Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART X, MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL - continued

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Provisions relating to offences
Punishment of offences.     140. - (1) Schedule 19 makes provision for the punishment of offences under this Act.
 
      (2) In relation to an offence under any provision specified in the first column of that Schedule, the second column shows-
 
 
    (a) whether the offence is punishable on summary conviction only or is punishable either on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment; and
 
    (b) the maximum punishment (or, in the case of a fine on a conviction on indictment, the punishment) which may be imposed by way of fine or imprisonment on a person convicted of the offence in the way specified;
  and, where that column shows two alternative penalties that may be imposed on a person convicted in the way specified, as a further alternative both of those penalties may be imposed on him.
 
      (3) In the second column of that Schedule-
 
 
    (a) "Level 5" means a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale;
 
    (b) "statutory maximum" means a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; and
 
    (c) any reference to 1 year or 6 months is a reference to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or 6 months (as the case may be).
Summary proceedings.     141. - (1) Summary proceedings for any offence under this Act may, without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable apart from this subsection, be taken against any body, including an unincorporated association, at any place at which it has a place of business, and against an individual at any place at which he is for the time being.
 
      (2) Despite anything in section 127(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, any information relating to an offence under this Act which is triable by a magistrates' court in England and Wales may be so tried if it is laid at any time within three years after the commission of the offence and within six months after the relevant date.
 
      (3) Despite anything in section 136 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, summary proceedings for such an offence may be commenced in Scotland at any time within three years after the commission of the offence and within six months after the relevant date; and subsection (3) of that section shall apply for the purposes of this subsection as it applies for the purposes of that section.
 
      (4) Despite anything in Article 19(1) of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, a complaint relating to such an offence which is triable by a court of summary jurisdiction in Northern Ireland may be so tried if it is made at any time within three years after the commission of the offence and within six months after the relevant date.
 
      (5) In this section "the relevant date" means the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to justify proceedings comes to his knowledge.
 
      (6) For the purposes of subsection (5) a certificate of any prosecutor as to the date on which such evidence as is there mentioned came to his knowledge shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.
 
Offences committed by bodies corporate.     142. - (1) Where an offence under this Act committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of-
 
 
    (a) any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or
 
    (b) any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,
  he, as well as the body corporate, shall be guilty of that offence and be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
 
      (2) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection (1) shall apply in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection with his functions of management as if he were a director of the body corporate.
 
Offences committed by unincorporated associations.     143. - (1) Proceedings for an offence alleged to have been committed under this Act by an unincorporated association shall be brought against the association in its own name (and not in that of any of its members) and, for the purposes of any such proceedings, any rules of court relating to the service of documents shall have effect as if the association were a corporation.
 
      (2) A fine imposed on an unincorporated association on its conviction of an offence under this Act shall be paid out of the funds of the association.
 
      (3) Section 33 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 and Schedule 3 to the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (procedure on charge of offence against a corporation) shall have effect in a case in which an unincorporated association is charged in England or Wales with an offence under this Act in like manner as they have effect in the case of a corporation so charged.
 
      (4) In relation to any proceedings on indictment in Scotland for an offence alleged to have been committed under this Act by an unincorporated association, section 70 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (proceedings on indictment against bodies corporate) shall have effect as if the association were a body corporate.
 
      (5) Section 18 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 and Schedule 4 to the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (procedure on charge of offence against a corporation) shall have effect in a case in which an unincorporated association is charged in Northern Ireland with an offence under this Act in like manner as they have effect in the case of a corporation so charged.
 
      (6) Where a partnership is guilty of an offence under this Act and the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any partner, he as well as the partnership shall be guilty of that offence and be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
 
      (7) Where any other unincorporated association is guilty of an offence under this Act and the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of-
 
 
    (a) any officer of the association, or
 
    (b) any member of the committee or other similar governing body of the association,
  he, as well as the association, shall be guilty of that offence and be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
 
Duty of court to report convictions to Commission.     144. The court by or before which a person is convicted of-
 
 
    (a) an offence under this Act, or
 
    (b) an offence committed in connection with a relevant election (within the meaning of Part II),
  shall notify the Commission of his conviction as soon as is practicable.
 
 
Variation of specified sums
Power to vary specified sums.     145. - (1) The Secretary of State may by order vary any sum for the time being specified in any provision of this Act (other than the sum specified in section 11(8) or 32(5)).
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may make such an order either-
 
 
    (a) where he considers it expedient to do so in consequence of changes in the value of money, or
 
    (b) where the order gives effect to a recommendation of the Commission.
 
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