At the initial hearing of an administrative case for malpractice against petitioner, he was presented as the first witness for the complainants. His counsel objected, invoking petitioner’s right to be exempt from being a witness against himself. Respondent Board of Examiners took note of the plea but stated that petitioner would be called upon to testify as such witness unless he could secure a restraining order from a competent authority.
Whether or not the respondent in an administrative charge may not be compelled to take the witness stand.
YES. The accused in a criminal case may refuse, not only to answer incriminatory questions, but also to take the witness stand. The same principle shall apply to the respondent in an administrative proceeding where the respondent may be subjected to sanctions of a penal character, such as the cancellation of his license to practice medicine.
Decision of the lower court is AFFIRMED.