Bankers Books Evidence Act, 1. Title and extent 2. Definitions 2-A. Conditions in the printout 3.
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It is a well settled principle of law that Primary Evidence is given priority over the Secondary Evidence, but in the new era of Digital India, it is not a general practice to store data in written form all the time. Now when these documents are to be submitted in a court as Evidence, it becomes practically impossible to bring out these Hard-Drives, Servers or data stored on Cloud pertaining to the concerned party, which is stored along with the data of many other people. This Act tends to illustrate the provisions, which provide for the conditions which are to be followed while submitting bank records as Evidence in a court of law.
Section 4 of Banker's Book Evidence Act , deals with the mode of proving such bank records. Bank records should be accompanied by a certificate in accordance with section 2 8 and 2A of the Act. The certificate is to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the entry in banking records. A certified copy of any entry of banker's book shall be admissible prima facie as Evidence. Section 65B of the Act lays down conditions to be followed while admitting Secondary Evidence in electronic form.
V Versus P. Basheer and others. Hence it can be construed that even though there is a provision under the Evidence Act dealing with the admissibility of electronic records 65B , section 2A of Banker's Book Evidence Act specifically deals with the admissibility of banking entries in electronic form.
So according to the principle of Generalia Specialibus section 2A of the Act is to be referred while dealing with the admissibility of banking records in electronic form and not section 65B. On April 24th, RBI published a notification 7 advising State and Central Co-operative Banks to comply with the provisions of Banker's Books Evidence Act, while furnishing certified copies and computer printouts to courts.
The notification further says that if such statutory certification is not complied with, the courts will not be obliged to admit the document in Evidence without any further proof. When we look from the viewpoint of Judiciary relating to the nature of certification under the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, , the decision of different courts helps us understand the concept better. Bombay High Court in one of its judgement 8 Radheshyam G. Garg vs. Safiyabai Ibrahim Lightwalla held that when a certificate is signed by an agent of bank, validating the records to be a true copy of the original entry in records, which were maintained in usual course of business and were kept in custody of the bank, then in such cases the court should not adopt a hyper-technical view and should not focus on all the conditions provided for certification under section 2 8 of the Act because the detailed ingredients mentioned in the definition clause are only of directory in nature and not mandatory.
The nature of the statutory provisions as discussed above, however, the primary question which bursts out is whether or not an objection pertaining to the admissibility of banking records submitted in court without such certification is possible or not? And if possible, then whether the court will accept such Evidence or not?
These questions are not new! Hence there are some case laws answering the same. Hon'ble Supreme Court in some recent judgments held that an objection, if any, has to be raised relating to the admissibility of a banking record, such objection has to be raised at the time when such record is tendered in Evidence and not after that.
The objections can be divided of two types, i. Type i objection can be raised even at a later stage when the document is marked as "an exhibit", in appeal or revision. Type ii objection has to be raised at the time when that record is presented for Evidence and not after such record is admitted as Evidence and marked as an exhibit. This is due to the rule of fair play. Court says that objection of type ii dealing with the mode of proving, should be dealt with, at the first instance because then it would give appropriate time to the submitting party to remove such defect and also they won't assume that the opposite party is not serious about the mode of proof.
There are two more reasons why a prompt objection won't be prejudicial to the party tendering Evidence:. Hon'ble Supreme Court in Om Prakash v. Central Bureau of Investigation 12 held that inadmissible Evidence would remain inadmissible even if marked as an exhibit or no objection relating to the admissibility was raised. Banking records are a valid and reliable source of Evidence. However, for ensuring there accuracy, certification method under the provisions of Banker's Books Evidence Act, is to be complied with.
While certification process, this should be kept in mind that the ingredients under section 2 8 of the Act are the only directory and not mandatory, hence a rigid and highly technical attitude will not be of much use while complying with the provision. If a record submitted is inadmissible, it will remain inadmissible whether an objection was raised or not, or whether it was marked as an exhibit.
Supreme Court of India. Radheshyam G. Safiyabai Ibrahim Lightwalla The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist professional advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. The views expressed in this article are solely of the authors of this article.
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Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions. Learn More Accept. Finance and Banking. To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq. Primary and Secondary form of Evidence Primary and Secondary both form of Evidence is admissible under the law.
Banker's Book Evidence Act This Act tends to illustrate the provisions, which provide for the conditions which are to be followed while submitting bank records as Evidence in a court of law. Objection for Uncertified Banking Records The nature of the statutory provisions as discussed above, however, the primary question which bursts out is whether or not an objection pertaining to the admissibility of banking records submitted in court without such certification is possible or not?
There are two more reasons why a prompt objection won't be prejudicial to the party tendering Evidence: Enables the court to apply its mind on the question of admissibility then and there.
The party leading Evidence can ask the court to remove such objection or allow a suitable method of proof. Conclusion Banking records are a valid and reliable source of Evidence. Footnotes 1. Supreme Court of India 2. Vijay Pal Dalmia, Partner. A cheque is a widely used method of payment and post-dated cheques are frequently used in various transactions in business life. The Board of Directors should pass a resolution for borrowing and to mortgage the property.
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