John Beaumont, Kt., C.J.
1. This is a reference made by the District Magistrate of Ahmednagar. The accused were tried by the Magistrate, Second Class, Kopargaon, for an offence of mischief, and they were convicted under Section 427 of the Indian Penal Code. Accused Nos. 1 and 2 were sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 75 each, while accused No. 3 was released under Section 562 of the Criminal Procedure Code. On appeal to the Sub-divisional Magistrate, he quashed the proceedings on the ground that as one of the appellants, accused No. 3, was a juvenile under fifteen years of age, the trial Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try him, having regard to the provisions of Section 29B of the Criminal Procedure Code. The learned District Magistrate is of opinion that the view of the Sub-divisional Magistrate is wrong, and that the trial was not illegal, and he has referred the matter to us for orders. The view of the District Magistrate is in accordance with Emperor v. Natvarlal (1930) 33 Bom. L.R. 312 and is, in my opinion, clearly right. Section 29B of the Criminal Procedure Code provides that any offence, other than one punishable with death or transportation for life, committed by any person who at the date when he appears or is brought before the Court is under the age of fifteen years, may be tried by a District Magistrate or a Chief Presidency Magistrate, or by any Magistrate specially empowered by the Local Government to exercise the powers conferred by Section 8, Sub-section (1), of the Reformatory Schools Act, 1897. That section is in terms clearly permissive. When a juvenile under the age of fifteen years is brought before a Magistrate other than one of those specially referred to in Section 29B, the learned Magistrate can, if he chooses, either under Section 9 of the Reformatory Schools Act, 1897, or under Section 349 of the Criminal Procedure Code, refer the matter to the District Magistrate with a view to the case being tried by a special Magistrate under Section 29B ; and the District Magistrate of his own volition can direct any such case to be tried by a Magistrate having special powers. But if neither of those courses is adopted, then it appears to me that the trial Magistrate can deal with the case under the regular provisions of the Code. If the case is one which he is empowered to try under the second schedule to the Code, as was this case, he can try it, and pass any sentence authorized by law. Section 29B enables one of the special Magistrates there referred to to deal with many cases which, apart from that section, could only be tried by a Court of Session. But the section does not, in my opinion, invalidate a trial which would be valid apart from the section. We must, therefore, accept the reference of the learned District Magistrate, set aside the order of the Sub-divisional Magistrate, and refer the appeal back to him for disposal according to law.
2. I agree.