What is the difference between Judge and Magistrate?

Magistrates and Judges are seem to be same to the Judiciary but if we see this is not true. There are differences especially in the nature of their powers. Let us study abour Magistrate, Judge and differences between them.
Feb 18, 2019 11:40 IST
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What is the difference between Judge and Magistrate?
What is the difference between Judge and Magistrate?
The judiciary is a constitutional body which protects the interests of citizens. This is the final authority which explains the legal matters and constitutional arrangements. It plays an important role in enacting laws and making decisions on disputes between citizens, states and other parties. Courts maintain law and order in the country to protect the rights. Judges are the heads of Supreme Court, High Court and other subordinate courts. Judges are not equal to the magistrates; their powers are relatively less than the judge. The jurisdiction of a magistrate is usually a district or a city. Let's study about the difference between the judge and the magistrate through this article.

Let's first study about Magistrate

Magistrate is a civil servant who manages the law in a particular area, i.e. district or city. The word 'magistrate' is derived from the old French word 'Magistrat', which means "Civil officers in charge of administrating laws" which also means "A magistrate, public machinery". This is the person who listens to civil or criminal matters and makes a decision. It will not be wrong to say that the District Magistrate or District Collector is the Chief Executive, Administrative and Revenue Officer. He establishes necessary coordination between various government agencies working in the district.

History of Magistrate

Warren Hasting created the District Magistrate post in 1772. The main function of the District Magistrate is to inspect the general administration, recover land revenue and maintain law and order in the district. At that time, he was the head of the revenue organisations. He was also responsible for registration of land, division of fields, settlement of disputes, management of mortgages, to give loan to farmers and drought relief. All other office-bearers of the district were subordinate to him and provided him with information about each activity of their respective departments. The work of the District Magistrate was also entrusted to them. Being a District Magistrate, he also inspect the police and subordinate courts of the district.

Who is a Judge?

The common meaning of the judge is the person who takes decision. That is, the judge is a person who abides by the court's proceedings, either alone, or with the panel of the judges. In terms of law, a judge has been described as a judicial officer who manages the proceedings of the court and consider several facts and details of the matter like legal matter that are decided to hear and make decisions. Therefore, he is a Judicial officer appointed to hear and decide matters relating to law. The word 'Judge' has been derived from the Anglo French word 'Juger' which means 'To form an opinion about'. Also, from Latin 'Judicare' which means 'to judge, to examine offcially, form an opinion upon and pronounce judgement'.

What is the difference between the Magistrate and the Judge?

- A judge can be described as an arbitrator, i.e. the person who decides on a matter in the court. On the contrary, a magistrate is a regional judicial officer who is elected by the judges of the high court of the state to maintain law and order in a particular area or region.

- A magistrate makes decisions on small or minor matters. In fact, the Magistrate gives initial decisions in criminal cases. He is known to have powers more of an administrator. On the contrary, the judge makes decisions in serious and complex cases, in which knowledge of the law and the ability to make personal decision is very essential.

- Magistrate has limited jurisdiction over a judge.

- Judicial Magistrate and Chief Judicial Magistrate are appointed by the High Court while the Governor appoints the District Magistrate. On the contrary, the President appoints the judge of the Supreme Court while the High Court judges are appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State.

- Contrary to a judge, a magistrate only has limited law enforcement and administrative powers.

- The judge is always an official with a law degree. But the magistrate does not require a law degree in every country. That is, the magistrate may or may not have a legal degree, but it is mandatory for the appointment of a judge to be a legal degree, as well as practicing advocacy in a court.

- Magistrate has the power to impose fines and imprisonment for a specific period. But judges have the right to pass sentence of death or life imprisonment.

Now you may have understood that the judge can decide on a certain matter in the court. That is, the verdict by the Supreme Court Judge is final and no appeal can be made for this. On the other hand, the magistrate is like an administrator who takes care of the law and order in the special area.

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