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Contents

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II GENERAL

Part III PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES

Part IV POWERS

Part V OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Part VI MISCELLANEOUS

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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PART IV
POWERS
Power to order the attendance of persons
12.  Parliament and any committee which is duly authorised by the Standing Orders or by a resolution of Parliament to send for persons, papers and records may order any person to attend before Parliament or before the committee, and to produce any paper, book, record or document in the possession or under the control of that person.
Attendance of persons to be notified by summons
13.
—(1)  An order to attend or to produce any paper, book, record or document before Parliament or before any committee shall be notified to the person required to attend or produce such paper, book, record or document by a summons under the hand of the Clerk issued by direction of the Speaker.
(2)  In every such summons there shall be stated the time when and the place where the person summoned is required to attend and the particular documents which he is required to produce.
(3)  The summons referred to in subsection (2) shall be served on the person mentioned therein either by delivering to him a copy thereof or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual or last known place of abode in Singapore with some adult person.
(4)  Such summons may be served by an officer of Parliament or by a police officer.
Witnesses may be examined on oath or affirmation
14.  Parliament or a committee may —
(a)
require that any facts, matters and things relating to the subject of inquiry before Parliament or the committee be verified or otherwise ascertained by the oral examination of witnesses; and
(b)
cause the witnesses to be examined upon oath, or if the witnesses so desire, upon affirmation, which the Speaker or the Clerk or the chairman of the committee or the clerk to the committee may administer.
Objections to answer questions or to produce papers to be reported to Parliament for decision
15.  If any person ordered to attend or to produce any paper, book, record or document before Parliament or before any committee refuses to answer any question that may be put to him or to produce any such paper, book, record or document on the ground that the same is of a private nature and does not affect the subject of inquiry, the Speaker or the chairman of the committee, as the case may be, may —
(a)
excuse the answering of that question or the production of that paper, book, record or document, or may order the answering or production thereof; or
(b)
report to Parliament such refusal with the reason therefor and Parliament may direct the Speaker or chairman to take such action as it considers proper.
Privilege of witnesses
16.
—(1)  No public officer shall be required —
(a)
to produce before Parliament any paper, book, record or other document; or
(b)
to give before Parliament evidence on any matter,
if the President certifies that the paper, book, record or other document or the evidence relates to affairs of State and that the public interest would suffer by the production thereof.
(2)  Every person summoned to attend to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or other document before Parliament shall be entitled in respect of such evidence or the disclosure of any communication or the production of any such paper, book or record or other document to the same privilege as before a court of law.
(3)  Sections 125 and 126 of the Evidence Act (Cap. 97) shall not be applicable in any case where a public officer is so summoned to attend before Parliament.
Immunity of witness in respect of evidence
17.
—(1)  Without prejudice to section 16 and subject to subsection (3), no person who gives evidence before Parliament or any committee shall be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of anything which he may have said in such evidence.
(2)  Except in proceedings referred to in subsection (3), no statement made by any person in evidence before Parliament or any committee shall be admissible in evidence against that person in any civil or criminal proceedings or in any court.
(3)  Nothing in subsections (1) and (2) shall prevent or be deemed to prevent the institution or maintenance of any proceedings against any person for an offence under section 191 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224) or for any offence under this Act in respect of any evidence given by him before Parliament or any committee.
Powers of Parliament in regard to strangers
18.  Parliament may —
(a)
exclude any stranger or officer of Parliament from any sitting; and
(b)
regulate the admission of strangers to any sitting.
Powers of Parliament in regard to its Members
19.  Without prejudice to sections 20 and 21, Parliament may in accordance with its Standing Orders suspend any Member from the service of Parliament for the remainder of the current session or for any part thereof.
Punitive powers of Parliament
20.
—(1)  For any dishonourable conduct, abuse of privilege or contempt, on the part of a Member, Parliament may —
(a)
commit him to prison for a term not extending beyond the current session of Parliament;
(b)
impose upon him a fine not exceeding the sum of $50,000;
(c)
suspend him from the service of Parliament for the remainder of the current session of Parliament or for any part thereof; and
(d)
direct that he be reprimanded or admonished in his place by the Speaker.
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(2)  Where a Member has been found guilty of abuse of privilege in respect of anything said in Parliament by him, Parliament may, by resolution and without prejudice to its powers under subsection (1), suspend him for such period as may be specified in the resolution from the privileges and immunities conferred by sections 3, 5 and 6 in so far as they relate to liability to civil proceedings.
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(3)  During the period specified under subsection (2) such privileges and immunities shall cease to apply to the Member who shall be liable to civil proceedings in respect of anything said by him in, or any written statement made by him to, Parliament.
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(4)  For any contempt on the part of a stranger, Parliament may —
(a)
commit him to prison for a term not extending beyond the current session of Parliament;
(b)
impose upon him a fine not exceeding the sum of $50,000;
(c)
exclude him from Parliament and the precincts thereof for the remainder of the current session of Parliament or for any part thereof; and
(d)
direct that he be reprimanded or admonished at the Bar of the House by the Speaker.
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Procedure in cases of contempt
21.
—(1)  If it is alleged or appears that any person has committed any offence mentioned in section 20, Parliament may —
(a)
if the offence is alleged to have been or has apparently been committed in the view of Parliament or in the precincts thereof when Parliament is sitting or in any committee, deal with the matter summarily, and, if satisfied that the person is guilty of the offence, inflict all or any of the punishments provided in section 20;
(b)
refer the matter to any select committee for investigation, consideration and report to Parliament; or
(c)
if the offence is an offence mentioned in Part V, refer the matter to the Public Prosecutor with a view to the institution of criminal proceedings against the person.
