work connected to staff matters and administration.

o    He will attend to the appointment matters of postmen and MTS and will personally maintain the check for appointment to GDS staff for his office.

o    He will maintain rosters, writing of CRs / issue of leave memos in respect of Postmen and MTS staff including GDS.

o    He will see that all references from his office to Divisional Office, Circle/Regional office and Postal Accounts offices goes under his signature.

o    He will carry out weekly checks on SB / RD / CTD / TD / NSS / PPF / MIS register of un-posted items for prompt settlement and clearance. He will check the MO form accounts as per SO summary and cause supply of MO forms to SOs.

o    The Postmaster should carryout Kit inspection of postmen and Group D Staff.

o    He should ensure proper custody of KVPs of Rs 50000/- and maintenance of stock thereof.

o    He will maintain inventory relating to stock of computer and its peripherals and its history sheets.

o    He will keep over all supervision of computers / MPCM / Generator / Batteries and accessories and taking backup of files in floppies periodically with the help of System Administrator attached to his office.

o    He will ensure timely renewal of Post boxes.

o    He is solely responsible for verifying and maintaining the SOs daily account and keep watch over the Sub Account branch daily.

o    He has to look personally into the transit figures and tally the account daily.

o    He is personally responsible for writing the Postmaster Balance sheet daily. He should ensure that cash and stamps of daily balances are agreed with the closing balance of the day by physically counting and checking the cash and stamps.

o    He should periodically check the various accountable items and ensure correctness.

o    He is responsible for writing and updating the IR/VR paragraph of inspecting officers viz, Circle level/Regional level offices and Divisional office.

o    He will take the assistance of PRI (P) and utilize his service for investigation, check over effective delivery of the postmen staff and check over the GDS official clearing the letter boxes.

o    He should keep watch over departmental stamps and seals used in each section to keep them clean and tidy.

o    He should arrange proper supply of the cash and clearance of cash to/from the SOs during the off hours of DPM Treasury.

o    He should carryout self inspection of HO as prescribed in the rules.

o    He will ensure effective Estate maintenance that the surroundings of the PO building and garden are kept clean.

o    Any other duty assigned from time to time.

Sub Post Master


All personal duties of SPM as prescribed in various chapters of Postal Manuals. However, some of the important duties are as follows:

o    Responsible for the maintenance of records and submission of due returns.

o    Responsible to check the stamp advances and Franking Machine reading.

o    Responsible for proper maintenance of all hardware and will maintain History sheet in respect of system/peripherals up to date.

o    Personally responsible to handle server and ensure that no unauthorized person accesses server.

o    Responsible to ensure that no unauthorized floppy/CDs are used in the system. He/she will facilitate Day Begin and Day End and also allocate work among PAs. He/she will take periodic backup in respect of all modules. He/she will maintain a log book for recording of operation of server.

o    Responsible to report any break down/problems in the systems to Divisional Head.

o    Responsible to ensure that systems are not misused by any official.

o    Responsible to judiciously use the consumables and maintain stock register for all consumables and ensure that adequate consumables are held in stock.

o    Responsible for not to divulge the supervisor’s pass word to any body and ensure that supervisory functions are done by him/her.

o    Personally responsible regarding maintenance of all statistical registers of various branches, safe custody of cash and stamps, correspondence, various stocks and general supervision.

o    Responsible to attend to references and enquiries, keep in custody of the complaints and suggestion book. Proper maintenance of various circulars. Pasting of correction slips to various P & T Manuals and keep up to date.

o    Personally responsible for submission of various monthly, quarterly and annual statements.

o    Responsible to attend to bulk sale of stamps, treasury work with connected accounts matter and submitting daily accounts to Head post Office.

o    Personally responsible to supervise closing of bags containing insured articles and keep them in his/her custody until their dispatch.

o    Responsible to check stamp advances of the counter Postal Assistant daily.

o    Responsible to attend to SB and cash certificate claim cases.

o    Responsible to attend to acceptance of PLI premium/payment and connected transactions and maintenance of their schedules and records.

o    Any other duty assigned from time to time.

Public Relation Inspector (Postal)


Duties of Public Relation Inspector are laid down in the Postal manuals. However, some of the important duties are as follows:

o    N.B.1: These rules may be modified in such a way as the Head of the Circle may consider, if necessary, in the case of Town Inspectors of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay.

o    N.B.2: In these rules the Postmaster includes the Sub-Postmaster if the Public relation Inspector is attached to a Sub-Office.

o    The Head of the Division will fix the jurisdiction of each Public Relation Inspector in his Division.

o    The powers of a Public Relation Inspector are limited to reporting cases of suspected fraud, negligence, irregularities, etc. to the Superintendent or Postmaster to whom he is subordinate. He has no power to appoint, dismiss, transfer, or punish subordinates, and he will, therefore not keep character sheets.

