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SDM - Sub Divisional Magistrate

SDM - Sub Divisional Magistrate

SDM stands for Sub Divisional Magistrate. The Sub Division of any District is headed by the Sub Divisional Magistrate. He is an administrative officer who works at a level below the administrative level of the district. During their training, the officers of Indian Administrative Services also serve as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. In many states, these IAS officers are named as Assistant Collector or Commissioner.

Tax inspectors, also known as the Collector of District Magistrate. Sub-Divisional Magistrate takes charge of all the tehsils. There are various roles of a sub-divisional magistrate in the Criminal Procedure Code 1973.

The IAS Officers begin their district training with the home cadres. It is followed by their first posting, and the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) is their first role. Therefore, they are made in charge of the district sub-division. SDM role can also be given to a senior State Civil Services Officer but only after relevant work experience in subordinate roles.

Definition of the Sub Divisional Magistrate as per law

  • Section 20(4) Cr.P.C. - The Sub Divisional Magistrate is the Executive Magistrate who is in charge of Sub Division and is placed by the State Government.
  • Section 23 Cr.P.C. - The Sub-Divisional Magistrate is the Magistrate who is responsible to monitor whether the law and order are followed as he is subordinate to the District Magistrate.
  • Section 107/151,109,110,133,145 and 146 Cr.P.C. - Sub Divisional Magistrate, enjoys various powers under these sections.

Functions of Sub-Divisional Magistrate

1. Revenue Functions -

Following are the revenue functions of the sub-divisional Magistrate -

  1. Carrying out of demarcations and mutations
  2. Conduct of revenue cases
  3. Functioning as custodian of public land
  4. Maintenance of land records
  5. Settlement operations

Revenue work is one of the most important function that the Sub Divisional Magistrate is required to follow. The Girdavars, Kanungos and Patwaries are subordinate staff for the revenue work. The Tehsildars inspect all revenue activities at the field level and supervise the revenue staff.

Another authority of the sub-divisional Magistrate is to issue statutory certificates such as SC/ST & OBC, Domicile, Nationality etc. Additionally, the documents that are mandatory to be registered as per the law are registered at the Sub Registrar's Office. There are nine Sub Registrar's Offices. The documents that are compulsory to be registered are property documents, sale deeds, power of attorneys, and share certificates. The Deputy Commissioners exercise control over the Sub Registrars, as they are the Registrars of their district.

2. Magisterial Functions

The Sub Divisional Magistrate have role to conduct the preventive Sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This function is part of their Magisterial role in which they exercise control over the Executive Magistrate. Another function is to set an enquiry for the unnatural deaths of women. After enquiry, they direct police to register the case, if required.

They are also responsible for the inquiries in death cases such as police lock-up, jails,etc. The Officers also act as a witness for the Government and report the Government after enquiring about major accidents like natural calamities, riots, and fire incidents.

3. Disaster Management

The disaster management department is responsible for the operations in case of any calamity. It provides relief and rehabilitation to people in natural or man-made disasters. It also conducts various programmes to spread awareness and disaster management during a calamity. It monitors the disaster preparedness for the disasters like chemical disasters.

Power of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate

The Sub-divisional Officer is a miniature Deputy Commissioner for the respective Sub-Division. SDM is empowered to coordinate in administration and all matters of their respective Sub Division. He has the authority to exercise power over the Tehsildar and the staff. He is directly in coordination with the Government and the other departments for routine matters. The main responsibilities of the deputy commissioner are revenue, judicial and executive related work.

  • He acts as the Assistant Collector in revenue matters. Although the Assistant Collector is a 1st-grade position, the powers of the Collector are delegated to him only in certain cases.
  • The responsibilities of the Sub Divisional Magistrate are comparable to the Deputy Commissioner. Generally, this applies to the functions related to development matters.
  • Some specific departmentsof aSub Division are supervised and inspected in all matters by the Sub Divisional Magistrate. Generally, these matters range from the assessment to the collection of land revenue and maintenance of the coordination of officials in the Sub Division.
  • The magisterial responsibility of the SDM is to coordinate with the police in that particular jurisdiction. He has the power to monitor the relations between the communities, take precautions for any emergency that may arise. He is also empowered to recommend when he is not competent for the grant of arms license.
  • He has the power to call and ask for any records or entries in registers from the Police Stations that are related to the crime. In such cases, he may call the Station House Officer of the police station to conduct a meeting and explain the matter to him.
  • For the peaceful conduct in his local administrate Sub Division, he may bind down anti-social elements. He is associated closely with the public and shares an intimate association with the market committees and the local bodies.
  • He is significant in conduction development programmes for the rural regions of the Sub Division. The SDM requires co-operation from the government officials for the smooth operations and effective implementations of the development programmes in any Sub Division.
  • For some important policy matters, the guidance of the Deputy Commissioner is mandatory for the SDM.
  • He also acts as the Assistant Returning Officer for the constituency in the Lok Sabha Elections.
SDM - Sub Divisional Magistrate

