D.K. Mahajan, J.
1. This petition must succeed in view of the clear language of Section 26 of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act (No. 46 of 1948).
2. It is not denied that the statement sought to be produced in evidence was a statement made in the assessment proceedings. A certified copy of that statement was obtained by the respondent and filed in court. In order to prove the statement, the original was summoned from the sales tax authorities. Objection was taken to the production of the original on the basis of Section 26 ; and that objection was disallowed by the lower appellate court in view of the decision of this Court in Ram Murti v. Hans Raj and Ors. 1968 Cur. L.J. 945. It is against this order that the present petition for revision has been preferred.
3. It may be mentioned that the additional evidence was sought to be led in the appellate court and it was in this connection that the department was asked to produce the original statement, when the objection to it was taken. The language of Section 26 is very clear. It provides that 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, shall be treated as confidential. The only exception is when such a statement etc. is sought to be used for the purposes of a prosecution under the Indian Penal Code, that the bar of Section 26(1) becomes inapplicable. So far as the present proceedings are concerned, they are not those as covered by Section 26(3). Therefore, in view of the clear language of the statute, the lower appellate court could not require the department to produce the original statement of Chandu Lal. The decision in Ram Murti's case 1968 Cur. L.J. 945, on which the lower appellate court has relied, has no application to the facts of the present case. That was a case, where the application for cancellation of licence was held not to fall within the ambit of Section 26.
4. For the reasons recorded above, I allow this petition, set aside the order of the lower appellate court permitting the original to be summoned from the department. There will, however, be no order as to costs.