Are you planning to fight a case? Well , have some understanding of the hierarchy and functioning of District Court. It is in fact , necessary to know the division of District Court so that you can take proper steps in your case. District Court is a judicial institution functioning under observation and monitoring of High Court of concerned state. District Court is popularly known as Trial Court. The basic feature of a such court is to conduct trial by recording evidence of witnesses and collecting documents and proofs of both sides. That’s why it is also considered as fact finding court.
The judge is the person who pronounces judgment. He is the main focus of the court. Every party to the case addresses his arguments, points , explanations to the judge of the concerned court.
In case of fighting a case in Trial Court , one must know the ground functioning and hierarchy of District Court.
District & Sessions Judge (DJ)
Every district has a District Court and the head of this court is called the District & Sessions Judge (DJ). Under administrative Supervision of District Judge , Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) and Additional District Judge (ADJ) work. The main difference between the two is that ASJ deals with criminal matters and ADJ deals with civil cases. Its very simple difference but many people get confused.
It is pertinent to mention here that the head boss of the District Court is District and Sessions Judge who is popularly known as DJ. So DJ is responsible for all administrative functions and allocations of cases to the other judges of his rank. However, he also takes hearings of cased as per his consideration and for him there is no restriction of dealing with only civil and criminal cases. So he is free to hear both civil and criminal matters.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ)
Sessions Court means a court who exclusively deals with criminal cases as an appellate court or trial court. Judge of Sessions Court is called Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ). What is the meaning of trial court? It means trial is conducted by the court. There are so many criminal offences which are triable by Sessions Court and the same is decided on the basis of the Sections involved in the FIR or Case.
Additional District Judge (ADJ)
Additional District Judge hears cases of civil nature as an appellate court or trial court. Whether any case is triable by ADJ or not is decided on the basis of pecuniary jurisdiction which simply means that monetary value of dispute or disputed property, share, interest etc. Now I think no confusion will ever arise in your mind regarding difference between ASJ and ADJ. Both these authorities hear appeal and revision in their criminal and civil fields which are filed against the order or judgment of the Magistrate and Civil Judge respectively .
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) / Judicial Magistrate (JM)
Lets now talk about the courts which are placed under ASJ and ADJ. Can you guess – yes you have rightly guessed that Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate comes under ASJ and Civil Judge comes under ADJ. One should not confuse in the word Metropolitan Magistrate and Judicial Megistrate. Both words denote the same position of judges. In Metropolitan cities , A Magistrate is called Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) and in other cities the same is desigated as Judicial Magistrate (JM).
Like ASJ and ADJ, Magistrate deals with criminal cases and Civil Judge deals with civil cases. Magistrate trial is fixed as per sections involved and Civil Judge is referred a civil case on its pecuniary jurisdiction. Their decisions are later on challenged in the court of Additional Sessions Judge or Additional District Judge respectively by aggrieved party who is not happy with the decision or order.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) / Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM)
There are so many magistrates in the district Court and one among them is designated as the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or the Chief Judicial Magistrate. In many district magistrates are categorized as Magistrate (First Class or Second Class). The same type of categorization is also present in many district court with name of Senior and Junior Civil Judge. The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate is also responsible for administrative functions and allocations of cases to other magistrates.
Lastly I tell you very important thing that it is not a constant and fixed pattern of a judge’s position in District Court. They are frequently transferred from the positions of magistrate to civil judge or from ASJ to ADJ. as per the order of High Court. Many judges are also promoted from MM to CMM and also to the position of ASJ and ADJ. Judicial System is very much alive which is observing and promoting them. Every one must know the hierarchy of judges in District Court.