Difference between Magistrate and Judge

Difference between Magistrate and Judge in India is explained here in detail. A Judge is appointed by the President of India, whereas the Magistrate is appointed by the High Courts. A Judge has more powers than a Magistrate. The difference between Magistrate vs Judge in India given here can help the UPSC Civil Service exam aspirants to understand the basics better and know their comparisons thoroughly.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Difference between Magistrate and Judge – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Difference between Magistrate and Judge

The major differences between Magistrate and Judge in India are as follows:

Magistrate  Judge
High Courts appoint the Magistrate. The President of India appoints the Judge.
The word Magistrate is derived from the English word “Magistrat.” The word judge has been derived from  French word juger.
A civil officer or a minor judicial officer in specific areas like district, town, etc. is called as Magistrate. The mandate of Magistrate is to handle minor cases.  A Judge is not a civil officer neither is he a minor judicial officer. A Judge is a judicial officer who analyses evidence which is presented to him in relation to a legal case. A judge administers proceedings of the court and passes his judgements on the case.
A Magistrate does not have the power to award life imprisonment or a death sentence. A convict can be awarded life imprisonment or death sentence by a Judge, commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.
Magistrate handles minor cases Judge handles complex cases
The jurisdiction of a Magistrate is smaller when compared to a Judge. The jurisdiction of a Judge is very vast.
A Magistrate has less power than a judge A Judge has more power than a magistrate

Imp. Note:-

Candidates here should also know that there are basically two kinds of magistrates – Judicial Magistrates and Executive Magistrates. In this article, we are largely talking about Judicial Magistrates. Executive Magistrates are persons the government appoints as District Magistrates or Additional District Magistrates (who are IAS or IPS officers).

To know more about the hierarchy of courts and judicial magistrates in India with diagrams, please click on the article, Indian Judiciary.

These are the main differences between Magistrate and Judge in India. The differences given in the above table can help the UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants to answer any related questions easily in the exams.

After learning about the Magistrate and Judge difference, it is better to know the details of Indian Penal Code – its history, structure, recent developments; 25 most important Supreme Court judgements including Kesavananda Bharati case, Minerva Case; Malimath Committee, Criminal Courts – Definition, Structure of the Bench, and Regulations; Indian Judiciary – Supreme Court, High Court, District and Subordinate Courts, Law Commission of India, Appointment and Removal of Supreme Court Judges, Uniform Civil Code, and Judicial Overreach in India, along with examples very thoroughly. Visit the below-given links to learn about Indian Penal Code, Indian Judiciary and a host of other detailed information related to Laws of India.

UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants should diligently study the Indian Polity Notes, as it is an extremely important component of UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus.

Difference between Magistrate and Judge – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Magistrate and Judge


Q 1. Who between a Judge and Magistrate has more powers?

Ans. Between a Judge and a Magistrate, the Judge has more powers. Even the Jurisdiction of a Judge is very vast in comparison to that of a Magistrate.

Q 2. How is a Judge and a Magistrate appointed?

Ans. Judges of High Court, Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India are appointed by the President. However, Magistrates are appointed by High Courts.

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