What are the Classes of Magistrates under Cr.P.C.

Magistrates : According to Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 besides the High Courts and the Courts constituted under any law, other than this Code, there shall be, in every State, the following classes of Criminal Courts, namely:-

(i) Courts of Session;

(ii) Judicial Magistrates of the first class and, in any metropolitan area, Metropolitan Magistrates;

(iii) Judicial Magistrates of the second class; and

(iv) Executive Magistrates.

Territorial Divisions

According to Section 7

  • Every State shall be a sessions division or shall consist of sessions divisions.
  • Every sessions division shall be a district or consist of districts.
  • Every metropolitan area shall be a separate sessions division and district.
  • The State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, alter the limits or the number of such divisions and districts.
  • The State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, divide any district into sub- divisions and may alter the limits or the number of such sub- divisions.

Metropolitan areas.

According to Section 7, the State Government may, by notification, declare that, as from such date as may be specified in the notification, any area in the State comprising a city or town whose population exceeds one million shall be a metropolitan area for the purposes of this Code.

As from the commencement of this Code, each of the Presidency towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and the city of Ahmedabad shall be deemed to be declared under sub- section (1) to be a metropolitan area.

The State Government may, by notification, extend, reduce or alter the limits of a metropolitan area but the reduction or alteration shall not be so made as to reduce the population of such area to less than one million.

Where, after an area has been declared, or deemed to have been declared to be, a metropolitan area, the population of such area falls below one million, such area shall, on and from such date as the State Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf, cease to be a metropolitan area.

Notwithstanding such cesser, any inquiry, trial or appeal pending immediately before such cesser before any Court or Magistrate in such area shall continue to be dealt with under this Code, as if such cesser had not taken place.

Where the State Government reduces or alters, under sub- section (3), the limits of any metropolitan area, such reduction or alteration shall not affect any inquiry, trial or appeal pending immediately before such reduction or alteration before any Court or Magistrate.

Every such inquiry, trial or appeal shall continue to be dealt with under this Code as if such reduction or alteration had not taken place.

In this section, the expression” population” means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published.

Court of Session.

According to Section 9

  • The State Government shall establish a Court of Session for every sessions division.
  • Every Court of Session shall be presided over by a Judge, to be appointed by the High Court.
  • The High Court may also appoint Additional Sessions Judges and Assistant Sessions Judges to exercise jurisdiction in a Court of Session.

Court of Assistant Sessions Judges.

According to Section 10, all Assistant Sessions Judges shall be subordinate to the Sessions Judge in whose Court they exercise jurisdiction.

The Sessions Judge may, from time to time, make rules consistent with this Code, as to the distribution of business among such Assistant Sessions Judges.

The Sessions Judge may also make provision for the disposal of any urgent application, in the event of his absence or inability to act, by an Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge.

If there be no Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge, by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, and every such Judge or Magistrate shall be deemed to have jurisdiction to deal with any such application.

Courts of Judicial Magistrates.

According to Section 11, in every district (not being a metropolitan area), there shall be established as many Courts of Judicial Magistrates of the first class and of the second class.

At such places, as the State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, by notification, specify.

The State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, establish, for any local area, one or more Special Courts of Judicial Magistrates of the first class or of the second class to try any particular case or particular class of cases.

Where any such Special Court is established, no other Court of Magistrate in the local area shall have jurisdiction to try any case or class of cases for the trial of which such Special Court of Judicial Magistrate has been established.

The presiding officers of such Courts shall be appointed by the High Court.

The High Court may, whenever it appears to it to be expedient or necessary, confer the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class on any member of the Judicial Service of the State, functioning as a Judge in a Civil Court.

Chief Judicial Magistrate / Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

According to Section 12, in every district (not being a metropolitan area), the High Court shall appoint a Judicial Magistrate of the first class to be the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The High Court may appoint any Judicial Magistrate of the first class to be an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Such Magistrate shall have all or any of the powers of a Chief Judicial Magistrate under this Code or under any other law for the time being in force as the High Court may direct.

The High Court may designate any Judicial Magistrate of the first class in any sub- division as the Sub- divisional Judicial Magistrate and relieve him of the responsibilities specified in this section as occasion requires.

Subject to the general control of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, every Sub- divisional Judicial Magistrate shall also have and exercise such powers of supervision and control over the work of the Judicial Magistrates (other than Additional Chief Judicial Magistrates) in the sub- division as the High Court may, by general or special order, specify in this behalf.

Special Judicial Magistrates.

According to Section 13, the High Court may, if requested by the Central or State Government so to do, confer upon any person who holds or has held any post under the Government, all or any of the powers conferred or conferrable by or under this Code on a Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class, in respect to particular cases or to particular classes of cases, in any local area, not being a metropolitan area.

No such power shall be conferred on a person unless he possesses such qualification or experience in relation to legal affairs as the High Court may, by rules, specify.

Such Magistrates shall be called Special Judicial Magistrates and shall be appointed for such term, not exceeding one year at a time, as the High Court may, by general or special order, direct.

The High Court may empower a Special Judicial Magistrate to exercise the powers of a Metropolitan Magistrate in relation to any metropolitan area outside his local jurisdiction.

