Mohammed Mirza, J.
1. This petition is directed against an order of the learned First Class Magistrate, Tekkali, converting CC 70 of 1966 into a P.R.C.
2. The petitioner is charged of an of fence under Section 27 read with Sections 17A, 18A(1) and (2) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940. Section 27 of this Act prescribes the punishment which may extend to ten years. The second schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code prescribes that if the offence is against any other law and if it is punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for seven years or upwards, only the Court of Session would try such offences. It is, in view of this provision of law, that the learned trial Magistrate has directed the conversion of the CC into a P.R.C.
3. The learned Counsel for the petitioner contends before me that in view of Section 32 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, no Court inferior to that of the Magistrate of First Class shall try an offence under this Act, and Section 36 of the same Act lays down that it will be competent for a Magistrate of First Class to pass any sentence authorised by this Act in excess of its powers under Section 32 of the Code. But in my view Section 30 and the 2nd schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a bar to the exercise of enhanced powers by the Magistrate. Under Section 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, as I have already said, the maximum punishment prescribed is ten years. This point is likely to arise very often whether the Magistrate is competent to try the case under Section 36 of the said Act. Therefore I think it proper that it should be decided by a higher Bench. Therefore I refer this case to a Bench.
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