o    The Public Relation Inspector’s primary duty is to supervise the work of postmen and of other postal subordinates working outside the office, such as letter-box peons, runners, etc.

o    He should also make any personal enquiries entrusted to him by the Postmaster, and generally perform any out-door postal work which the postmaster may assign to him, but in no case should be correspond with the public.

o    He should also, under the Superintendent’s or the Postmaster’s orders, supervise the working of the town offices, and inspect, at such intervals as may be directed, those town offices that are assigned to him for this purpose by the Head of the Circle, and after inspection should record his remarks in the order book.

o    He should also carry out surprise checks of articles cleared from letter-boxes by the letter-box peons on their beat as often as possible with a view to detect if there are any articles with them bearing signs of removal of stamps or affixed with used up or faked postage stamps.

o    In order to be able to control his subordinates effectively, it is essential that the Public Relation  Inspector should make himself acquainted with (a) the character of all officials attached to town offices, and of the postmen and letter-box peons attached to the head office. (b) the beat of each postman and letter-box peon, and (c) the estimation in which each postman is held by the public he serves. He should take every opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge of the conduct and antecedents of Postmen and letter box peon under him.

o    Any other duties assigned from time to time.

Postal Assistant


The duties and responsibilities of Postal Assistant are stipulated in various Postal Manuals. However, some of the important duties are as follows:

o    Depending upon the establishment of a post office, more than one duty could be combined or more than one official could be deputed to handle a particular branch.

o    Generally a Postal Assistant works in Mails, Sorting, Delivery, Dispatch, Registration, Speed Post, Parcel, Money Order, Sub account, Cash/ Treasury, Accounts and Savings Bank and Savings Certificates departments of a Post office.

o    They are also entrusted additional duties and responsibilities in view of introduction of premium products, other new products and service and technology driven initiatives of the Department.



The duties and responsibilities of Postmen are laid down in Postal Manual Volume VI Part-III which also applies to Gramin Dak Sewaks Delivery Agents with some exceptions.  The restrictions on the maximum amount and the type of articles that can be entrusted to them for delivery are laid down in rule 572/A of Postal Manual Volume IV. However, some of the important duties are as follows:

o    Postmen are expected to know thoroughly the rates of inland postage and commission of money order, the charges for insurance and the fee for registration.  They should be fully competent to fill up the forms with which the public has ordinarily to deal, especially M.O.s and forms relating to the VP item and be able to describe the principal features and charges of the SB post office certificate, MO registration and other postal systems.

o    When a postman proceeds to his beat, he should carry with him in the postman bag, required forms and supply them to the public when required. 

o    Each postman who is required to sell MO form and stamps, will be supplied by the treasurer with a small stock of MO forms and postage stamps of lower denominations (including post cards, letter cards and envelopes) for sale to the public and he should give the treasurer a receipt for the MO forms and stamps in the memo of stamp advances, against the entry of his name.  The money realized from the sale of MO forms and postage stamps should be made over by the postman, on his return to the office, to the treasurer, who will give the postman a fresh supply of MO forms and stamps equal to the amount in MO Forms and stamps to be issued to each postman.

o    Every Postman must keep a Postman Book MS 27, in which, before proceeding to his beat, he should enter the particulars of Money Orders, Registered (including Insured) articles entrusted to him for delivery along with the class of article, name of the addressee on articles, date of booking / issue, acknowledgement if attached with the article. Details of damaged articles etc. The Postal Assistants of the concerned Departments should see that entries are prepared properly. On return, the Postman should take initial of concerned Postal Assistant in the said Book. The Postman should give acknowledgement of cash received by him for payment of money orders.

o    Note: The particulars of articles given for delivery under the “Delivery Slip” system are not to be entered in Postman Book. The delivery slip serves the purpose of this book and should be filed in the delivery department at the close of the day.

o    It is Postman’s duty to fully examine every article made over to him for delivery, bring at once to the notice of postmaster any article that is damaged or that bears the appearance to have been tempered with. Special care must be taken to observe the conditions of insured articles.

o    It is the duty of Postman to sign the required documents in post office under which articles and cash has been entrusted to him for delivery / payment.

o    The intimations and notices to be delivered by the postman shall be entered in the postman book by concerned Postal assistants.

o    Each postman’s beat is fixed by the postmaster, and he must on no account deviate from the beat prescribed.  He is required to deliver, if possible, before he returns to the post office, all the articles entrusted to him for delivery to persons residing within the limits of his beat.

o    Note: Postmen, while on duty, are prohibited from distributing advertisements, handbills, trade circulars or notices of any description on behalf of the members of public.

