2G case: banker deposes in court

However, no sooner Uday Shahasrabuddhe, Mumbai-based Assistant Vice President of HDFC Bank, commenced recording of his statement, the counsel for the accused raised objections about the admissibility of the evidence produced by CBI.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini, however, refused to entertain at this stage the objections raised by the accused that the account opening form of Swan Telecom Ltd and statements of its account, which CBI sought to verify from Shahasrabuddhe, were not certified and therefore cannot be exhibited as evidence before the court.

The court referred to a Supreme Court judgement saying that in order to expedite the trial, objections against the evidence produced should be heard only at the stage of final arguments in the case.

"In view of the authoritative pronouncement by the Supreme Court, the final view about the objections will be taken during the final arguments and the exhibition of the documents shall be deemed as tentative. The stand of the parties have been taken on record for future reference. Nothing more is required to be said in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court," the judge said after hearing both sides for over two hours on the issue.

CBI maintained the documents were admissible as they were part of the bank record.

Rebutting the argument of accused that the 'banker documents' meant only the documents prepared by bank under the the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, CBI said documents relating to opening of account like address proof, PAN card and Memorandum of Association of the company are part of bank record and the "books of the bank".

"Whatever these documents are, they have come from the bank where the account was opened and have not come from any other secondary source," Special Prosecutor U U Lalit said.

Lalit said the objections were raised by the defence counsel "only for the sake of raising it" and "with these objections the trial will be reduced to a futile exercise".

The examination of Shahasrabuddhe by CBI remained inconclusive and would resume tomorrow. After CBI's examination, the defence counsel will be given the opportunity to cross examine the witness.

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