Local jurisdiction of Judicial Magistrates.

According to Section 14, subject to the control of the High Court, the Chief Judicial Magistrate may, from time to time, define the local limits of the areas within which the Magistrates appointed under section 11 or under section 13 may exercise all or any of the powers with which they may respectively be invested under this Code.

The Court of a Special Judicial Magistrate may hold its sitting at any place within the local area for which it is established.

Except as otherwise provided by such definition, the jurisdiction and powers of every such Magistrate shall extend throughout the district.

Subordination of Judicial Magistrates.

According to Section 15 every Chief Judicial Magistrate shall be subordinate to the Sessions Judge.

Every other Judicial Magistrate shall, subject to the general control of the Sessions Judge, be subordinate to the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate may, from time to time, make rules or give special orders, consistent with this Code, as to the distribution of business among the Judicial Magistrates subordinate to him.

Courts of Metropolitan Magistrates.

According to Section 16, in every metropolitan area, there shall be established as many Courts of Metropolitan Magistrates.

At such places, as the State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, by notification, specify.

The presiding officers of such Courts shall be appointed by the High Court.

The jurisdiction and powers of every Metropolitan Magistrate shall extend throughout the metropolitan area.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrates and Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrates.

According to Section 17, the High Court shall, in relation to every metropolitan area within its local jurisdiction, appoint a Metropolitan Magistrate to be the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for such metropolitan area.

The High Court may appoint any Metropolitan Magistrate to be an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

Such Magistrate shall have all or any of the powers of a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate under this Code or under any other law for the time being in force as the High Court may direct.

Special Metropolitan Magistrates.

According to Section 18, the High Court may, if requested by the Central or State Government so to do, confer upon any person who holds or has held any post under the Government, all or any of the powers conferred or conferrable by or under this Code on a Metropolitan Magistrate, in inspect to particular cases or to particular classes of cases in any metropolitan area within its local jurisdiction.

No such power shall be conferred on a person unless lie possesses such qualification or experience in relation to legal affairs as the High Court may, by rules, specify.

Such Magistrates shall be called Special Metropolitan Magistrates and shall be appointed for such term, not exceeding one year at a time, as the High Court may, by general or special order, direct.

The High Court or the State Government, as the case may be, may empower any Special Metropolitan Magistrate to exercise, in any local area outside the metropolitan area, the powers, of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class.

Subordination of Metropolitan Magistrates.

According to Section 19, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and every Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate shall be subordinate to the Sessions Judge.

Every other Metropolitan Magistrate shall, subject to the general control of the Sessions Judge, be subordinate to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

The High Court may, for the purposes of this Code, define the extent of the subordination, if any, of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrates to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate may, from time to time, make rules or give special orders, consistent with this Code, as to the distribution of business among the Metropolitan Magistrates and as to the allocation of business to an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

Executive Magistrates.

According to Section 20, in every district and in every metropolitan area, the State Government may appoint as many persons as it thinks fit to be Executive Magistrates and shall appoint one of them to be the District Magistrate.

The State Government may appoint any Executive Magistrate to be an Additional District Magistrate.

Such Magistrate shall have such of the powers of a District Magistrate under this Code or under any other law for the time being in force as may be directed by the State Government.

Whenever, in consequence of the office of a District Magistrate becoming vacant, any officer succeeds temporarily to the executive administration of the district, such officer shall, pending the orders of he State Government, exercise all the powers and perform all the duties respectively conferred and imposed by this Code on the District Magistrate.

The State Government may place an Executive Magistrate in charge of a sub- division and may relieve him of the charge as occasion requires.

The Magistrate so placed in charge of a sub- division shall be called the Sub- divisional Magistrate.

Nothing in this section shall preclude the State Government from conferring, under any law for the time being in force, on a Commissioner of Police, all or any of the powers of an Executive Magistrate in relation to a metropolitan area.

Special Executive Magistrates.

According to Section 21, the State Government may appoint, for such term as it may think fit, Executive Magistrates, to be known as Special Executive Magistrates for particular areas or for the performance of particular functions.

Confer on such Special Executive Magistrates such of the powers as are conferrable under this Code on Executive Magistrates, as it may deem fit.

Local jurisdiction of Executive Magistrates.

According to Section 22, subject to the control of the State Government, the District Magistrate may, from time to time, define the local limits of the areas within which the Executive Magistrates may exercise all or any of the powers with which they may be invested under this Code.

Except as otherwise provided by such definition, the jurisdiction and powers of every such Magistrate shall extend throughout the district.

Subordination of Executive Magistrates.

According to Section 22, all Executive Magistrates, other than the Additional District Magistrate, shall be subordinate to the District Magistrate.

Every Executive Magistrate (other than the Sub- divisional Magistrate) exercising powers in a sub- division shall also be subordinate to the Sub- divisional Magistrate, subject, however, to the general control of the District Magistrate.

The District Magistrate may, from time to time, make rules or give special orders, consistent with this Code, as to the distribution of business among the Executive Magistrates subordinate to him and as to the allocation of business to an additional District Magistrate.