Bankers’ book evidence act, 1891

Bankers’ book evidence act, 1891

(a) The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu & Kashmir

(b) ‘Bank’ and ‘banker’ means

(i) any company or corporation carrying on business of banking
(ii) any partnership or individual to whose books, provision of this Act are made applicable
(iii) any post office saving bank or money order office

(c) ‘Bankers’ books include all books like ledgers, day book, cash book and all other records used in the
ordinary business of a bank. The records can be maintained in any form such manual records,
printed computer printouts, it can be in written form or stored in a micro-film, magnetic tape or any
other form of mechanical or electronic data. Such record can be either on site or at any off site
location including a back-up or disaster recovery site

(d) Court means the person or persons before whom a legal proceeding is held and the ’judge’ refers to
a judge of a High Court

(e) Legal proceeding refers to different types of inquiries proceedings and investigation. Legal proceedings
means (i) any proceeding or inquiry in which evidence is or may be given (ii) an arbitration (iii) any
investigation or inquiry under Code of Criminal Procdure,1973 or under any other law as applicable
for collection of evidence, conducted by a police officer as well

(f) A certified true copy of the bank records.

Important aspects of Bankers’ Book Evidence Act, 1891

1. If the records are maintained in written form, a copy of any entry along with a certificate certifying at the foot of
such copy clearly indicating that;

(i) it is a true copy of such entry/entries
(ii) the extract is taken from one of the ordinary books of the bank
(iii) such entry was made in the ordinary course of business
(iv) such record is still in the custody of the bank
(v) if the copy was obtained by a mechanical or other process a certificate is required for the authenticity of
the information/data

Please note that each certificate mentioned above should bear date and should be signed by the principal accountant
or manager of the bank with his name and official designation/ title

2. If the records are maintained in the electronic form (computer printouts, floppy, disc, tapes etc.,) a copy of print
out and a certificate as mentioned for the manual records

3. If the records are maintained in mechanical form (i) a printout of any entry in the books of a bank stored in a
mechanical or electronic form, it should contain a certificate covering all aspects discussed for manual records
Further in case the books of the bank are not written in the handwritten form, then the copies in the form computer
printout, such copy must accompany:
(a) a certificate by the principal accountant or the manager stating that it is a printout of such entry or a copy
of such printout

(b) In addition to the above another certificate by a person who is in charge of computer furnishing a brief
description of the computer system and other particulars like (i) the safety features adopted by the
bank to protect the date integrity; (ii) prevention of unauthorized entry into the system, (iii) checks and
balancing system of verification of authenticity of input and output,(iv) if the data is retrieved and
transformed, details of control system, and (v) in case of micro film and similar manner in which the
data are stored, then the details of the arrangement for the storage and custody of such storage
systems and practices.
In short, the certificate should be certified by the person in charge of the computer system certifying about the
integrity, accuracy and security of the computer system and the data/ records.

A certificate of any entry in a banker’s book should in all legal proceedings be received prima facie evidence of
the existence of such entry, and should be admissible as if original is produced. On production of certified copy,
no further evidence is required. Court can order inspection of books of accounts.

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