Section 23 CrPC: Subordination of Executive Magistrates – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 23 CrPC: Subordination of Executive Magistrates

1. The Code

Section 23 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the subordination of executive magistrates. It states that:

“Every Executive Magistrate shall be subordinate to the District Magistrate or the Chief Judicial Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction he is exercising his powers, and shall be bound to obey all lawful orders of such Magistrate.”

2. Explanation

This section establishes a hierarchical structure among executive magistrates. It clarifies that:

  • Executive magistrates are answerable to the District Magistrate or the Chief Judicial Magistrate within their jurisdiction.
  • They are required to comply with all lawful orders issued by these superior magistrates.

3. Illustration

Imagine a situation where a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) is investigating a case of unlawful assembly. The District Magistrate (DM) issues an order to the SDM to refrain from arresting certain individuals involved in the assembly. The SDM, being subordinate to the DM, is legally bound to follow the DM’s order, even though the SDM might personally believe that an arrest is necessary.

4. Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: What is the significance of this code?

    A: This code ensures a coordinated and efficient functioning of the criminal justice system by establishing a clear chain of command and accountability among executive magistrates.
  • Q: Can an Executive Magistrate disobey an order from a superior magistrate?

    A: No, an Executive Magistrate is legally obligated to obey all lawful orders from their superior magistrates. They can only disobey an order if it is deemed unlawful or if they have a valid reason to do so.
  • Q: What happens if an Executive Magistrate disobeys an order?

    A: Disobeying a lawful order can lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or even dismissal from service.
Also Read  Section 109 CrPC: Security for Good Behaviour from Suspected Persons - India
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