Magistrate or Judge is the most coveted and cherished position in the legal/judicial system of the India. In a democratic and republic country like India where Judiciary is as independent as executive and legislative the importance and responsibilities of judicial system and its custodian’s i.e Magistrates and judges cannot be undermined. In fact these are the officials who are responsible for administering, interpreting and applying laws incorporated in the constitution or made by the legislature of state and central.
Tremendous pace of development in last couple of decades along with population explosion have contributed to the increase in problems in the Indian society. This has initiated far-reaching changes in the legal system and there has been a spurt in litigation putting extra burden on the judicial officials. Thus success in this profession requires a lot of hard work dedication and determination. The degree of competition that prevails in the profession is very high as a large number of law graduates complete law courses each year but few with a lot of knowledge and experience can reach to the judicial services and be designated as Magistrates or Judges in various courts.
To discharge their duties with commitment they require a lot of knowledge of the law of the land and plenty of experience in more than one area of human behavior and psychology.
This profession is not only providing challenges in once life but also financial (in the form of high salaries and other perks and remunerations) and social gains attached with it are also taken care of. For facing these challenges one should have discipline, sense of responsibility, commitment and self-confidence. The job requires a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, and above all honesty towards the society.
Interested law graduates can join the Judicial Services of the state as a Magistrate after passing an entrance examination and work as a Civil Judge or Judicial Magistrate. The process of which is given below:
Eligibility to become a Magistrate
1. Educational Qualification
To be eligible for becoming a Magistrate one should possess a law graduate degree.
Not less than 21 years and not greater than 35 years
How to become a Magistrate (judge)?
To become a Magistrate one has to follow the below given steps:
To become a Magistrate one has to first possess a degree in L.LB. To get the L.LB degree the eligible candidate has to undertake an entrance test conducted by Law departments of various universities of the India or the independent law schools/ Institutions. CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) being one of the most sort after ways to get into law career.
CLAT consists of questions from the topics such as:
English including Comprehension
General Knowledge/Current Affairs
Once degree in hand and after the successful completion of the course every graduate has to compete for State Judicial Services Exam held by respective state governments from time to time. The examination is held in three stages i.e. Preliminary, Main & Viva-Voce.
Eligibility: Any one of the following a, b, c, d, e or f.
a) For Advocate, Attorney or Pleader:
Age:- Not less than 21 and not more than 35 years.
Candidate must hold a degree in law and must have practiced as an Advocate, Attorney or Pleader in the High Court or Courts Subordinates there to for not less than 3 years. OR
b) For fresh Law Graduates:-
Age:- Not less than 21 and not more than 25 years.
Candidate must has secured the degree in law by passing all the examinations leading to the degree in the first attempt and,
Has secured in the final year examination of the degree in Law or in the case of candidate holding Masters Degree (L.L.M) in Law in final year examination not less than 55 % marks. OR
c) Members of ministerial staff to the High Court OR
Age:- Not less than 21 and not more than 45 years provided such employee has put in minimum three years of service after obtaining degree in law.
d) Members of ministerial staff to the Courts subordinate to High Court OR
Age:-Not less than 21 and not more than 45 years provided such employee has put in minimum three years of service after obtaining degree in law.
e) Members of staff working as Legal Assistant and above in the legal section of the Law and Judiciary Department in Mantralaya. OR
Age: - Not less than 21 and not more than 45 years provided such employee has put in minimum three years of service after obtaining degree in law.
f) Members of ministerial Staff of the Office of the Govt. Pleaders attached to those courts.
Age: -Not less than 21 and not more than 45 years provided such employee has put in minimum three years of service after obtaining degree in law.
Candidate must have sufficient knowledge of State language so as to enable him to speak, read and write in that language and to translate with facility from State language into English and vice versa.
Pay scale Rs.9,000 - 14,550 plus other allowances (Total emoluments Rs. 28,800/-). This salary is according to the Old Pay Scale however according to the recommendation of the six pay commission the salary of a Magistrate is subject to increase by three fold in the near future.
Magistrate Career Prospects
Hierarchy of a newly appointed Magistrate/ judge can be:
In the civil side the
Munsif's Court is the court of lowest jurisdiction. If the value of the subject matter of the suit is worth rupees one lakh or below, the Munsif's Court is the competent court to try the suit.
If the value exceeds above rupees one lakh the suit should be filed before the Subordinate Judge's Court (Sub Court).
An appeal from the decisions of the Munsiff is filed before the District Court.
Appeals from the decisions of the Sub Court are filed before the District Court if the subject matter of the suit is of value up to rupees two lakhs.
Administration of criminal justice is carried out through
Magistrate - Courts and Sessions courts. The hierarchy of criminal courts is given below.
The Court at the lowest level is called Judicial Magistrate of the second class.
This Court is competent to try the case if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or with fine not exceeding five thousand rupees, or with both.
The First Class Magistrateis competent to try offences punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with fine up to ten thousand rupees. In India, the second and the First Class Magistrate Courts have been unified
The Chief Judicial Magistratecan impose any fine and punishment up to seven years imprisonment.
The Assistant Sessions Judge is competent to impose punishments up to ten years Imprisonment and any fine.
The Sessions Judgecan impose any punishment authorized by law; but the sentence of death passed by him should be subject to the confirmation by the High Court. (see for details Sections 28 and 29 of Criminal Procedure Code.)
Appointment of a High Court Judge,
High Courts stand at the head of the State Judicial administration. Each High Court consists of a Chief Justice and other judges, with the total number differing from State to State. The Chief Justice of High Court is appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of State concerned and other judges are appointed by the Chief Justise of the High court in consultation with supreme court and the Government concerned.
one must have held a Judicial Office in India for 10 years or
must have practiced as an advocate of High Court for a considerable period.
Supreme Court The Supreme Court of India consists of a Chief Justice and not more than 25 other Judges appointed by the President of India.
For appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court,
a person must have the following qualifications:
He must be a citizen of India.
He must have held the post of a Judge/ Advocate of a High Court or two or more such Courts in succession at least for a period of 5 years. or
He must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
Salary or Payscales of Magistrate are fixed in accordance with the rule set by the State Governments.