Prohibition of disclosure of particulars produced before tax authorities
(1) All particulars contained in any statement made, return furnished or accounts, registers, records or documents produced under the provisions of this Act or in any evidence given or affidavit or deposition made, in the course of any proceeding under this Act or in any record of any proceeding relating to the recovery of a demand, prepared for the purposes of this Act shall be treated as confidential and shall not be disclosed.
(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to the disclosure of any such particulars —
(a) for the purpose of investigation of, or prosecution for, an offence under this Act, or under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or under any other law for the time being in force; or
(b) to any person enforcing the provisions of this Act where it is necessary to disclose the same to him for the purposes of this Act; or
(c) occasioned by the lawful employment under this Act of any process for the recovery of any demand; or
(d) to a civil court in any suit to which the Government are party and which relates to any matter arising out of any proceeding under this Act; or
(e) occasioned by the lawful exercise by a public servant of his powers under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, to impound an insufficiently stamped document; or
(f) to an officer of —
(i) the Government of India; or
(ii) the Government of any State or Union Territory in India with which an arrangement for disclosure on a reciprocal basis has been entered into by the Government; or
(g) to an officer of any department other than the Commercial Taxes Department of the Government after obtaining —
(i) the permission of the Assistant Commissioner of the district where such particulars are to be furnished by an officer subordinate to the Assistant Commissioner; and
(ii) the permission of the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes where such particulars are to be furnished by an Assistant Commissioner or an Appellate Assistant Commissioner or an Appellate Deputy Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner or a Joint Commissioner:
Provided that such particulars shall be furnished under this clause only in exceptional cases and that any officer obtaining such particulars shall keep them as confidential and use them as confidential and use them only in the lawful exercise of the powers conferred by or under any enactment;
(h) Nothing herein contained shall prevent the publication of the final assessment of any party in the prescribed manner.