WITNESSES (PUBLIC ENQUIRIES) PROTECTION ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Obstruction or intimidation of witnesses

   4   Costs and compensation

   5   Savings

THE WITNESSES (PUBLIC ENQUIRIES) PROTECTION ACT

[Date of Commencement: 5th March, 1964]

Act l of 1964.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Witnesses (Public Enquiries) Protection Act.

2   Interpretation

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   In this Act "enquiry" means any proceedings-

   (a)   in the Senate, or the House of Representatives, or a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament, or a committee of either House; or

   (b)   before any Commission appointed under the Commissions of Enquiry Act; or

   (c)   before any statutory body or authority having power to summon and examine witnesses, whether the evidence in such proceedings is or is not given on oath, but shall not include any proceedings before any Court.

3   Obstruction or intimidation of witnesses

   (1) Every person who threatens or in any way punishes, injures, or causes any damage to, any other person-

   (a)   for having given evidence in any enquiry; or

   (b)   on account of the evidence which such other person has given in any enquiry,

shall, except where such evidence was given in bad faith, be guilty of an offence and be liable upon summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars and in default of payment thereof to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding six months.

   (2) Every person who dissuades, intimidates, prevents, or tries to dissuade, intimidate, or prevent, any other person who has been summoned to give evidence in any enquiry from giving such evidence, shall be guilty of an offence and be liable upon summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars and in default of payment thereof to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding six months.

4   Costs and compensation

   (1) The Court before which any person is convicted of an offence against this Act may, in addition to imposing a fine or imprisonment upon such person-

   (a)   order him to pay the whole or any part of the cost and expenses incurred in and about the prosecution and conviction of the offence of which he is convicted; and

   (b)   upon the application of the complaint, and immediately after such conviction, award to the complainant any sum of money which the Court thinks reasonable, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, by way of satisfaction or compensation for any loss of employment, wages or status or for any injury or damage suffered through or by means of the offence of which such person was convicted.

   (2) Any amount awarded under this section for satisfaction or compensation shall be a judgment debt due to the person entitled to receive it from the person so convicted and shall be recoverable accordingly.

5   Savings

   Nothing in this Act shall be construed as in any way lessening or affecting any power or privilege of the Senate or House of Representatives.

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