HIND IRAN BANK LTD. Vs. MALAK SINGH SUJAN SINGH ANAND
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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Tek Chand, J. -
(1.) The official liquidator of the Hind Iran Bank Ltd. (in liquidation) has made a claim of Rs. 1,263-1-9 consisting of two items under two accounts. Account No. 1 is of "Sujan Singh Anand, merchant Dhudial, Director, Hind Iran Bank Ltd., Rawalpindi, for Rs. 241-1-6" and Account No. 2 is of "S. Sujan Singh Anand, College Road, Rawalpindi, for Rs. 1,022-0-3." The respondents in their written statement contended that no amount was due from them to the petitioner. In the second place, it was contended that the claim of the petitioner against the respondents was barred by limitation. The following two issues were framed in this case:
1. Is the claim within time ?
2. What amount, if any, is due to the bank ?
(2.) In support of the second issue, petitioner's evidence consists of the statement of Shri Barkat Rai, P.W. 1. ex-Secretary, Hind Iran Bank Ltd. He has stated that Sujan Singh was the director of the bank and had two current accounts standing in the name of S. Sujan Singh Anand, proprietor, Messrs. Malak Singh Sujan Singh. He produced certified copies of the accounts which were received from Pakistan and which are Exhibits P. 1 and P. 2 on the record of this case. No evidence has been produced on behalf of the respondents.
(3.) Mr. Balraj Tuli, learned counsel for the respondents, contends firstly that Sujan Singh Anand and Messrs. Malak Singh Sujan Singh Anand should be deemed to be two different persons. There is no force in this contention. The respondents did not even care to put in appearance as witnesses in this case. It was for them to appear and state on oath that the accounts of which Exhibits P. 1 and P. 2 are the copies did not relate to them. The next argument of Mr. Tuli is that having regard to the provisions of section 65 of the Indian Evidence Act, P. 1 and P. 2 cannot be treated as admissible evidence. Mr. Tuli contends that under section 65(f) of the Indian Evidence Act, secondary evidence may be given of the contents of a document, when the original is a document of which a certified copy is permitted by this Act, or by any other law in force in India, to be given in evidence. It is further provided that in such a case a certified copy of the document, but no other kind of secondary evidence, is admissible. Mr. Kundan Lal Gosain, learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that P. 1 and P. 2 are admissible not under section 65(f) but under section 65(c) which provides that when the original has been destroyed or lost, or when the party offering evidence of its contents cannot, for any other reason not arising from his own default or neglect, produce it in reasonable time, any secondary evidence of the contents of the document becomes admissible. The question is whether Exhibits P. 1 and P. 2 can be treated as secondary evidence under section 63 of the Indian Evidence Act. According to this provision secondary evidence means and includes "(3) copies made from or compared with the original". There is no proof led in this case by the petitioner, that P. 1 and P. 2 which are said to have been prepared by the manager, Rawalpindi office of the bank, are copies made from or compared with the original. It is not shown in this case by any evidence, that P. 1 and P. 2 have been made from the original, or to have been compared with the original. P. 1 and P. 2 may be copies transcribed from copies of an original document but not compared with the original and in that case they cannot be treated to be secondary evidence of the original. No effort has been made to exclude such a possibility. A copy must be proved to be a correct copy by the evidence of someone who can swear to its being a true copy. Shri Barkat Rai (P.W. 1) was not such a person. My attention has been drawn to the provisions of section 45f of the Banking Companies Act. Sec. 45F(1) reads as under:
"Entries in the books of account or other documents of a banking company which is being wound up shall be admitted in evidence in all proceedings by or against the banking company; and all such entries may be proved either by the production of the books of account or other documents of the banking company containing such entries or by the production of a copy of the entries, certified by the official liquidator under his signature and stating that it is a true copy of the original entries and that such original entries are contained in the books of account or other documents of the banking company in his possession.";
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