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Can deputy commissioners of police be appointed as "Executive Magistrates" under the CrPC, which contains provisions allowing Executive Magistrates to exercise certain judicial powers, when there is a statutory bar on policemen from exercising "judicial" powers under the District Police Act, 1859?
Justice PN Prakash of the Madras High Court recently deliberated on this question, recounting in some detail the history of the law and its intent, before opining that commissioners of police cannot be permitted to act as Executive Magistrates under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
However, given a contrary ruling by another coordinate Bench of the Madras High Court in Balamurugan vs. State, Justice Prakash has now placed the matter for an authoritative pronouncement by a larger Bench.