908D Order to produce evidential material.
(1) In this section—
“the Acts” means the Waiver of Certain Tax, Interest and Penalties Act 1993 together with the meaning assigned to it in section 1078(1);
“authorised officer” means an officer of the Revenue Commissioners authorised by them in writing to exercise the powers conferred by this section;
“commission”, in relation to an offence, includes an attempt to commit the offence;
“computer” includes any electronic device capable of performing logical or arithmetical operations on data in accordance with a set of instructions;
“information in non-legible form” means information which is kept (by electronic means or otherwise) on microfilm, microfiche, magnetic tape or disk or in any other non-legible form;
“material” means any books, documents, records or other things (including a computer);
“offence” means an offence under the Acts;
“record” includes any information in non-legible form which is capable of being reproduced in a permanently legible form.
(2) If a judge of the District Court is satisfied by information given on oath by an authorised officer that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting—
(a) that an offence is being, has been or is about to be committed, and
(b) that material—
(i) which is likely to be of value (whether by itself or together with other information) to the investigation of the offence, or
(ii) which constitutes evidence of, or relating to the commission of, the offence,
is in the possession or control of a person specified in the application,
the judge may order that the person shall—
(I) produce the material to the authorised officer for the authorised officer to take away, or
(II) give the authorised officer access to it,
either immediately or within such period as the order may specify.
(3) Where the material consists of or includes records contained in a computer, the order shall have effect as an order to produce the records, or to give access to them, in a form in which they are visible and legible and in which they can be taken away.
(4) An order under this section—
(a) in so far as it may empower an authorised officer to take away books, documents or records, or to be given access to them, shall also have effect as an order empowering the authorised officer to take away a copy of the books, documents or, as the case may be, records (and for that purpose the authorised officer may, if necessary, make a copy of them),
(b) shall not confer any right to production of, or access to, any document subject to legal privilege, and
(c) shall have effect notwithstanding any other obligation as to secrecy or other restriction on disclosure of information imposed by statute or otherwise.
(5) Any material taken away by an authorised officer under this section may be retained by the authorised officer for use as evidence in any criminal proceedings.
(6) (a) Information contained in books, documents or records which were produced to an authorised officer, or to which an authorised officer was given access, in accordance with an order under this section, shall be admissible in any criminal proceedings as evidence of any fact therein of which direct oral evidence would be admissible unless the information—
(i) is privileged from disclosure in such proceedings,
(ii) was supplied by a person who would not be compellable to give evidence at the instance of the prosecution,
(iii) was compiled for the purposes of, or in contemplation of, any—
(I) criminal investigation,
(II) investigation or inquiry carried out pursuant to or under any enactment,
(III) civil or criminal proceedings, or
(IV) proceedings of a disciplinary nature,
or unless the requirements of the provisions mentioned in paragraph (b) are not complied with.
(b) References in sections 7 (notice of documentary evidence to be served on accused), 8 (admission and weight of documentary evidence) and 9 (admissibility of evidence as to credibility of supplier of information) of the Criminal Evidence Act 1992 to a document or information contained in it shall be construed as including references to books, documents and records mentioned in paragraph (a) and the information contained in them, and those provisions shall have effect accordingly with any necessary modifications.
(7) A judge of the District Court may, on the application of an authorised officer, or of any person to whom an order under this section relates, vary or discharge the order.
(8) A person who without reasonable excuse fails or refuses to comply with an order under this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding
>€3,000< or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.