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election, on account of or in respect of such election, otherwise than through an agent or agents whose name and address or names and addresses have been declared in writing to the returning officer on or before the day of nomination, or through an agent or agents to be appointed in his or their place as herein provided ; and any person making any such payment, advance, loan, or deposit, otherwise than through such agent or agents, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, or, in Scotland of an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment. It shall be the duty of the returning officer to publish, on or before the day of nomination, the name and address or the names and addresses of the agent or agents appointed in pursuance of this section.
In the event of the death or legal incapacity of any agent appointed in pursuance of this section, the candidate shall forthwith appoint another agent in his place on giving notice to the returning officer of the name and address of the person so appointed, which shall be forthwith published by the returning officer.
III. All persons who have any bills, charges, or claims upon any candidate for or in respect of any election shall send in such bills, charges, or claims, within one month from the day of the declaration of the election to such agent or agents as aforesaid, otherwise such persons shall be barred of their right to recover such claims and every or any part thereof: provided always, that in case of the death within the said month of any person claiming the amount of such bill, charge, or claim, the legal representative of such person shall send in such bill, charge, or claim within one month after obtaining probate or letters of administration, or confirmation as executor, as the case may be, or the right to recover such claim shall be barred as aforesaid : provided also that such bills, charges, and claims shall and may be sent in and delivered to the candidate, if, and so long as, during the said month, there shall, owing to death or legal incapacity, be no such agent.
IV. A detailed statement of all election expenses incurred by or on behalf of any candidate, including such excepted payments as aforesaid, shall, within two months after the election, (or in cases where by reason of the death of the creditor no bill has been sent in within such period of two months, then within one month after such bill has been sent in,) be made out and signed by the agent or, if there be more than one, by every agent who has paid the same (including the candidate in case of payments made by him), and delivered, with the bills and vouchers relative thereto, to the returning officer, and the returning officer for the time being shall, at the expense of the candidate, within fourteen days, insert or cause to be inserted, an abstract of such statement, with the signature of the agent thereto, in some newspaper published or circulating in the county or place where the election was held; and any agent or candidate who makes default in delivering to the returning officer the statement required by this section shall incur a penalty not exceeding five pounds for every day during which he so makes default; and any agent or candidate who wilfully furnishes to the said returning officer an untrue statement shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, or in Scotland of an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment; and the said returning officer shall preserve all such bills and vouchers, and during six months after they have been delivered to him permit any voter to inspect the same, on payment of a fee of one shilling.
Legal Proceedings. V. The provisions of the fourteenth section of “The Corrupt “ Practices Prevention Act, 1854,” shall extend to a misdemeanor or to any other offence under the Corrupt Practices Prevention Acts not punishable by a penalty or forfeiture, as well as to proceedings for any offence punishable by a penalty or forfeiture.
VI. In any indictment or information for bribery or undue influence, and in any action or proceeding for any penalty for bribery, treating, or undue influence, it shall be sufficient to allege that the defendant was at the election at or in connexion with which the offence is intended to be alleged to have been committed guilty of bribery, treating, or undue influence (as the case may require); and in any criminal or civil proceedings in relation to any such offence the certificate of the returning officer in this behalf shall be sufficient evidence of the due holding of the election, and of any person therein named having been a candidate thereat.
VII. No person who is called as a witness before any election committee, or any commissioners appointed in pursuance of the Act of the session holden in the fifteenth and sixteenih years of the reign of Her present Majesty, chapter fifty-seven, shall be excused from answering any question relating to any corrupt practice at, or connected with, any election forming the subject of inquiry by such committee or commissioners, on the ground that the answer thereto may criminate or tend to criminate himself: Provided always, that where any witness shall answer every question relating to the matters aforesaid which he shall be required by such committee or commissioners (as the case may be) to answer, and the answer to which may criminate, or tend to criminate him, he shall be entitled to receive from the committee, under the hand of their clerk, or from the commissioners, under their hands (as the case may be), a certificate stating that such witness was, upon his examination, required by the said committee or commissioners to answer questions or a question relating to the matters aforesaid, the answers or answer to which criminated or tended to criminate him, and had answered all such questions or such question ; and if any information, indictment, or action be at any time thereafter pending in any court against such witness for any offence under the Corrupt Practices Prevention Acts, or for which he might have been prosecuted or proceeded against under such acts, committed by him previously to the time of his giving his evidence, and at or in relation to the election concerning or in relation to which the witness may have been so examined, the court shall, on production and proof of such certificate, stay the proceedings in such last-mentioned information, indictment, or action, and may, at its discretion, award to such witness such costs as he may have been put to in such information, indictment, or action: Provided that no statement made by any person in answer to any question put by or before such election committee or commissioners shals, except in cases of indictments for perjury, be admissible in evidence in any proceeding, civil or criminal.
