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Thakur Khoob Chand Bojwani   04 September 2020

phone which was found was sold

sir it's an general query sir
one person found a phone on road and he kept phone with him for two is days but didn't received any call on it so he sold the phone is this a crime?as police officials says it's a crime he will be jailed. the person is ready to pay back the amount which he got on sale of phone.


 1 Replies

Nicole Gomez (Student )     13 October 2020


So the saying 'finders keepers' does not apply in reality. As per Section 71 of the Indian Contract Act 1872 (hereafter referred to as the Act) , a person who finds goods belonging to another and takes them into custody, is subject to the same responsibility as a bailee. A bailee is a person to whom goods are delivered for a purpose, such as custody or repair, without transfer of ownership.Therefore, if the person found that phone lying on the road that doesn’t mean they become it's owner. 

The person will be subjected to all the duties of a bailee which includes the duty of returning the found good to the true owner or at least making efforts to find the owner. Refusing to return the good may lead to prosecution under the Act.

Below are some of the duties of the finder of goods:

1. Section 151 and 152 of the Act - The finder has a duty to take reasonable care of the goods.
2. Section 153 and 154 of the Act- The finder must not make unauthorised use of goods.
3. Section 160 and 161A of the Act - The finder must duly return the goods to the owner.

However, the finders also possess some rights that they can exercise. They are discussed below:

1. If the owner of the lost and found good have issued a specific reward for the return of the good, the finder may sue for such reward. Moreover, the finder may retain the good found until the said reward is received. This may also be referred to as the 'Right of Lien' as per Section 168 of the Act.

2. If the owner of the found good cannot be located despite reasonable efforts being made, then the finder can sell the good. But the same can be done under the following circumstances:

  • If the good is perishable
  • Retaining the good may result in it losing a greater part of its value
  • If the total cost of returning the good found is above 66 percent, the finder can keep the good.

Hope this answers your query.


Nicole Gomez

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