Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bankers Books Evidence Act, 1891

After the invention of paper and printing the transactions in a financial institution were recorded on papers or books. Gradually book keeping or recording of the transactions were made in bank books like registers, ledgers, account books, cash books etc. In order to have legal capacity the law of evidence was amended in accordance with the bank records in act number 18 of 1891 as the Bankers book act in 1891. 

In court related matters the cases where the banking records are taken for evidence, the provisions of the Bankers Book Evidence Act is applied. 

The act contains 8 sections which briefly state the provisions including definitions, scope and objective. Any institution or company which carries out banking is bound by the act if any legal proceeding is initiated against them. They are liable to produce all banking records including ledger, account books or any information relating to recording keeping if the court ordered to produce. In new generation banking system any data which is stored electronically the copy of such stored data had to be produced if court ordered to do so. The certified copy of written transactions need to produced normally. In electronic data the copy of such entries need to be present before the court in accordance with the provisions of section 2 A of the Act.

Section 4 of the act specifies in certain matters the original entries have to be produced for the proper investigation. A bank which is not a party to the suit cannot be compelled to produce it by the virtue of section 5 of the act. Section 6 defines the discretion of the court to inspect the records. Section 7 deals with how the cost of the suit to be taken by the banks. As per section 8 the execution of the court order must be done by a specific officer on behalf of the government.

The Bankers Book evidence is the real guidelines for any banking institutions that will get the clear idea about the legal proceedings which relates to banking records. Any discrepancy in the records will amount to violation of the act. In India the Act has a strong impact on the banking institutions and they are bound by the act in production of records in litigation.

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