New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The Supreme Court today 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.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra 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.

“How can police officers act like executive magistrates,” the bench, which also comprised justices A M Khanwilar and D Y Chandrachud, asked.

The bench then asked the counsel for the Delhi government to take instructions and file its response to the PIL filed by lawyer Aldanish Rein.

The PIL 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.

Earlier, the apex court had directed its registry to issue notice to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories in the case and had sought their responses.

Rein, in his plea, has 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.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.