Court of Session:

Under Section 9 of the Code the State Government is required to establish a court of session for every session’s division, which shall be presided over by a Judge to be appointed by the High Court.

The High Court may also appoint (Additional Sessions Judges and Assistant Sessions) Judges to exercise jurisdiction in a court of session. Where the office of the Sessions Judge is vacant the High Court may make arrangements for the disposal of any argent application which may be made or pending before such Court of Session by an Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge by a Chief Judicial Magistrate, in the session’s division. The Sessions Judge of one sessions division may be appointed by the High Court to be also an Additional Sessions Judge of another division, an in such case he may sit for the disposal of cases at such place or places in other division as the High Court may direct. The Explanation apprehended to Section 9, however, provides that for the purposes of the Code ‘appointment’ does not include the first appointment, posting or promotion of a person by the Government to any service, or post in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State, where under any law, such appointment posting or promotion is required to be made by the Government. Under Section 10 of the Code all Assistant Sessions Judges shall be subordinate to the Sessions Judge in whose Court they exercise jurisdiction.

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The Sessions Judge may from time to time, make rules consistent with the Code, as to the distribution of business among such Assistant Sessions Judges. The Sessions Judge may also make provision for the disposal of any urgent application, in the event of his absence or inability to act by an Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge, or if there be no Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge, by the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Courts of Judicial Magistrates:

In every district (not being a metropolitan area), there shall be established as many courts of Judicial Magistrates of the first class and of the second class and at such places, as the State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, by notification, specify. The State Government may, after consultation with the High Court establish, for any local area, one or more special courts of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class to try any particular case or particular class of cases, and where any such special court is established, no other court of Magistrate in the local area shall have jurisdiction to try any case or class of cases for the trial of which such special court of judicial Magistrate has been established. The presiding officers of such courts shall be appointed by the High Court. The High Court may, whenever it appears to be expedient or necessary, confer the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class on any member of the Judicial Service of the State, functioning as a Judge in a civil court. [Section 11]

Chief Judicial Magistrates and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrates:

In every district (not being a metropolitan area) the High Court shall appoint Judicial Magistrate of the first class to be Chief Judicial Magistrate. The High Court may appoint any Judicial Magistrate of the first class to be an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, and such Magistrate shall have all or any of the powers of a Chief Judicial Magistrate under this Code or under any other law for the time being in four as the High Court may direct.

The High Court may designate any Judicial Magistrate of the first class in any sub-division as the Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate and relieve him of the responsibilities specified in this section as occasion requires. Subject to the general control of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, every Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate shall also have and exercise such powers of supervision and control over the work of the Judicial Magistrate (other than Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate) in the sub-division as the High Court may, by general or special order, specify in this behalf. (Section 12).

Special Judicial Magistrate:

The High Court may, if requested by the Central Government so to do, confer upon any person who holds or has held any post under the Government all or any of the powers conferred or conferrable by or under this Code on a Judicial Magistrate of the first class or of the second class, in respect to particular cases or to particular classes of cases, in any local area, not being a metropolitan area provided that no such power shall be conferred on a person unless he possesses such qualification or experience in relation to legal affairs as the High Court may by rules specify.

Such Magistrates shall be called Special Judicial Magistrates and shall be appointed for such term, not exceeding one year at a time as the High Court may, by general or special order, direct. The High Court may empower a Special Judicial Magistrate to exercise the powers of a Metropolitan Magistrate in relation to any metropolitan area outside his local jurisdiction (Section 13).

Courts of Metropolitan Magistrate:

(1) In every metropolitan area, there shall be established as many Courts of Metropolitan Magistrate, and at such places as the State Government, after consultation with the High Court, by notification, specify. The presiding officers of such Courts shall be appointed by he High Court. The jurisdiction and powers of every Metropolitan Magistrate shall extend throughout the metropolitan area.

(Section 16)

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate:

The High Court shall, in relation to every metropolitan area within its local jurisdiction, appoint Metropolitan Magistrate to be the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for such metropolitan area. (Section 17).

Special Metropolitan Magistrate:

The High Court may if requested by the Central or State Government so to do, confer upon any person who holds or has held any post under the Government, all or any of the powers conferred or conferrable by or under this Code on a Metropolitan Magistrate, in respect to particular cases or to particular classes of cases, in any metropolitan area within its local jurisdiction: Provided that no such power shall be conferred on a person unless he possesses such qualification or experience in relation to legal affairs as the High Court may by rules specify. Such Magistrate shall be called Special Metropolitan Magistrates and shall be appointed for such term, not exceeding one year at a time, as the High Court may direct.

The High Court or the State Government, as the case may be, may empower any Special Metropolitan Magistrate to exercise in any local area outside the metropolitan area, the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class (Section 18).

Subordination of Metropolitan Magistrate:

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and every Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate shall be subordinate to the Sessions Judge, and every other Metropolitan Magistrate shall, subject to the general control of the Sessions Judge, be subordinate to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Section 19).

Executive Magistrate:

(1) In every district and in every metropolitan area, the State Government may appoint as many persons as it thinks fit to be Executive Magistrates and shall appoint one of them to be the District Magistrate. The State Government may appoint any Executive Magistrate to be an Additional District Magistrate and such Magistrate shall have such of the powers of a District Magistrate under this Code or under any other law for the time being in force as may be directed by the State Government (Section 20).

Special Executive Magistrates:

The State Government may appoint for such terms as it may think fit. Executive Magistrates, to be known as Special Executive Magistrates, for particular areas or for the performance of particular functions and confer on such Special Executive Magistrates such of the powers as are conferrable under this Code on Executive Magistrates, as it may deem fit. (Section 21). The maximum sentences which may be passed by different Courts are noted below:

Supreme Court:

It is the final Court of Appeal which can pass any sentence in accordance with law.

High Court:

Any sentence authorized by law. [Section 28) (1)].

Sessions Judge and Additional Sessions Judge:

Any sentence authorized by law, but a sentence of death passed by them shall be subject to confirmation by the High Court. [Section 28 (2)].

Assistant Sessions Judge:

Any sentence authorized by law, except a sentence of death or of imprisonment for life or of imprisonment for a term exceeding ten years [Section 28 (3)].

Chief Judicial Magistrate and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate:

Any sentence authorized by law except a sentence of death or of imprisonment for life or of imprisonment for a term exceeding seven years.

[Section 29 (I)]

First Class Magistrate and Metropolitan Magistrate:

May pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or of fine not exceeding Rs. 10,000, or of both

Second class Magistrates:

May pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or of fine not exceeding Rs. 5,000, or of both