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Dated : May 04, 2020

Relevance of The Bankers’ Book Evidence Act, 1891


*The Bankers’ Book Evidence Act, 1891 * 

This Act is a very small act containing only 8 sections and was notified on *1st October,1891 * when none of us were born. It still remains on the statute book and is relevant for the purpose of *admission as an evidence of any entries contained in bankers' books” including ledgers, day-books, cash-books, account-books and all other records used in the ordinary business of the bank, * whether these records are kept in written form or stored in a micro film, magnetic tape or in any other form of mechanical or electronic data retrieval mechanism, either onsite or at any offsite location including a back-up or disaster recovery site of both. Section 4 of the Act deals with Mode of proof of entries in bankers’ books which states that Subject to the provisions of this Act, a certified copy of any entry in a banker's book shall in all legal proceedings be received as prima facie evidence of the existence of such entry, and shall be admitted as evidence of the matters, transactions and accounts therein recorded in every case where, and to the same extent as, the original entry itself is now by law admissible, but not further or otherwise. Section 2-A which was inserted by the Information Technology Act, 2000 reads as follows 2-A. Conditions in the printout.—A printout of entry or a copy of printout referred to in sub-section (8) of Section 2 shall be accompanied by the following, namely:—

(a) a certificate to the effect that it is a printout of such entry or a copy of such printout by the principal accountant or branch manager;

*Thus, in any Revenue proceeding(income-tax , GST, or any other tax) including any Benani, foreign exchange proceeding, this Act is most important and can be relied upon to argue that unless the procedure as laid down in this Act has been followed, the document which is generally produced or referred to can not be relied upon. * However it has been held by courts that the objection if any has to be raised at the initial stage of the proceedings. In this regard, the apex court decision in the case of *Chandradhar Goswami Vs The Guwahati Bank ltd AIR 1967 SC 1058*  is also relevant. 

Chandradhar Goswami Vs The Guwahati Bank Ltd AIR 1967 SC 1058 Download PDF

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