Report No. 12
136. Power regarding discovery, production of evidence etc.-
(1) The Income-tax Officer, Appellate Assistant Commissioner and Commissioner shall, for the purposes of this Act, have the same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) discovery and inspection;
(b) enforcing the attendance of any person, including any officer of a banking company and examining him on oath;
(c) compelling the production of books of account and other documents; and
(d) issuing commissions.
(2) Where any Income-tax authority exercises any powers referred to in sub-section (1), it shall follow, so far as may be, the same procedure as a court under the said Code.
(3) Subject to any rules made in this behalf, any authority referred to in sub-section (1) may impound and retain in its custody for such period as it thinks fit any books of account or other documents produced before it in any proceeding under this Act:
Provided that an Income-tax Officer shall not-
(a) impound any books of account or other documents without recording his reasons for so doing, or
(b) retain in his custody any such books or documents for a period exceeding fifteen-days (exclusive of holidays) without obtaining the approval of the Commissioner therefor.
(4) Where any person, whether a party to the proceeding or not, is desirous of receiving back any book of account or other document produced by him in any proceeding under this Act before any Income-tax authority, the Income-tax authority may, unless the book of account or other document is impounded under sub-section (3), return the same to such person on an application made for the purpose.
(5) Any proceeding before any authority referred to in this section shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 and for the purposes of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code 45 of 1860.