Magistrate - Eligibility Criteria, Roles and Duties in 2023

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Magistrate Overview 2023

The modern concept of a magistrate is derived from the Roman system, but the powers and duties of magistrates have evolved over time. In many countries, magistrates are now appointed by the government, rather than elected by the people. They also typically have less power than judges, and they are not allowed to hear cases involving serious crimes. In India, a magistrate is a judicial officer who is appointed by the state government. Magistrates have jurisdiction over minor criminal cases, civil disputes, and family matters. They also have the power to issue search warrants and arrest warrants.

Magistrate is someone who can enforce laws within a limited jurisdiction. A magistrate handles cases related to petty theft, traffic violations, and similar small crimes with very set and clear punishments. By taking up petty issues, magistrates reduce the workload of judges, who can concentrate on complex issues, thus making the judicial system efficient.

The qualifications for becoming a magistrate in India vary from state to state. However, most magistrates must have a law degree and several years of experience as a lawyer. They must also pass a competitive examination. Magistrates play an important role in the Indian justice system. They are responsible for ensuring that justice is served in a fair and impartial manner. They also play a vital role in resolving disputes and keeping the peace.

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Magistrate Roles and Duties 2023

In India, there are 4 categories of Magistrates

    • A Chief Judicial Magistrate
    • Judicial Magistrates First Class;
    • Judicial Magistrates Second Class; and
    • Executive Magistrates

Judicial Magistrates can try criminal cases. A judicial magistrate first class can sentence a person to jail for up to three years and impose a fine of up to Rs. 5,000. A judicial magistrate second class can sentence a person to jail for up to one year and impose a fine of up to Rs. 3,000

Executive Magistrates can set the bail amount for a person arrested on the orders of a court located outside the local jurisdiction, to avoid police custody, depending on the terms of the warrant.

The Executive Magistrate also can pass orders restraining persons from committing a particular act or preventing persons from entering an area. But, the Executive Magistrates can not try an accused person and neither can they pass verdicts for or against them.

The roles and duties of a magistrate vary from country to country, but they typically include the following:

  • Hearing minor criminal cases. Magistrates typically hear cases involving misdemeanors, such as traffic violations, petty theft, and disorderly conduct. They may also hear cases involving felonies, but only if the defendant has waived their right to a jury trial.
  • Conducting preliminary investigations. Magistrates may conduct preliminary investigations into serious crimes, such as felonies. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing evidence, and issuing arrest warrants.
  • Issuing search warrants and other orders. Magistrates have the authority to issue search warrants, arrest warrants, and other orders. This may be necessary to gather evidence or to detain a suspect.
  • Setting bail. Magistrates may set bail for defendants who are accused of crimes. This is a way to ensure that the defendant will appear for their court date.
  • Administering oaths and affirmations. Magistrates may administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses and other individuals. This is a way to ensure that the person is telling the truth.
  • Approving adoptions and guardianships. Magistrates may approve adoptions and guardianships. This is a way to ensure that the best interests of the child are being met.
  • Enforcing child support orders. Magistrates may enforce child support orders. This may involve ordering a parent to pay child support or to make other arrangements for the care of their child.
  • Overseeing the probation and parole of offenders. Magistrates may oversee the probation and parole of offenders. This may involve reviewing their progress and making decisions about their continued release.

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Magistrate Eligibility Criteria 2023

    • For Advocate, Attorney or Pleader

Age: – As on 1st October, not less than 21 and not more than 35 years.

Candidate must hold a degree in law and must have practiced as an Advocate, Attorney or Pleader in the High Court or Courts
Subordinates there to for not less than 3 years on 30th June.

Note: – In the case of Public Prosecutors, their service in the state where they apply will be taken as practice at the Bar.

    • For Fresh Law Graduates

Age: – As on 1st October, not less than 21 and not more than 25 years.

Qualification :-

(i) Candidate must has secured the degree in law by passing all the examinations leading to the degree in the first attempt and,
(ii) Has secured in the final year examination of the degree in Law or in the case of candidate holding Masters Degree (L.L.M) in Law
in final year examination not less than 55 % marks.

A) Members of ministerial staff to the High Court

B) Members of ministerial staff to the Courts subordinate to High Court

C) Members of staff working as Legal Assistant and above in the legal section of the Law and Judiciary Department in Mantralaya.

D) Members of ministerial Staff of the Office of the Govt. Pleaders attached to those courts.

Age :- For A, B, C & D – As on 1st October not less than 21 and not more than 45 years provided such employee has put in minimum three years of service after obtaining degree in law.


A magistrate is an official who acts as a judge in law courts which deal with minor crimes or disputes. Synonyms: judge, justice, provost [Scottish], bailie [Scottish] More Synonyms of magistrate.

A district magistrate, often abbreviated to DM, is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who is the senior-most executive magistrate and chief in charge of the general administration of a district in India. The responsibilities assigned to a district magistrate vary from state to state.

Moreover, in the hierarchy level of union and state government, the judge is far more superior and powerful than the IAS officer. IAS officers might have a vast range of authority and powers, but they are used for the general public or officers at the junior level.

A District Magistrate, also referred to as DM, is responsible for the order and law and is the head of the parole officer. While the Collector is the chief head officer of the revenue management and is also responsible for the revenue of land and is the highest judicial revenue authority in the district

Judge is a general term for all those who perform a judicial function. Judges can be civil judges, sessions judges or High Court or Supreme Court judges. Judicial magistrates are also considered judges.