Difference between Magistrate and Judge: Complete Details

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Difference between Magistrate and Judge

Here is a detailed explanation of the differences between a magistrate and a judge in India. In India, the High Courts appoint magistrates, whereas the President appoints judges. A magistrate is not as powerful as a judge. The distinction between a magistrate and a judge in India provided here can aid applicants for the UPSC Civil Service test in comprehending the fundamentals and being fully aware of the comparisons.

It is crucial to comprehend the fundamental differences between a judge and a magistrate in the complex realm of the law. At first glance, these two pivotal positions could seem the same. A closer look reveals distinct roles, powers, and jurisdictions that distinguish them. A magistrate is a civil or subordinate judge who is responsible for enforcing the law. A judge is an advocate for the law who has the authority to hear cases. He oversees judicial proceedings and issues rulings only after carefully considering all relevant information. 

Who is a Magistrate?

The word “magistrate” comes from the old French word “magistrate,” which describes civil servants in charge of running the government and maintaining the law. A magistrate hears arguments in criminal or civil matters before rendering a decision. The person who plays the primary roles of Chief Executive, Administrative, and Revenue Officer is the District Collector, also known as the Magistrate. They create the necessary coordination between the different government agencies operating in the region.

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Types of Magistrate

In India, there are several kinds of magistrates, such as:

Judicial Magistrate: Reporting to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, the Session Judge is in charge of this individual.

Chief Judicial Magistrate: The high court appoints a renowned judicial magistrate to act as the district’s chief judicial magistrate. He or she is a subordinate of a session judge.

Metropolitan Magistrate: The term “Metropolitan Magistrate” describes the magistrate chosen for communities with a population of one million or more. The chief metropolitan magistrate, to whom they report, is their supervisor.

Executive Magistrate: They may be appointed by the district’s state government. Two of the executive magistrates are appointed as a district magistrate and an additional district magistrate.

Characteristics of a Magistrate

  • Dedicated to pursuing justice
  • Professional, organised, and focused in their approach to work
  • The judge must hear cases with perfect impartiality and accuracy.
  • He or she should have a decent, lovely, and organised appearance.
  • Pleasant and patient, but able to demand deference and exercise strict control over the court proceedings
  • One needs to be vigilant and perceptive when listening to the evidence.
  • Reasonable and capable of applying common sense while analysing a case and rendering a decision
  • Capable of forming opinions and passing judgement

Who is a Judge?

A judge is a member of the public with the authority to hear, rule on, and oversee legal cases that are brought before a courtroom. The judge retains authority over the panel’s selection and instructs it on pertinent law during jury trials. Petitions submitted either before or during a hearing may also be decided by the judge. 

Duties of a Judge

  • An individual serving as a judge in a court of law must do his duties without fear, favour, animosity, or fondness.
  • A judge must be impartial, serving the law’s interests over those of himself, his friends, or his family.
  • A judge needs to have patience and recognise the gravity of the circumstances. He ought to provide the parties or counsel with every opportunity to present their case.
  • The bar privilege must be respected by judges.
  • An open mind is the only requirement for a judge. Judges shouldn’t decide how the dispute will end before hearing from both sides.

Difference between Magistrate and Judge

These terms often confuse people but they should have an understanding of what is the difference between magistrate and judge and so below is the table provided for you to know the basic difference:

AppointmentState government or High Court appointsPresident of India appoints
Education qualificationDegree from a recognized universityLaw degree is mandatory
JurisdictionLimited jurisdiction within the stateWider jurisdiction, it includes power to impose death sentence on a guilty
Nature of casesMagistrate handles small casesMore complex cases are handled by a judge

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Similarities between Magistrate and Judge

The following are some similarities between Indian magistrates and judges:

  • They are both judicial officers. To enforce the law and administer justice, the government has selected both of them.
  • Both are able to hear cases and make decisions. Both of them are qualified to preside over trials and provide decisions based on the evidence that has been submitted.
  • The law binds them both. They cannot render conclusions that are irrational or unfair; instead, they must adhere to the law.
  • It is necessary for both to be unbiased. They must not allow assumptions or personal biases to affect their judgement.
  • Both can be reviewed by a judicial. Higher courts may hear appeals of their rulings.
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How are magistrates appointed compared to judges?

Magistrates are frequently chosen based on their reputation in the community. Magistrates are appointed based on their substantial legal expertise and experience, usually following a rigorous selection procedure; they may not require legal training.

Who between the judge and magistrate has more power?

The judge is the one with greater authority than the magistrate. Compared to a magistrate, a judge’s jurisdiction is even more expansive.

What types of cases does a magistrate hear?

A magistrate takes into account cases pertaining to paternity, custody modifications, children in need of support, children in need of supervision, and legal expenses for the aforementioned case categories.

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