Kumaraswami Sastri, J.
1. I am of opinion that the conviction of the 1st accused under Section 2251 cannot stand. He was accused of having offered obstruction to the lawful apprehension of a person apprehended by the Police for theft. It is found that the person apprehended was a boy under seven years of age and the case was argued both by the Public Prosecutor and Counsel for the petitioners on that footing.
2. Section 82 of the Penal Code enacts that nothing is an offence which is dose by a child under seven years of age. Section 4 Clause (o) of the Criminal Procedure Code defines offence to moan any act or omission made punishable by any law for the time being in force. The powers given by Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code to the Police Officer to arrest without a warrant are only in respect of cognizable offences. If the person arrested is a child under sever years of age, who under Section 82 of the Indian Penal Code cannot commit an offence, it is difficult to see how such an arrest can be a lawful apprehension within the meaning of Section 225B.
3. So far as the 2nd accused is concerned, the person rescued was over seven and under twelve years of age and Section 83 of the Penal Code applies. The arrest was a prima facie lawful one and the 2nd accused was guilty under Section 225B. The sentence is not severe and I see no reason to interfere.
4. I reverse the conviction and sentence passed on the 1st accused and dismiss the petition of the 2nd accused.