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National Health Service Act 1977

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84 Inquiries.E+W+S

(1)The Secretary of State may cause an inquiry to be held in any case where he deems it advisable to do so in connection with any matter arising under this Act [F1or Part I of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990][F2or Part I of the Health Act 1999 (with the exception of sections 33 to 38)].

(2)For the purpose of any such inquiry (but subject to subsection (3) below) the person appointed to hold the inquiry—

(a)may by summons require any person to attend, at a time and place stated in the summons, to give evidence or to produce any documents in his custody or under his control which relate to any matter in question at the inquiry; and

(b)may take evidence on oath, and for that purpose administer oaths, or may, instead of administering an oath, require the person examined to make a solemn affirmation.

(3)Nothing in this section—

(a)requires a person, in obedience to a summons under the section, to attend to give evidence or to produce any documents unless the necessary expenses of his attendance are paid or tendered to him; or

(b)empowers the person holding the inquiry to require the production of the title, or of any instrument relating to the title, of any land not being the property of a local authority.

(4)Any person who refuses or deliberately fails to attend in obedience to a summons under this section, or to give evidence, or who deliberately alters, suppresses, conceals, destroys, or refuses to produce any book or other document which he is required or is liable to be required to produce for the purposes of this section, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F3level 3 on the standard scale] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both.

(5)Where the Secretary of State causes an inquiry to be held under this section—

(a)the costs incurred by him in relation to the inquiry (including such reasonable sum not exceeding £30 a day as he may determine for the services of any officer engaged in the inquiry) shall be paid by such local authority or party to the inquiry as he may direct, and

(b)he may cause the amount of the costs so incurred to be certified, and any amount so certified and directed to be paid by any authority or person shall be recoverable from that authority or person by the Secretary of State summarily as a civil debt.

No local authority shall be ordered to pay costs under this subsection in the case of any inquiry unless it is a party to that inquiry.

(6)Where the Secretary of State causes an inquiry to be held under this section he may make orders—

(a)as to the costs of the parties at the inquiry, and

(b)as to the parties by whom the costs are to be paid,

and every such order may be made a rule of the High Court on the application of any party named in the order.

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Amendments (Textual)

F2Words in s. 84(1) inserted (1.11.1999) by S.I. 1999/2795, art. 2(1)(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 84(2)–(4) applied with modifications by S.I. 1979/1644, reg. 10(8)

S. 84(2)-(4) applied with modifications (30.1.1998) by S.I. 1997/2817, reg. 19(1)(2), Sch. 4

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