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

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General offences.     148. - (1) A person commits an offence if he-
 
 
    (a) alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys, or
 
    (b) causes or permits the alteration, suppression, concealment or destruction of,
  any document or other record relating to the financial affairs or transactions of a supervised organisation or individual which is or is liable to be required to be produced for inspection under section 146(1), and does so with the intention of falsifying the document or record or enabling that organisation or individual to evade any of the provisions of this Act.
 
      (2) Where the relevant person in the case of a supervised organisation, or a person acting on his behalf, requests a person holding an office in any such organisation ("the office-holder") to supply the relevant person with any information which he reasonably requires for the purposes of any of the provisions of this Act, the office-holder commits an offence if-
 
 
    (a) without reasonable excuse, he fails to supply the relevant person with that information as soon as is reasonably practicable, or
 
    (b) in purporting to comply with the request, he knowingly supplies the relevant person with any information which is false in a material particular.
      (3) A person commits an offence if, with intent to deceive, he withholds-
 
 
    (a) from the relevant person in the case of a supervised organisation, or
 
    (b) from a supervised individual,
  any information required by the relevant person or that individual for the purposes of any of the provisions of this Act.
 
      (4) In subsections (1) to (3) any reference to a supervised organisation or individual includes a reference to a former supervised organisation or individual.
 
      (5) Subsections (1) and (3) shall apply in relation to a person who is (or has been)-
 
 
    (a) a candidate at an election (other than a local government election in Scotland), or
 
    (b) the election agent for such a candidate,
  as they apply in relation to a supervised individual (or a former supervised individual), except that in their application in relation to any such person any reference to any of the provisions of this Act includes a reference to any other enactment imposing any restriction or other requirement falling within section 145(1)(b).
 
      (6) In this section-
 
 
    (a) "supervised individual" means an individual who is a regulated donee, a recognised third party or a permitted participant;
 
    (b) "supervised organisation" means-
 
      (i) a registered party or (in the case of such a party with accounting units) the central organisation of the party or any of its accounting units,
 
      (ii) a regulated donee which is a members association,
 
      (iii) a recognised third party other than an individual, or
 
      (iv) a permitted participant other than an individual;
 
    (c) "relevant person" means a person who is (or has been)-
 
      (i) in relation to a registered party (other than a minor party) or the central organisation of such a party, the treasurer of the party,
 
      (ii) in relation to any accounting unit of such a party, the registered treasurer of the unit,
 
      (iii) in relation to a regulated donee which is a members association, the responsible person for the purposes of Schedule 7,
 
      (iv) in relation to a recognised third party, the responsible person for the purposes of Part VI,
 
      (v) in relation to a permitted participant, the responsible person for the purposes of Part VII;
 
    (d) "regulated donee" and "members association" have the same meaning as in Schedule 7;
 
    (e) "recognised third party" and "permitted participant" have the same meaning as in Parts VI and VII respectively.
 
Inspection of registers etc.
Inspection of Commission's registers etc.     149. - (1) This section applies to any register kept by the Commission under-
 
 
    (a) section 23;
 
    (b) section 69;
 
    (c) section 89; or
 
    (d) section 107.
      (2) The Commission shall make a copy of the register available for public inspection during ordinary office hours, either at the Commission's offices or at some convenient place appointed by them.
 
      (3) The Commission may make other arrangements for members of the public to have access to the contents of the register.
 
      (4) If requested to do so by any person, the Commission shall supply him with a copy of the register or any part of it.
 
      (5) The Commission may charge such reasonable fee as they may determine in respect of-
 
 
    (a) any inspection or access allowed under subsection (2) or (3); or
 
    (b) any copy supplied under subsection (4).
      (6) Subsections (2) to (5) shall apply in relation to any document a copy of which the Commission are for the time being required to make available for public inspection by virtue of-
 
 
    (a) section 46,
 
    (b) section 84,
 
    (c) section 100, or
 
    (d) section 124,
  as they apply in relation to any register falling within subsection (1).
 
      (7) Where any register falling within subsection (1) or any document falling within subsection (6) is held by the Commission in electronic form, any copy-
 
 
    (a) made available for public inspection under subsection (2), or
 
    (b) supplied under subsection (4),
  must be made available, or (as the case may be) supplied, in a legible form.
 
 
Provisions relating to offences
Punishment of offences.     150. - (1) Schedule 20 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.     151. - (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.     152. - (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.     153. - (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.
 
 
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