A Judge And A Magistrate Are Not The Same…See The Difference

For your information, the terms Judge and Magistrate may seem interchangeable or you may think that they refer to the same person but they have different meanings and refer to different designations.

Let us observe how a magistrate differs from a judge.


A magistrate is a minor judicial officer or a civil officer who administers the law in a particular area like a town, district etcetera.

A person serving in this capacity handles legal cases just like a judge but does not have as much power as a judge.

The magistrate has limited law enforcement powers as compared to the law enforcement powers exercised by a judge.

In fact there are different types of magistrates such as:

1. Judicial Magistrate:

He or she is subordinate to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and is governed by the Session Judge.

2. Chief Judicial Magistrate:

The high court appoints a first class judicial magistrate as the chief judicial magistrate in every district.

He or she is subordinate to session judge.

3. Metropolitan Magistrate:

The magistrate appointed for the towns whose population is more than one million is called Metropolitan Magistrate.

As a matter of truth they report to session judge and are subordinate to the chief metropolitan magistrate.

4. Executive Magistrate:

They are appointed in the district as per the discretion of the state government. Two of the executive magistrates are appointed as a district magistrate and as an additional district magistrate.


A Judge is a judicial officer who administers court proceedings and is authorized to hear and give a judgment on the legal cases after considering the facts, evidence and information related to the case.

The power, appointment and functions of a judge may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

A judge handles cases either alone or with a panel of judges.

A judge acts as an arbitrator between the two parties and makes a judgment in the trail after taking into account the witnesses, facts, and the evidences presented by the prosecution and defence lawyers.

The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president.

He also appoints the judges of the High Court after consulting the Chief Justice of India and Governor of the respective state.

Thank you very much for your time.

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