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(2)  If, on the report of the select committee to which a matter has been referred under subsection (1)(b), Parliament is satisfied that any person is guilty of any offence mentioned in section 20, Parliament may inflict upon such person all or any of the punishments provided in section 20 and also in the case of a Member expel him.
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(3)  Notwithstanding subsection (1) and the Standing Orders, if it appears to the Speaker that any Member or stranger has committed any contempt in the view of Parliament or a committee, the Speaker may deal with the matter summarily and, if satisfied that the Member or stranger is guilty of the contempt, inflict all or any of the punishments provided in section 20.
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(4)  Any decision of the Speaker under subsection (3) shall take immediate effect but Parliament may by resolution annul or vary the decision.
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(5)  In determining the punishment for contempt by any person, Parliament or the Speaker, acting under subsection (3), may take into consideration any previous contempt committed by that person.
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(6)  For the purposes of this section and section 30(2), “Speaker” includes the chairman of any committee.
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Punishment in one session or Parliament in respect of offences committed in another
22.
—(1)  Nothing in this Act shall be taken to prohibit Parliament from punishing in one session or in one Parliament offences which have been committed in the preceding session or in the last session of the preceding Parliament.
(2)  In the event of the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament, Parliament shall not take cognizance of any offence committed by a Member unless complaint thereof has been lodged by way of motion or reference to a committee within 21 days of the date of the commencement of the next Parliament.
(3)  Where Parliament considers that an offender has not been punished or not been sufficiently punished in one session or in one Parliament by reason of the ending of a session he may again be dealt with in the next session or, if Parliament is dissolved in the same session, in the first session of the next Parliament.
Recovery of fine
23.
—(1)  Any fine imposed by Parliament under the provisions of this Act shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
(2)  The Attorney-General may recover in any civil court of competent jurisdiction any such fine as though the fine were a judgment debt due to the Government, and any sums recovered shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
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Power to order attendance of offenders
24.  Parliament may order any person guilty of an offence to attend before Parliament to be informed of or to receive any punishment which Parliament has decided to inflict upon him.
Attendance of offenders to be notified by summons
25.
—(1)  An order to attend before Parliament to be informed of or to receive any punishment which Parliament has decided to inflict upon any person shall be notified to the person by a summons under the hand of the Clerk issued by the direction of the Speaker.
(2)  In every such summons there shall be stated the time when and the place where the person summoned is required to attend.
(3)  The summons referred to in subsection (2) shall be served on the person mentioned therein either by delivering to him a copy thereof or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual or last known place of abode in Singapore with some adult person.
(4)  Such summons may be served by an officer of Parliament or by a police officer.
Arrest of defaulters
26.
—(1)  If a person to whom a summons under section 13 or 25 is directed does not attend at the time and place mentioned therein, the Speaker may, upon being satisfied that the summons was duly served, issue a warrant to apprehend him and to bring him, at a time to be stated in the warrant, before Parliament or the committee.
(2)  A warrant issued under this section shall be deemed to have been issued and shall be executed by a police officer in the same manner as a warrant issued under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68).
(3)  The Speaker on issuing a warrant under this section may, if he thinks fit, by endorsement on the warrant, direct that the person named in the warrant be released after arrest on his entering into such a recognisance before a Magistrate for his appearance before Parliament or the committee as may be required in the endorsement.
(4)  Any person so arrested shall be brought before Parliament as soon as possible and until so brought or until released under subsection (3) or by order of the Speaker, shall be detained in any prison.
Arrest without warrant of persons disturbing proceedings
27.
—(1)  The Speaker may order the arrest by an officer of Parliament or a police officer without warrant of any person who creates or joins in any disturbance in Parliament or in the precincts or vicinity thereof when Parliament is sitting.
(2)  Any person arrested under subsection (1) may be detained in the custody of an officer of Parliament until the rising of Parliament or until Parliament has dealt with the matter under section 21.
Strangers may be removed on order of Speaker
28.  The Speaker may at any time order any stranger to withdraw from Parliament and the precincts thereof, and if that person fails to obey such an order he may be forcibly removed from Parliament and the precincts thereof by an officer of Parliament or a police officer.
Suspended Member excluded from Parliament and not paid salary
29.
—(1)  A Member who has been suspended from the service of Parliament shall withdraw from Parliament and the precincts thereof and shall not enter or remain therein while such suspension remains in force.
(2)  If any such Member is found within Parliament or the precincts thereof in contravention of subsection (1), he may be forcibly removed therefrom by an officer of Parliament or a police officer.
(3)  No salary or allowance payable to such Member for his service as a Member of Parliament shall be paid in respect of any period during which he is suspended from the service of Parliament.
Power of Speaker to issue warrants for arrest and imprisonment
30.
—(1)  For the purpose of exercising the power of committal to prison, Parliament may, by resolution, authorise the Speaker to issue a warrant under his hand for the arrest and imprisonment of the offender.
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(2)  Where the Speaker exercises his power under section 21(3) to deal summarily with any contempt committed in the view of Parliament or a committee, the Speaker may on his own motion where, in his opinion, the circumstances of the case so require immediately issue a warrant for the arrest and imprisonment of the offender.
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(3)  The warrant referred to in subsection (2) shall have the same effect as a warrant issued under the authority of Parliament.
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(4)  A warrant issued under this section shall be executed by a police officer.
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(5)  Where the warrant directs that the offender be detained in prison, the Director of Prisons shall receive the offender into his custody and detain him in accordance with the warrant.
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(6)  It shall be lawful for any person charged with or assisting in the execution of any warrant issued under this section to enter and search any premises, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or train in which the offender may be, or may reasonably be suspected of being, concealed.
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