25. (1) The committee on discipline shall hear in first instance any complaint made against a member of the Association for violation of the by-laws or this act.
(2) For the purpose of deciding a complaint, the committee on discipline shall hear the parties or afford them a reasonable opportunity to be heard, the procedure for such purpose to be established by by-law. For the summoning and interrogation of witnesses and the production of documents, it shall have the same powers as the Superior Court; any refusal by a person summoned to appear or by a witness to be sworn or to answer questions legally put or to produce the documents that he is legally bound to produce shall be punishable upon summary petition addressed to the Superior Court, as if such refusal had taken place before the said court. Otherwise the rules of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply mutatismutandis, except that neither the accused nor the spouse of the accused can be compelled to testify.
(3) A witness before the committee on discipline must answer all questions, notwithstanding articles 308 and 309 of the Code of Civil Procedure. His testimony shall be privileged and cannot be set up against him in any court of justice. Where an order requires the hearing to be held in camera, every person cognizant of such testimony is bound to secrecy, saving the right of the officers and members of the Board or the Inspector General of Financial Institutions to be informed thereof in the performance of their duties. The committee on discipline may, of its own initiative or upon request, order that a hearing be held in camera or prohibit the publication or release of any information or document it indicates, in the interest of morality or public order, in particular to preserve professional secrecy or to protect a person’s privacy or reputation. Every person who, by performing or omitting to perform an act, infringes an order to hold a hearing in camera, or an order banning publication or release, is guilty of contempt of court.
(4) Unless the complainant and the accused expressly renounce the right of appeal from the decision of the committee on discipline, all the evidence shall be taken down by stenography.
(5) If the committee on discipline finds that the complaint is well founded in whole or in part, it may by its decision condemn the accused to a reprimand, a fine, suspension for a stated period or even expulsion, with in all cases the costs incurred for the complaint and the inquiry, established according to a tariff established by by-law, or to any part of such costs; the disbursements occasioned by any investigation that led to the complaint or by the preparation of the inquiry may form part of such costs.
(6) The decision of the committee on discipline shall become executory fifteen days after the posting by registered or certified mail of a copy certified by the manager, directed to the last address of the accused entered on the register of the Association.
(7) Within the same delay the accused or the complainant, as the case may be, may appeal to the Board from the decision of the committee on discipline by sending by registered or certified mail to the manager a written notice to that effect.
(8) The appeal shall suspend the execution of the decision.
(9) The appeal shall be heard by the Board on the record constituted before the committee on discipline, and the Board shall not hear any additional proof.
(10) The Board may either confirm the decision of the committee on discipline or amend it by rendering the decision that such committee should have rendered, or quash the decision and send the record back to the committee on discipline in order that a new inquiry may be held.
(11) Any decision of the Board on an appeal from the committee on discipline may be appealed to the Inspector General of Financial Institutions, and subsections 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 shall apply to such decision and appeal mutatismutandis.