Election Committees. VIII. The following regulations shall be made with respect to the proceedings of select committees appointed to try election petitions :
1. On any charge of treating being brought before any election com
mittee, it shall not be necessary, unless the committee should otherwise decide, to prove agency in the first instance before giving in evidence the facts whereby the charge of treating is to
be sustained : 2. Where any person who has voted at any election is found by any
committee to have been guilty of bribery or treating at such election, his vote shall be void, and may, upon a scrutiny, be struck off the list of voters, notwithstanding that the name of such guilty person has not been included in the list of voters to
be objected to : 3. Where any election petition complains that bribery, treating, or
other corrupt practices have been committed at any election, the committee to whose determination such petition is referred shall report to the House of Commons whether or not corrupt practices have, or whether there is reason to believe corrupt practices have, extensively prevailed at such election in the place to which the
petition refers. IX. Where an election committee has reported to the House of Commons that certain persons named by them have been guilty of bribery or treating, and where it appears by the report of any commission of inquiry into corrupt practices at any election made to Her Majesty and laid before Parliament that certain persons named by them have been guilty of the offences of bribery or treating, and have not been furnished by them with certificates of indemnity, such report, with the evidence taken by the commission, shall be laid before the Attorney General, with a view to his instituting a prosecution against such persons if the evidence should, in his opinion, be sufficient to support a prosecution.
Repeal. X. There shall be repealed the several Acts of Parliament mentioned in the Schedule hereto to the extent specified in the third column of the said Schedule, but such repeal shall not affect the punishment of any offence or the recovery of any penalty or forfeiture incurred under any of the provisions hereby repealed.
XI. "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Acts shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date of the passing of this Act, and from thenceforth until the end of the then next session of Parliament.
The Schedule. Extent of Repeal. 15th and 16th Vic., cap 57. A.D. 1852. Sections 9 and 10. 17th and 18th Vic., cap. 102. A.D. 1854. Sections 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,
20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 34. 21st and 22nd Vic., cap. 87. A.D. 1858. So much of Section (1) as
provides that a full, true, and particular account of all payments made for such conveyance, signed by the candidate or his agents, shall be delivered to the election auditor, with the names and addresses of the persons to whom such payments have been made, and the amount of such account shall be included in the general account of the expenses incurred at any election to be made out and kept by such election auditor. Also Sections 2, 4.
" THE ELECTION PETITIONS AND CORRUPT PRACTICES AT
ELECTIONS ACT, 1868.”
An Act for amending the Laws relating to Election Petitions, and pro
viding more effectually for the prevention of corrupt practices at Parliamentary Elections.
[31st July, 1868.] WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the laws relating to election petitions, and to provide more effectually for the prevention of corrupt practices at Parliamentary elections :
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Preliminary. I. This Act may be cited for all purposes as “ The Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868."
II. The expression "the Court" shall, for the purposes of this Act, in its application to England mean the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, and in its application to Ireland the Court of Common Pleas at Dublin, and such Court shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have the same powers, jurisdiction, and authority with reference to an election petition and the proceedings thereon as it would have if such petition were an ordinary cause within their jurisdiction.
III. The following terms shall in this Act have the meanings hereinafter assigned to them, unless there is something in the context repugnant to such construction ; (that is to say,)
Metropolitan District" shall mean the City of London and the liberties thereof, and any parish or place subject to the jurisdiction
of the Metropolitan Board of Works : “ Election” shall mean an election of a member or members to serve
in Parliament: “ County" shall not include a County of a City or County of a Town,
but shall mean any county, riding, parts, or division of a county
returning a member or members to serve in Parliament: “ Candidate" shall mean any person elected to serve in Parliament at
an election, and any person who has been nominated as or declared
himself a candidate at an election: “ Corrupt Practices” or Corrupt Practice shall mean bribery,
treating, and undue influence, or any of such offences, as defined by
Act of Parliament, or recognized by the common law of Parliament: “ Rules of Court" shall mean rules to be made as herein-after
mentioned : “ Prescribed" shall mean“ prescribed by the rules of Court.
IV. For the purposes of this Act “ Speaker” shall be deemed to include deputy speaker; and when the office of speaker is vacant, the
clerk of the House of Commons, or any other officer for the time being performing the duties of the clerk of the House of Coinmons, shall be deemed to be substituted for and to be included in the expression “ the speaker."
Presentation and Service of Petition. V. From and after the next dissolution of Parliament a petition complaining of an undue return or undue election of a member to serve in Parliament for a county or borough may be presented to the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, if such county or borough is situate in England, or to the Court of Common Pleas at Dublin, if such county or borough is situate in Ireland, by any one or more of the following persons : 1. Some person who voted or who had a right to vote at the election
to which the petition relates; or, 2. Some person claiming to have had a right to be returned or
elected at such election; or, 3. Some person alleging himself to have been a candidate at such
election : And such petition is herein-after referred to as an election petition.
VI. The following enactments shall be made with respect to the presentation of an election petition under this Act: 1. The petition shall be signed by the Petitioner, or all the Petitioners
if more than One : 2. The petition shall be presented within twenty-one days after the
return has been made to the clerk of the crown in Chancery in England, or to the clerk of the crown and hanaper in Ireland, as the case may be, of the member to whose election the petition relates, unless it question the return or election upon an allegation of corrupt practices, and specifically alleges a payment of money or other reward to have been made by any member, or on his account, or with his privity, since the time of such return, in pursuance or in furtherance of such corrupt practices, in which case the petition may be presented at any time within twenty-eight
days after the date of such payment: 3. Presentation of a petition shall be made by delivering it to the
prescribed officer or otherwise dealing with the same in manner
prescribed. 4. At the time of the presentation of the petition, or within three days
afterwards, security for the payment of all costs, charges, and
(a.) to any person summoned as a witness on his behalf, or,
(who is herein-after referred to as the respondent), shall be given on behalf of the petitioner: 5. The security shall be to an amount of one thousaud pounds; it
sball be given either by recognizance to be entered into by any number of sureties not exceeding four, or by a deposit of money in manner prescribed, or partly in one way and partly in the other.