Judiciary is the organ of the constitution that tends to protect the interest of the citizens. It is the final authority that interprets legal cases and constitutional arrangements. It plays an important role in the enforcement of law and adjudicating upon disputes between citizens, states and other parties. The courts maintain the rule of law in the nation to safeguard the rights. The judges head Courts, i.e. Supreme Court, High Court and other subordinate courts.
Judges are not exactly same as Magistrates, whose powers are relatively less than a Judge. The jurisdiction of a magistrate is generally a district or a town. In this article excerpt, you can find the difference between magistrate and judge.
Content: Magistrate Vs Judge
|Basis for Comparison||Magistrate||Judge|
|Meaning||Magistrate connotes a local judicial officer who is so appointed to administer and enforce law in the jurisdiction.||Judge implies a judicial officer who enforces law in the jurisdiction and appointed to decide cases in the court of law.|
|Cases||Local and minor cases||Serious and complex cases|
|Appointed by||High Court and State Government||President and Governor|
|Qualification||May or may not possess legal qualification||Must possess legal qualification.|
|Sentence of death and Life Imprisonment||A magistrate does not have the power to give sentence of life imprisonment and death||A judge has the power to give sentence of life imprisonment and death|
Definition of Magistrate
Magistrate means a minor judicial officer, who administers the law in a particular area, i.e. district or town. He/She is someone who hears the civil or criminal cases and passes judgement. The types of magistrate are:
- Judicial Magistrate: After consultation with the High Court, the State Government may notify the number of courts of judicial magistrates of the first class and second class in every district. The judicial magistrate is subordinate to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and governed by the Session Judge.
First Class Judicial Magistrate are allowed to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a maximum of 3 years or fine up to Rs. 5000 or both. Second Class Judicial Magistrate is known as the court of lowest level and can pass sentence for maximum of 1 year or fine up to Rs. 5000 or both.
- Chief Judicial Magistrate: A first class judicial magistrate is appointed as the chief judicial magistrate by the high court in every district. The chief judicial magistrate is subordinate to and controlled by session judge. They have the power to impose any fine or sentence of imprisonment, not more than seven years.
- Metropolitan Magistrate: The towns with population more than one million are considered as metropolitan areas and magistrate appointed for such areas are called Metropolitan Magistrate. The Metropolitan magistrate report to session judge and is subordinate to the chief metropolitan magistrate.
- Executive Magistrate: As per the discretion of the State Government executive magistrates are appointed in a district. Of these executive magistrates, one is appointed as District Magistrate and one as Additional District Magistrate.
Definition of Judge
The general meaning of a judge is the one who makes a judgement. In law, a judge is described as a judicial officer who administers court proceedings and is elected to hear and give a judgement on the legal cases considering various facts and details of the case. Depending on the jurisdiction, the power, functions and appointment method of the judges vary.
A judge rules, either alone or with a panel of judges, based on the questions of law. He/She plays the role of an arbitrator between the contesting parties and pronounces judgement in the trial after taking into account the witnesses, facts and evidence presented by the prosecution and defence lawyers and arguments of the case.
The President of India appoints the judges of the supreme court, and the President appoints the judges of the High Court after discussing with Chief Justice of India and Governor of the respective state.
District Judges are appointed by the Governor after consulting with the High Court of the said state. Session Judge is appointed by the High Court for every session division and has the power to impose capital punishment in a law suit.
Key Differences Between Magistrate and Judge
The differences between magistrate and judge can be drawn clearly on the following premises:
- A judge can be described as a person who arbitrates, i.e. the one who gives the verdict on someone or a case in the court of law. On the contrary, a magistrate is a regional judicial officer who is elected by the judges of the high court of the concerned state to maintain law and order in a particular area or region.
- A magistrate pass on judgement on small and minor cases. Indeed, a magistrate gives the preliminary verdict in criminal cases. As against this, the judge looks after serious and complex cases, in which knowledge of the law and personal judgement capability is highly required.
- The jurisdiction covered by a magistrate is comparatively smaller than the jurisdiction of a judge.
- The judicial magistrate and chief judicial magistrate are appointed by high court while Governor appoints District Magistrate. Conversely, President appoints the judge of the Supreme Court while high court judges are appointed by President in consultation with the chief justice of India and Governor of the particular state.
- The magistrate may or may not possess legal qualification, whereas a judge so appointed must possess legal qualifications, as well as he/she must be a practising lawyer in the court of law.
- The magistrate has the power to give the sentence of imprisonment for a particular term and fine. Unlike judges have the power to pass sentence of life imprisonment and even death in serious offences.
A judge is someone, who has got the decision making power in the law court, on a certain matter. The verdict made by the judge of the supreme court is final and no further appeal can be made. On the other hand, the magistrate is more like an administrator who looks after law and order of the particular area.