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Recorded Delivery System

Recorded Delivery (RD) was introduced on 1st November 1974(fig 1). Section II clause 113 of Post Office Guide, Part-1 of 1985, deals with R.D. as follows:

Inland postal articles are accepted for booking at all post offices after obtaining receipts, therefore Recorded Delivery subject to the following conditions:

(1) The service is available to all classes of postal articles for which registered service is available (except parcels) for delivery within India.
(2) Recorded Delivery articles should carry the superscription ‘Recorded Delivery and be prepaid with the appropriate postage and the prescribed fee per article. Articles should be presented at the counter of post office along with a record of posting form (Form RD-1).
(3) If in respect of a recorded delivery article intimation to sender is required an additional fee is to be prepaid and the word ‘IS’ added after the superscription ‘Recorded Delivery’ on the postal article.
(4) The article should contain in addition to the name and address of the addressee, the name and address of the sender.
(5) After scrutiny of the article(s) presented for booking and the record of posting tendered by the sender, the post office returns to the sender the record of posting signed and date stamped in token of authentication.
(6) At the office of delivery, all articles accepted under this service are delivered to the addressee under receipt and the sender will also be intimated if fee for the intimation has been paid.
(7) Complaints regarding any article booked under this service may be preferred within 2 months from the date of booking of the article and shall inter alia contain the date and the number of record of posting and the name of the office of booking.
(8) No compensation will be payable by the department of Posts for the loss of or damage to the postal articles or a part thereof or delay in delivery in respect of an article sent under this service.
(9) The articles sent under this service are not treated as registered nor does the certificate issued at the time of posting confer any proof of the nature of contents.
(10) The sender of recorded delivery article may post the article after prescribed hours of business on payment of the prescribed late fee.
(11) The facility of booking of R.D. articles with late fee is also available at those RMS Offices which accept registered articles with late fee.

Recorded Delivery System

Recorded Delivery (RD) service remained in vogue for nearly 17 long years but printed RD forms are hard to find. For booking Recorded Delivery, one has to present the article with RD-1 form.

Recorded Delivery
Fig. 2

As RD-1 forms were not available with the Post Offices, one had to present hand written forms with RD articles. (fig 2) This practice remained till RD was withdrawn. Sometime in 1978-1979 it was decided to supply “RD-1 form” to the public, as per Annual Report 1978-1979 of P&T department. Printed and cyclostyled RD-1 forms are found, but they are scarce. I have one example each in my collection. Both were used from Calcutta GPO. Cyclostyled is dated 31-5-1979 (fig 3) and Printed form is dated 16-12-1986. (fig 4).

Recorded Delivery
Fig. 3
Recorded Delivery
Fig. 4

If anyone wants to know whether the article is delivered, one has to pay for (I.S.) “Intimation to Sender”. This I.S. is not similar to AD form of Registry system. The main difference is “AD is signed by the addressee” and “I.S. should be signed in the Postal Department that the article has been delivered on the address.” But I have not seen any example of I.S. till date. As no I.S. were being received by the senders, the users started sending AD with RD articles, I have one AD form in my collection, on which, the word “Acknowledgement” has been deleted and “I.S.” is written by hand. (Fig. 5).

Recorded Delivery
Fig. 5

This so called “I.S.” is signed by the addressee, and not by the Postal Department. The article was posted on 22-5-1985 from Barabazar PO, Calcutta and received by the addressee on 28-5-1985. I have got many examples of AD used by Recorded Delivery System in my collection, which were signed by the addressee. Thus we see RD service was used as Registry Service. The fee of RD was 50% less than Registration fee at any given time. In my opinion, the RD service was not very popular with users, because used example of RD Service are not found as comparison to Registry Service.

RD markings are not found used on all articles. And if the marking is found on the article, it is unclear and not readable. That is why, all RD markings cannot be identified. Therefore, I am recording only three examples i.e. Ahmedabad, Calcutta and New Delhi. So that clear markings can be recorded by the readers of this article. (Fig 6/7/8) These markings are usually found on articles, but sometimes they are found on RD Receipts, which is scarce. Receipt dated 11-12-1986 is shown here. (Fig 9)

Recorded Delivery
Fig. 6
Recorded Delivery
Fig. 7
Recorded Delivery
Fig. 8
Recorded Delivery
Fig. 9

RD Labels are most scarce, as per my collection. I have only 2 labels of RD i.e. Jorhat (Assam) and Madras, which I am recording. (Fig 10 & Fig 11 respectively).

Recorded Delivery
Fig. 10
Recorded Delivery
Fig. 11

RD Service was withdrawn and or abolished on and from 1st October 1991. But many Post Offices do not know this fact and went on accepting RD articles. My first example is from Circus Avenue PO Calcutta dated 7th October 1991. (fig 12) My other example is from undeciphered P.O. dated 3rd December 1991 which was delivered on 10-12-1991. (fig 13)

Recorded Delivery
Fig. 12
Recorded Delivery
Fig. 13

One question always haunts me why this RD Service was introduced on 1/11/1974 after abolishing Express Delivery Service on 31st October 1974. And why India Post allowed RD service being used as Registration Service at half the cost.

The Recorded Delivery charges are as follow:

RECORDED DELIVERY CHARGES
Date
RD Fees
+ Postage
+ Additional Weight
+ I. S.
1.11.1974
65 p.
+ 25 p.
+15 p.
+15 p.
1.6.1978
100 p.
+ 25 p.
+15 p.
+ 30 p.
1.6.1979
100 p.
+ 30 p.
+15 p.
+ 30 p.
1.9.1980
100 p.
+ 35 p.
+15 p.
+ 30 p.
1.6.1982
100 p.
+ 50 p.
+ 20 p.
+ 30 p.
1.1.1987
200 p.
+ 60 p.
+ 40 p.
+ 50 p.
11.6.1990
200 p.
+ 100 p.
+ 100 p.
+ 50 p.

Note: I.S. means Intimation to Sender charges.

1/10/1991 – RD Service was abolished vide circular no. 13-12/91-C dated 20-9-1991.

Note: Late fee was 20paise from 1/6/1968 to 31/5/1978.
From 1/6/1978 -> Unregistered article 20p., Registered article 30p.
From 1/6/1990 -> Unregistered article 100p., Registered article 200p.

Before concluding, I want to record that this RD service is not popular even with collectors/philatelists. I contacted noted Postal Historian in India & no one could help me regarding RD Service. This article is based on my collection.

Contributed by Shri Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, Ahmedabad

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