Defence Act, 1954

Contempt of court-martial.

208.—(1) If any person not subject to military law—

(a) on being duly summoned as a witness before a court-martial and after payment or tender of the reasonable expenses of his attendance makes default in attending, or

(b) being in attendance as a witness at a court-martial refuses to take an oath or make a solemn declaration legally required by the court-martial to be taken or made, or to produce any document in his power and control legally required by the court-martial to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which the court-martial may legally require an answer, or

(c) does anything, whether at the court-martial or otherwise, which, if the court-martial were a civil court having power to commit for contempt, would be contempt of court,

the president of the court-martial may certify the offence of that person under his hand to the High Court and the High Court may, after such enquiry as it thinks proper to make, punish or take steps for the punishment of that person in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the High Court.

(2) (a) If any person subject to military law is guilty of contempt of a court-martial by using insulting or threatening language or by causing any interruption or disturbance in the proceedings of the court-martial, the court-martial, if they think it expedient, instead of the offender being tried by court-martial, may by order under the hand of the president order the offender to be imprisoned, without hard labour, or, in the case of a man, to undergo detention, for a period not exceeding twenty-one days.

(b) Chapter VII of this Part shall not apply to an order under paragraph (a) of this subsection.