Executive Magistrates and their powers


What is meant by the term Executive Magistrate?

Each state appoints executive magistrates (Tehsildars) in every district and in every metropolitan area. In each administrative district there are:

  • A District Magistrate (DM)
  • 2 or more Additional District Magistrates (ADM)
  • 4 or more Sub-divisional District Magistrates (SDM) and
  • At least 10 Executive Magistrates

Other than the ADM all the magistrates are under the control of DM.

Powers of an Executive Magistrate

An Executive Magistrate is an officer of the Executive branch. He or she has powers under both Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. An Executive Magistrate requires a person arrested on the orders of a court outside the local jurisdiction to be produced before him and he has the power to set the bail amount and impose conditions on the individual to avoid police custody as per the terms of the warrant. In addition to this an Executive magistrate has certain other powers to maintain law and order as discussed below.  

Section 107-110 of CrPC

If an Executive Magistrate receives information that a person:

  • Is likely to do any act that will disturb the peace and public tranquillity, and has sufficient ground for proceeding against the person, (Section 107)
  • By words or actions is likely to commit any action that will constitute sedition, spew religious hatred, harm national integration, distribute obscene material or does any act to criminally intimidate or defame a judge. (Section 108)
  • Is concealing his or her presence with a view to commit a cognizable offence. (Section 109)

He can require the person to show cause for the same and order the person to execute a bond for a period not exceeding one year.

If an Executive Magistrate receives information that a person is a habitual offender and is likely to commit a crime like theft, kidnapping, drug peddling, adulteration, corruption etc. he can require the person to show cause for the same and order the person to execute a bond for a period not exceeding three years.

The magistrate must give an order in writing, setting forth the substance of the information received, the amount of the bond to be executed, the term for which it is to be in force, and the number, character and class of sureties (if any) required.

Under Section 122 where a person fails to give security, he is detained in prison and Section 123 empowers District Magistrate under Section 117 or the Chief Judicial Magistrate in any other case to release persons imprisoned for failing to give security.

A revision petition can be filed against a bond imposed under these sections. To know more and file a petition regarding the same, contact us

Section 133 of Crpc

It enables the Magistrate to issue a conditional order for the removal of nuisance. He can do so on the receiving the report of a police officer or other information backed by evidence. The powers under this section include:

  • Removal of an obstruction from a public place.
    • An illegal construction blocking the road.
    • Settlements without permission in slum areas, along river banks etc.
  • Prohibition or regulation of trade or occupation injurious to public health.
    • Prohibition of selling of cigarettes around school areas.
    • Prohibition or regulation of industries in residential areas
  • Prevent or stop the construction of buildings or disposal of substance that is likely to explode or be harmful or might collapse giving an apprehension of damage to the public.
  • To order any dangerous animal to be destroyed, confined or disposed of in any manner deemed essential.
    • A lion escaping into a residential area.

In case of any objection to the order of the magistrate is there the person must do so before the Magistrate himself or any other Executive Magistrate subordinate to him and show why the order should not be made absolute.

A conditional order made under Section 133 cannot be questioned by a civil suit but there is no such bar to an absolute order under this section being questioned in a Civil Court.

To know more and file a petition regarding the same, contact us

Section 145 of CrpC

If an Executive Magistrate is satisfied from report of a police officer or any other information that a dispute concerning land or water or its boundaries can cause a breach of peace, he makes an order in writing requiring the concerned parties to attend his court. They have to put in written statements of their respective claims and the facts of actual possession of the subject of dispute.

 The magistrate then hears the parties, examines the evidence and decides which of the parties was in possession of the property subject to dispute. If a magistrate finds that if a party has forcibly or wrongfully dispossessed, he treats the party such that it had possession on the date of his order.

If any of the parties contend that there is no dispute the order of magistrate shall stand cancelled. Moreover, in addition to it if a crop or other produce of the property is subject to speedy and natural decay, he shall make such order for the disposal of such property, or the sales or proceeds thereof.

Hence, we can see in certain matters going to an Executive Magistrate provides faster resolution that going to a Civil Court. Moreover, he acts as a guardian of public and is essential to the maintenance of law and order.

In order to find further information about his powers and the procedure to file a complaint with him please contact us

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