Courts of Metropolitan Magistrates (Section 16 of CrPc)

Legal provisions regarding courts of Metropolitan Magistrates under section 16 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Section 16 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides that in every metropolitan area, there shall be established as many Courts of Metropolitan Magistrates, and at such places, as the State Government may, after consultation with the High Court, by notification, specify. The presiding officers of such Courts shall be appointed by the High Court. The jurisdiction and powers of every Metropolitan Magistrate shall extend throughout the metropolitan area.

As per Section 17 of the Code, the High Court shall, in relation to every metropolitan area within its local jurisdiction, appoint a Metropolitan Magistrate to be the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for such metropolitan area.

The High Court may appoint any Metropolitan Magistrate to be an additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, such Magistrate shall have all or any of the powers of a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate under this Code or under any other law for the time being in force, as the High Court may direct.

According to Section 18 of the Code, 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. However, 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 Metropolitan 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 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.

As per Section 19 of the Code, 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.

The High Court may, for the purposes of this Code, define the extent of the subordination, if any, of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrates to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate may, from time to time, make rules or give special orders, consistent with this Code, as to the distribution of business among the Metropolitan Magistrates and as to the allocation of business to an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.