Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Police acting as executive magistrates: SC seeks reply from states on PIL

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said copies of the PIL, alleging that police officers are being appointed as special executive magistrates and they act as judges in certain cases, be served to all the states so as to enable them to file their response in the matter.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has directed that the copies to be served to them within a week and sought their replies within six weeks.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed that the copies to be served to them within a week and sought their replies within six weeks.

“Let a copy of this petition be served on the standing counsel for all the state respondents, so that the said states can file affidavit with regard to the position in vogue in those states,” the bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The matter was posted for further hearing in the first week of July.

Earlier, on April 5, the bench had expressed surprise and asked as to how police officers can be allowed to perform the job of executive magistrates under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to deal with bail bonds from persons for ensuring law and order.

The court, however, had considered the submission of Delhi Police that Section 21 of CrPC expresses intention of the legislature that the police may be bestowed with the magisterial power.

The PIL, filed by lawyer Aldanish Rein, alleged that police officers, whose role is to investigate, are being appointed as special executive magistrates and they act as judges in certain cases.

It was alleged that these executive magistrates are entrusted with the task to ensure peace and empowered to accept or reject bonds from people for maintaining law and order.

Rein, in his plea, cited an example from Delhi where an executive magistrate had refused to accept the bond given by a person in a case relating to public nuisance and was sent to judicial custody.

The plea challenged the powers of executive magistrates under Chapter VII of the CrPC, especially the power under sections 107, 111 and 116, by which they allegedly arbitrarily reject bonds given by persons, involved in cases relating to public scuffle or nuisance, promising to keep peace.

PTI

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