Powers of Executive Magistrate

In this article, an effort has been made to describe the significance of the function played by the executive magistrate in light of the numerous authorities granted to them. Since there has been a noticeable overlap in the duties of the Executive Magistrates and those of the Judicial Magistrates, many doubts have been raised regarding the usefulness of the role of the Executive Magistrate. As a result, this job is redundant, which emphasizes the necessity of reviewing it in various circumstances and evaluating its relevance there.

Who is an Executive Magistrate?

In accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,

Executive Magistrates-

  • Throughout each district and each metro area One of the Executive Magistrates appointed by the State Government will serve as the District Magistrate. The state government may appoint as many executive magistrates as it sees fit.

  • The state government may designate any Executive Magistrate as an Additional District Magistrate. In this capacity, the Executive Magistrate will have all the authority of a District Magistrate under this Code and any other applicable laws at the time of appointment, as well as any other powers the State Government may specify.

  • Any officer who temporarily assumes control of the district's executive branch as a result of a district magistrate's vacancy shall, pending the state government's orders, exercise all the powers and perform all the duties that are specifically granted to and imposed upon the district magistrate by this code.

  • The Executive Magistrate in charge of a sub-division is referred to as the Sub-divisional Magistrate. This authority is granted by the state government, which may also remove him from the position if needed.

    • The state government may transfer its powers under subsection (4) by general or special order, subject to the control and directives that it may deem appropriate to impose.

  • The state government may confer despite anything in this section. Any law currently in effect confers, in relation to a metropolitan region, all or some of the powers of an Executive Magistrate on the Commissioner of Police.

The Criminal Procedure Code divides the allotment of magisterial powers into two groups of magistrates: "executive magistrates" under the jurisdiction of state governments and "judicial magistrates" under the control of the High Court.

While matters involving the granting, suspension, and cancellation of licenses fall under the purview of an executive magistrate, judicial magistrates are responsible for rendering judgments imposing punishments, penalties, or detention and reviewing the evidence during the course of investigations.

Therefore, it is clear that the executive magistrate's duties are mostly restricted to administrative issues, taking preventative action, and maintaining law and order.

Powers of Executive Magistrate

Under the CrPC, the executive magistrates are granted a number of powers, including some of the following −

Search Warrants

  • Giving a police officer permission to search a location where it may be possible to find stolen goods, fraudulent documents, etc.

  • Look for people who are unjustly imprisoned.

  • The ability to enforce the return of kidnapped girls.

Security for keeping peace and good behavior

  • Protection to maintain tranquility;

  • Protection from those spreading seditious ideas in exchange for good behavior.

  • Protection in exchange for suspects' good behavior. Security from repeat offenders for good behavior.

  • Order to be issued when Magistrate acting under Sections 107, 108, and 110.

  • Procedure for those who are in court.

  • Summons or warrant if the person is not in attendance.

Unlawful assemblies

  • The use of civil force to disperse an unauthorized gathering.

  • Using the armed forces to disperse an unauthorized gathering

  • The ability of some military personnel to disperse an unauthorized gathering

Conditional order for removal nuisance

  • Conditional order for nuisance abatement service or order notice. Public nuisances may not be repeated or continued, according to the magistrate.

  • The recipient of an order must comply with it or give justification.

  • The authority of the magistrate to oversee local research and expert interrogation.

Dispute as to immovable property

The magistrates have the authority to attach the subject of the dispute and appoint a receiver or order that a specific status quo may be maintained in cases of urgency involving nuisance or suspected danger to the local community's law, order, and security (usually in favor of the person in possession of the property on the date of the decision).

Unnatural death investigations and inquests

Police must investigate and notify the closest Executive Magistrate of any suicides or other serious incidents. In these situations, magistrates have the authority to call people in for an investigation.

Keeping the peace and maintaining good behavior require security

The most significant but least utilized legal authority in Nagaland is probably Chapter VIII of the CrPC, which deals with security for maintaining the peace and for good behavior.

The chapter, in particular Section 107 and the remainder, focuses on prevention rather than punishment. It allows the Executive Magistrate to take action to stop offenses constituting a breach of the peace or a disturbance of the peace under his jurisdiction.

Religious processions, festivals, elections, political movements, battles for dominance within, between, or among the villages, clan rivalries, property disputes, water disputes, etc., or even little altercations between people, may cause such a breach of peace and disturbance to public quiet.

Local Jurisdiction of Executive Magistrate

  • The District Magistrate may, from time to time, determine the local bounds of the territories within which the Executive Magistrates may execute all or any of the powers with which they may be endowed under this Code, subject to the control of the State Government.

  • Every such magistrate's jurisdiction and authority must encompass the entire district, unless otherwise specified by such a definition.

Subordination of Executive Magistrate

  • All executive magistrates, excluding the additional district magistrate, shall report to the district magistrate, and every executive magistrate, excluding the sub-divisional magistrate, shall report to the sub-divisional magistrate when exercising powers within a sub-division, subject, however, to the general control of the district magistrate.

  • The District Magistrate may occasionally issue regulations or special orders regarding the division of responsibilities among the Executive Magistrates under his supervision and the assignment of responsibilities to an Additional District Magistrate, as long as they are consistent with this Code.


The regulations giving the Executive Magistrates their authority were constructed along the lines of "Prevention is better than cure." This shows how important the position of an executive magistrate is to the operation of the legal system, in whatever capacity they serve. However, it has been emphasized that there should be little to no court intervention in the administration of justice under S. 107 or S. 111, as this could otherwise spark racial rage and other violent outbursts. This leads to the conclusion that the executive magistrate's authority is constrained and mostly administrative in nature.

Even with the limited authority given to Executive Magistrates, there is still scrutiny, as in the case of S. 167, where they are only permitted to order detention for a maximum of 7 days, whereas Judicial Magistrates are permitted to order up to the required 15 days, highlighting the disparity in their methods of operation and the use of authority.


Q1. What is difference between Executive Magistrate and judicial magistrate?

Ans. The Code has two categories of Magistrates, judicial and executive, as was previously noted, to ensure adequate separation of the Judiciary and Executive. The High Court has control over the former, while the State Government has control over the latter.

Q2. Is Executive Magistrate an IAS?

Ans. An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official known as a district magistrate, frequently abbreviated as DM, is the senior-most executive magistrate and head in charge of the general administration of a district in India.

Q3. What is the power of Executive Magistrate?

Ans. It allows the Executive Magistrate to take action to stop offenses constituting a breach of the peace or a disturbance of the peace under his jurisdiction.

Updated on: 14-Feb-2023

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