(1) Where any person sworn and examined as a witness by or before any Select Committee of the House of Representatives on any matter which is a subject of inquiry before such Committee, claims, upon such examination, excuse from answering any question put to him by any such Committee on the ground that the answer to such question may criminate or tend to criminate him, and the Committee is of opinion that full answers are required in order to enable it to deal satisfactorily with the matter under inquiry, it shall make a report thereof to the House, and if such House passes a resolution that the witness shall give full evidence, then such witness shall answer accordingly.
(2) Every such witness who thereupon answers fully and faithfully any question put to him by the Committee to the satisfaction of such Committee shall be entitled to receive a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Committee stating that such witness was, upon his examination, so required to answer and had answered all such questions.
(3) On production and proof in any Court of law of such certificate, the Court shall stay the proceedings in any action or prosecution against such witness for any act or thing done by him before that time and revealed by the evidence of such witness, and may at its discretion award to such witness such costs as he may have been put to.
(4) No statement made by any person in answer to any question put by or before any Committee as aforesaid shall, except in cases of a charge of perjury, be admissible as evidence in any proceeding, civil or criminal.
(5) Every witness sworn and examined under this or the last preceding section shall have, in respect of the testimony given by him when so sworn, the like privileges, immunities, and indemnities in all respects as are possessed by or belong to any witness sworn and examined in the High Court.
Compare: 1875 No 20 s 2; 1883 No 3 ss 2–5
In subsection (1) the references to the
“House of Representatives” were substituted, as from 1 January 1951, for references to
“either House of the General Assembly, and to the House by which the Committee was appointed”, by section 2(4) Legislative Council Abolition Act 1950 (1950 No 3).
“or any Joint Committee of the two Houses” have been consequentially omitted.
Section 253(4): amended, on 1 July 2013, by section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81).