Disclosure of Information by a Public Servant
(1) All particulars contained in any statement made, return furnished or accounts or documents produced in accordance with this Act, or in any record of evidence given in the course of any proceedings under this Act (other than proceeding before a Criminal Court), or in any record of any assessment proceeding, or any proceeding relating to the recovery of a demand, prepared for the purposes of this Act shall, save as provided in sub-section (3), be treated as confidential; and notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, no court shall save as aforesaid, be entitled to require any servant of the Government to produce before it any such statement, return, account, document or record or any part thereof, or to give evidence before it in respect thereof.
(2) If, save as provided in sub-section (3), any servant of the Government discloses any of the particulars referred to in sub-section (1), he shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine or with both;
Provided that no prosecution shall be instituted under this Section except with the previous sanction of the State Government.
(3) Nothing contained in this Section shall apply to the disclosure-
(a) of any such particulars in respect of any such statement, return, accounts, documents, evidence, affidavit or deposition, for the purpose of any prosecution under the Indian Penal Code or the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, or this Act, or any other law for the time being in force or
(b) of any such particulars to the State Government or to any person acting in the execution of this Act or to any person for the purposes of this Act; or
(c) of any such particulars when such disclosure is occasioned by the lawful employment under this Act of any process for the service of any notice or the recovery of any demands; or
(d) of any such particulars to a Civil Court in any suit, to which the Government is a party, which relates to any matter arising out of any proceeding under this Act; or
(e) of any such particulars to any officer appointed to audit receipts or refunds of the tax imposed by this Act; or
(f) of any such particulars where such particulars are relevant to any inquiry into the conduct of an official of the Commercial Taxes Department to any person or persons appointed as Commissioner under the Commission of Enquiry Act or to any officer otherwise appointed to hold such inquiry or to a Public Service Commission established under the Constitution when exercising its functions in relation to any matter arising out of such inquiry; or
(g) of such facts to an officer of the Central Government or any State Government as may be necessary for the purpose of enabling that Government to levy or realize any tax or duty imposed by it; or
(h) of any such particulars to the Director, Bureau of Economics and Statistics or any officer serving under him or to any person or persons authorised under sub-section (2) of Section 75 as may be necessary for enabling the Director or such person or persons to carry on their official duties.
(i) of any such particulars to an officer of the Central, Government or any State Government as may be necessary for the administration of any law in force in India.