The power of both Houses of Parliament to punish for contempt is a general power similar to that possessed by the superior courts of law1 and is not restricted to the punishment of breaches of their acknowledged privileges2. Any act or omission which obstructs or impedes either House in the performance of its functions, or which obstructs or impedes any member or officer of the House in the discharge of his duty, or which has a tendency to produce such a result, may be treated as a contempt even if there is no precedent for the offence
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