Magistrate Career

A candidate who qualifies in the Law Service Commission or State Public Service Commission (SPSC)  is eligible for appointment as Magistrate and Sub-Magistrate (munsifs). While magistrate presides over criminal court, munsifs delivers judgment on civil cases.

Promotion may take a person higher up to position of  sub-judge, District and Sessions Courts Judge and further (depending upon seniority and vacancy) to appointments in High Courts and the Supreme Court.

According to the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 there are four categories of magistrates in India. The code 1973 specifies that in each sessions district, there shall be

    • Chief Judicial Magistrate
    • Judicial Magistrates First Class
    • Judicial Magistrates Second Class
    • Executive Magistrates

Chief Judicial Magistrate: Includes Additional Chief Judicial magistrates also. There is a Sub Divisional Judicial magistrate in every Sub Division (SDJM) although he is technically only a Judicial Mgistrate First Class . Judicial Magistrates can try criminal cases.

    1. Judicial Magistrate First Class: can sentence a person to jail for up to 3 years and inflict a fine of up to Rs 5,000.
    2. Judicial Magistrate Second Class:  can sentence a person to jail for up to 1 year and impose a fine of up to Rs 3,000.

Executive Magistrate:Is essentially a local government official, who is been provided with limited powers to execute some of the rights accorded to magistrates. Some of the government officials who are accorded this rights are

    1. Tehsildar (highest non-uniformed civil servant of a small locality)
    2. Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO)
    3. District Collector

These officers cannot try and accused nor pass any verdict. They are how ever authorized to take cognizance of the arrest of an individual, and can also set the bail amount for the arrested individual to avoid police custody. The Executive Magistrate also has the rights to impose curfew, and give orders to fire/shoot at trouble makers.

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