142. Disclosure of information required under section 141
(1) No information of any individual return or part thereof, with respect to any matter given for the purposes of section 141 shall, without the previous consent in writing of the taxpayer or person or his authorised agent, be published in such manner as to enable any particulars to be identified as referring to a particular taxpayer and no such information shall be used for the purpose of any proceedings under the provisions of the Act.
(2) Except for the purposes of prosecution under the Act, or any other Act, no person who is not engaged in the collection of statistics under the Act or of compilation or computerization thereof for the purposes of the Act, shall be permitted to see or have access to any information or any individual return referred to in that section.
(3) If any person required to furnish any information or return under section 141,-
(a) without reasonable cause fails to furnish such information or return as may by that section be required, or
(b) willfully furnishes or causes to furnish any information or return which he knows to be false,
he shall, on conviction, be punished with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees and in case of a continuing offence to a further fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for each day after the first day during which the offence continues subject to a maximum limit of one thousand rupees.
(4) If any person engaged in connection with the collection of statistics under section 141 or compilation or computerization thereof willfully discloses any information or the contents of any return given or made under that section, otherwise than in execution of his duties under that section or for the purposes of the prosecution of an offence under the Act or under any other Act, he shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both:
PROVIDED that, no prosecution shall be instituted under the subsection, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government or State Government.
(5) Nothing in this section shall apply to the publication of any information relating to a class of dealers or class of transactions, if in the opinion of the competent authority, it is desirable in the public interest, to publish such information.