1. In this case four persons have been convicted by a Second-class Magistrate under Clauses (c) and (d), Section 821 of the Indian Registration Act, 1877, the first of having falsely personated another and in such assumed character presented a document for registration, and the second, third, and fourth with having abetted such false personation. The District Magistrate submits that an offence falling under that section is not cognizable by a Second-class Magistrate. I do not agree in that opinion. Section 29* of the Criminal Procedure Code, to which the Magistrate has adverted, enacts, in its first clause, that any offence under any special law shall, when any Court is mentioned in this behalf in such law, be tried by such Court. The proviso that no Magistrate of the second class shall try any such offence which is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, is a proviso to the next clause which deals with laws in which no Court is mentioned.
2. Section 832 of the Registration Act is referred to by the District Magistrate as stating 'merely that no offence under the Act shall be tried by a Magistrate of lower rank than what is, according to the present law, a Magistrate of the second class.' But in this he is not quite accurate. The words are : ' offences punishable under this Act shall be triable by any Court or officer exercising powers not less than those of a Magistrate of the second class,' and these words, in my opinion, give jurisdiction to a Magistrate of the second class.
3. The ground of the reference therefore fails; but a fine of Rupees 25 appears to me altogether inadequate for a case of this kind. The offence committed is a very serious one, punishable with imprisonment for a term of seven years. I consider that a sentence of two years' rigorous imprisonment in the case of the first prisoner, Krishna Pillai, and eighteen months in the case of the other three, Krishna Pillai Nayandu Guruvappa Naidu, Virabadra Mudali, and Mucisami Naidu, is sufficient, and not more than sufficient, to meet the requirement of the case, and I pass sentence accordingly.
1 Penalty for certain other offences.
[Section 82: Whoever commits any of the following offences shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both:
(c) Falsely personates another, and in such assumed character presents any document or makes any admission or statement, or causes any summons or commission to be issued or does any other act in any proceeding or inquiry under this Act,
Abetment of offences under this Act.
(d) Abets within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code anything made punishable by this Act.]
2 Registering officer may commence prosecutions.
[Section 83:-A prosecution for offence under this Act coming to the knowledge of a Registering officer in his official capacity may be commenced by or with the permission of the Inspector-General, the Branch Inspector General of Sindh, the Registrar or Sub-Registrar in whose territories District or Sub-District, as the case may be, the offence has been committed.
Offences punishable under this Act shall be triable by any Court or officer exercising powers not less than those of a Subordinate Magistrate of the first class;
Provided that, in opposing penalties under this Act, no such Court officer shall exceed the limits of jurisdiction prescribed by the Law for the time being in force as to such Court or officer. All these fines imposed under this Act may be recovered if for offences committed outside the limits of the Presidency towns, in the manner prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure, and if for offences committed within those limits, in the manner prescribed by any Act regulating the Police of such terms for the time being in force.]