o    If the addressee of an article cannot be found at the given address, enquiry regarding his changed address should be made from the neighbors.  If trustworthy information can be obtained, the postman should deliver the article at the new address, if it is in his beat, or make a note of the new address on the article, so that it may be made over to another postman at the next delivery, or redirected to another post-town, as the case may be.  If sufficient information regarding the addressee cannot be obtained, the article should be returned to the postmaster as unclaimed.

o    If the addressee of a VP article taken out by the postman for delivery is at home when the postman calls and does not at once take delivery of it, the postman should require the address to sign the receipt attached to the intimation to the addressee and receipt shall be pasted in the postman’s book of receipts for intimations and notices delivered, against an entry of No. of the article to which it relates.

o    If the addressee of a VP article taken out by the postman for delivery is residing at the address marked on the article but is not at home when the postman calls, the postman should write a remark to that effect on the article.  If the addressee is not at home or delivery of the article cannot be effected when the article is given out for delivery for the second time, the postman should deliver the intimation to an adult member of the address’s household or any other person who may be considered to be authorized to received ordinary correspondence for the address, under receipt to be obtained in the postman’s book of receipts for intimations and notices delivered, against an entry of the No. of the article to which it relates, which he should make in the book at the time.  If the person to whom the intimation is to be delivered is illiterate, the postman should write the name of that person in his books of receipts for intimations and notices delivered and deliver the intimation in the presence of witness whose signature should be obtained in the book.

o    A postman is forbidden to deliver any article on which any postage or customs duty is due, or any sum is to be recovered (as in case of a VP article) until the full amount to be recovered has been paid.  He is obliged to give change.  If any unnecessary delay occurs in payment by the addressee of the charges recoverable on an article, the postman is authorized to take the article back to the post office.

o    Postman will be held responsible that receipts and acknowledgements for registered and insured articles of the letter and parcel mails delivered are in every case signed by the addressee or some other person authorized to received such articles on his behalf.  They would require the addressee or their agents to sign the receipts and acknowledgements (if any) and return the signed documents to them before delivery.  An article should not be left with the addressee or their agent until the receipt has been duly signed and returned. No receipts are taken from the addressees of unregistered parcels.

o    Postman will be held responsible that receipts and acknowledgements for registered and insured articles of the letter and parcel mails delivered are in every case signed by the addressee or some other person authorized to received such articles on his behalf. They require the addressee or their agents to sign the receipts and acknowledgements (if any) and return the signed documents to them before delivery.  An article should not be left with the addressee or their agent until the receipt has been duly signed and returned. No receipts are taken from the addressees of unregistered parcels.

o    The postman shall observe the procedure laid down in various rules for delivery of postal article including the money orders) to illiterate addressees, woman, minors, lunatics and persons without fingers etc.

o    If a postman loses a money order, insured article, a registered article of the letter mail, or any parcel mail article, he should return immediately to the post office report the loss to the postmaster. If any other article is lost by the postman, the fact should be reported by him on his return to the post office.

o    Postmen are required to return to the concerned postal assistant, at the hour fixed by the Postmaster, all the article that they have been unable to deliver,  A postman may in no circumstances keep an article in his possession more than twenty-four hours. When a paid unregistered article or a registered article of the letter or parcel mail or a money order entered in the postman’s book (M-27) is brought back undelivered or unpaid, a remark stating why it was not delivered or paid should be written briefly but legibly on the address side by the postman who should also note under his dated initials his number (beat number) on the article and copy the remarks in his book or on the delivery slip.  If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a return article can be delivered at the next delivery, it may, after examination, be handed back to the postman. 

o    Undelivered unregistered articles of the letter mail must be returned by the postman to the postmaster or to the official to whom this duty of the postmaster has been delegated.

o    Note: If the addressee of a VP article refuses to take delivery of the intimation relating to the article, when it is presented to the addressee, the postman should note this fact under his dated initials as well as his number (beat) on the intimation. 

o    The postage due on articles of the letter mail returned by each postman will be entered in the postage account by the postmaster. The postman must pay the amount of this balance at once in cash to the treasurer.

o    The charges realized on registered parcels delivered should be paid to the treasurer according to the procedure laid down in the relevant Rules. Postmen are prohibited on pain of  removal from paying the sums on account of postage, postal fee or customs duty to the delivery or parcel Assistant.  The sums realized on account of VP articles delivered should be paid to the Assistant (registration or parcel), by whom the VP articles were made over for delivery, should give his receipt in the postman’s books.  

o    A postman who willingly detains or delays any postal article in his possession or who returns an article falsely representing it as undeliverable renders itself liable to serve penalties under the Indian Post Office Act.

o    A postman found guilty of habitually loitering on his beat, or employing the agency of unauthorized person, or person unconnected with the Post Office to deliver articles entrusted to him for delivery, or otherwise neglecting his duty is liable to removal or prosecution in a Court of Law under the Post Offices Act.


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