How to Become a Magistrate in India?

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How to Become a Magistrate in India?

Magistrate: The development of our country’s judicial system has been an ongoing process. Since ancient times, there has always been some mechanism or paradigm to look after the needs and problems of the people and to maintain peace in the ancient society as a community. When the British came to India, they brought striking changes to the Indian Judicial system with the closest-ever demarcation among the organs of the government. However, under British rule, there were many entrenched issues with the Judicial System which were taken up by the leaders of our country after independence.

We have the Judiciary system that we see today working in their capacities to maintain peace and law in the society. If you are interested in getting into the professional role of Judicial Magistrate in India, you can get related information about it in this blog. Keep reading! 

Who is a Magistrate?

A Judicial Magistrate is a professional officer who is responsible for maintaining law and order in a limited and defined jurisdiction. They have the power to enforce laws to control petty crimes in the defined area, like thefts, traffic violations, and other non-violent crimes which are already specified with clear punishments and penalties. Their area of jurisdiction spans a district or town. They are employed at the lower level of jurisdiction to lessen the burden of judges to clear other more serious crimes and misdemeanours.

Types of Magistrate in India

Different types of Magistrates have certain differences in their role. They are as follows:

  • Chief Judicial Magistrate- This official is appointed by the respective high court.
  • Special Judicial Magistrate- This official is also appointed by the respective high court of the state.
  • Executive Magistrate- The magistrate is an official of the local government appointed by the government.

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What is the Role of a Magistrate?

A magistrate is a judicial officer who performs a variety of duties depending on the jurisdiction. Here are some of the common things magistrates do:

Preside over trials: Magistrates preside over trials in lower courts, which typically handle less serious criminal and civil cases. They hear evidence from both sides, rule on legal matters, and issue decisions.

Issue arrest warrants and other orders: Magistrates can issue arrest warrants, search warrants, and other orders based on evidence presented to them. These orders give law enforcement the authority to take specific actions, such as arresting a suspect or searching a property.

Set bail: Magistrates set bail for defendants in criminal cases. Bail is a sum of money that a defendant must pay to be released from jail while they await trial.

Hold preliminary hearings: Magistrates hold preliminary hearings in some jurisdictions. These hearings are held to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

Perform other administrative tasks: Magistrates may also perform other administrative tasks, such as reviewing paperwork, signing orders, and conducting administrative hearings.

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Salary of a Magistrate in India

The salary of a Magistrate varies from state to state and is set up as per the rules set up by different State governments. However, the average salary of a Magistrate in India is around INR 8,00,000 to INR 12,00,000. 

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Required Skills for Magistrate

A magistrate needs a diverse skillset to effectively manage the complex demands of their role. Here are some of the essential skills required for a magistrate:

Strong Understanding of the Law

Magistrates need a solid foundation in the law, including criminal law, civil law, and procedural rules. They should be able to interpret and apply legal principles to specific cases.

Research Skills

Magistrates must be able to research legal issues efficiently and effectively. This includes using legal databases, libraries, and other resources.

Writing Skills

Magistrates need strong writing skills to draft clear and concise legal documents, such as orders, opinions, and decisions.

Verbal Communication Skills

Magistrates must be able to communicate effectively with both legal professionals and non-legal parties, such as litigants, witnesses, and jurors. One must have these communication skills to succeed at work or anywhere in life.

Interpersonal Skills

Magistrates must be able to remain impartial and unbiased throughout the proceedings. They must treat all parties involved in a case with respect, regardless of their position or background.

Time Management Skills

Magistrates often have heavy workloads and need to be able to manage their time effectively.

Organisational Skills

Magistrates need to be able to stay organized and keep track of all the documents and information involved in a case.

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How to Become a Magistrate?

To become a magistrate in India, there are several ways through which an aspiring candidate can qualify to become one. There are different types of aspiring candidates at different stages of their profession and some of them can also qualify to become one after only completing their law degree as fresh law graduates.

To become a magistrate just after completing their academics in the legal field, there are the following steps to follow:

Step 1: The candidate must secure a law degree from a recognized best law colleges in India. Must secure in the final examination a minimum aggregate of 55% in the undergraduate law degree or if have completed Masters in Law, must have the 55% aggregate in the final exams.

Step 2: Must be enrolled as an Advocate under the Advocates Act 1961 with membership in the state bar council. 

Step 2: Must have cleared the judicial examinations conducted by respective state governments. The judiciary examinations are conducted in three stages, which include Prelims, Mains, and Interviews. 

Step 3: After clearing all the stages of the exams, the candidate is qualified for magistrate allotment after a formal recruitment letter from respective state governments.

As an Advocate, Pleader or Attorney 

 Step 1: The candidate must secure a law degree from a recognized University in India with a minimum aggregate of 55% in the final exams.

Step 2: Must have practised in the High Court or Subordinate Courts as an advocate, attorney, or pleader with not less than 3 years of experience in their respective field.

There are some other legal professional roles that can qualify you to become a Magistrate. Some of them are as follows:

  • Members of Ministerial Staff to the High Court
  • Members of Ministerial Staff to the courts subordinate to the High Courts
  • Members of Ministerial Staff of the Office of the Government Pleaders attached to those courts

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Eligibility to Become a Magistrate in India

To become a magistrate in India, certain essential qualifications must be fulfilled by the candidate. The most essential requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a citizen of India
  • Candidates must be between 21 to 35 years old (can vary as per different states and as per different professional roles)
  • Must possess a law degree from a recognized university

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Exams to Become a Magistrate in India

In India, the magistrates and judges are recruited based on different exams conducted by respective State governments. The judiciary exam is conducted in three stages which have to be passed by candidates consecutively to qualify for the exam. The three stages of the judiciary exam are as follows:

  • Prelims– This stage includes MCQ-type questions. This exam acts as a screening test for the main exam to be conducted in the next stage. This exam includes questions mainly on general aptitude and general knowledge which may differ for different states.
  • Mains– This stage consists of descriptive-type questions which test the in-depth knowledge regarding the subject while testing the writing and analysis skills of candidates. The questions are mainly based on law subjects or legal aspects of different topics.
  • Viva– This is the personal interview stage where the candidate has to sit for an in-person talk before the evaluating bench which consists of intelligent dignitaries. This forms the last stage of the exam where the marks get added to the main exam’s marks to add to the final score. 

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Difference Between a Magistrate and a Judge

Although both the magistrate and a judge are destined to the same judicial governing and responsibilities. There are certain stark differences between the two, which have been mentioned as follows.

AppointmentHigh Courts appoint the MagistrateAppointment by the President of India
RoleA civil officer or judicial officer with specific smaller areas, like districts under the
A major judicial officer with larger areas and greater responsibilities
PunishmentDoes not have the power to award life imprisonment or death sentenceCan award death sentence or life imprisonment
JurisdictionSmaller as compared to a JudgeVast areas under the jurisdiction
PowerLesser power More power
Average SalaryINR 20,00,000 to 24,00,000INR 8,00,000 to 12,00,000

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Can I become a Judge without LLB?

No, it is an essential prerequisite for a candidate to hold a bachelor’s degree in Law from a recognised University in India to be eligible to sit for judiciary exams or to practice law and hence, to become a judge in India.

What are the qualifications of a Magistrate?

Qualifications to Become an Indian Magistrate: One should be an Indian national.
Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 35 (this range may vary depending on the state and type of job).
Must be a graduate of an accredited legal school.

What is the average salary of a Judge in India?

The average salary of a judge in India is around INR 9,67,289

This was all about how to become a magistrate in India. For more thought-provoking blogs, follow Leverage Edu. and discover regular updates regarding careers in India.

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