Roles and Responsibilities of an SDM

Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) is the initial position given to an IAS officer who is selected through the UPSC Exam. The career of an IAS officer begins with their training, after which they take responsibility as the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM). An SDM is responsible for a Sub Division in a District. They have many roles and responsibilities that help in the effective administration of the district.He has to be the Deputy Commissioner's principal agent in all matters of relevance. All these affect the people in the Sub Division directly or indirectly. The major responsibilities of the Sub Divisional Magistrate are listed below -

  • An SDM is in charge of the development programmes and activities in the Sub Division.
  • SDM is responsible for coordinating with other officials of the different departments.
  • SDM maintains close contact with the local public and the State Government. He does so to keep watch on the implementation of the development activities and monitor their outcome.
  • SDM is also responsible for supervising the revenue administration and the law & order in the Sub Division. If he finds the administration is not working effectively, he may take any action required.
  • SDM keeps check on the grievances of the general public and takes necessary steps if the situation arises.
  • He is also responsible for the problems related to calamity, whether it be natural or man-made. In such a situation, he is empowered to control the rehabilitation.
  • Another major responsibility of the SDM is the supervision of the revenue agency of that Sub Division.

Although the Sub Divisional Magistrate holds a position independent, his decisions can directly affect the people. He is responsible for everything and all matters within his jurisdiction. Hence, SDM must take decisions independently. He acts as the appellate authority in cases decided by revenue officers who are his subordinates.

How to Become a Sub-Divisional Magistrate?

The first post of an IAS is SDM. To be eligible for the examination for becoming an SDM, a candidate must have graduated from the Government recognized institution. The candidate must appear for the CSE examination conducted by the UPSC. The candidate who is successful in the UPSC CSE examination becomes an IAS officer.

Educational Qualification for SDM Role

The candidate must have graduated from the Government recognized institution in India. Graduation is the mandatory qualification for the position of an SDM. The candidate can apply for the CSE examination from their final year in the graduation.

The key solution for the query how to become SDM After the 12th also remains the same as mentioned below. The candidate can apply for the examination from their final year in the graduation. But you can start your exam preparation immediately after the 12th. As the UPSC exam is one of the toughest competitive exams in India, so you to start preparing beforehand.

UPSC Examination Eligibility

1. Nationality of the Candidate

  • For the Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Services, and Indian Police Services, the candidate must be of Indian nationality.
  • In cases other than mentioned above the candidate must follow the points mentioned below -
    1. Candidate should be an Indian citizen
    2. Candidate should be a citizen of Nepal or subject of Bhutan
    3. Tibetan refugee settled before January 1, 1962 in India and is permanently settled.
    4. The candidate who is of Indian origin and has permanently settled in India but has migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Zambia, Zaire, Myanmar, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, or Vietnam.

2. Educational Qualifications necessary for UPSC examination

The educational background of the candidate must consist of any of the following mentioned degree or qualification-

  1. A degree from the Central, State or Deemed University
  2. A correspondence or distant education degree
  3. An open university degree
  4. The qualification of candidate must be equivalent to any of the qualifications listed above and must be approved by the Government of India.
    Apart from the qualifications mentioned above, candidates with the following qualifications are also eligible, but proof of their eligibility is to be issued from a competent authority and must be presented at the time of examination -
    1. A candidate who has appeared in examination passing states that they are educationally qualified to any of the qualifications mentioned above.
    2. A candidate who hasn't completed the internship but has passed the final examination of MBBS degree.
    3. Candidates who have passed ICAI, ICSI, and ICWAI final examinations.
    4. A private university degree
    5. A foreign university degree is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.

3. Age Criteria

The general category candidate must be between 21 and 32 years of age to be eligible to appear for the examination. This age limit must be till the August 1 of the year of examination. The age limit is influenced by the category if the candidate belongs to the reserved category.

  1. The upper age limitis 35 years for the OBC (Other Backward Castes) candidate.
  2. The age limit is 37 years for the SC (Scheduled Castes) and ST (Scheduled Tribes) category candidate.
  3. The age limit of the disabled person is 40 years only if the disability is caused in the military operations.
  4. The age limit is different from the military retired candidates who have served for 5 years in the military as of August 1 of the year of examination. The criteria is effective only for the candidates that are released in the following cases -
    1. In the cases if the candidate has to complete the assignment which will be completed in 1 year from August 1 of the year in which he appears for the examination.
    2. If the candidate has physical disability caused due to military operations
    3. On invalidation
    The age limit is 32 years. However, those who have done the service for five years but have extended the project may appear for the exam with the age relaxation of 5 years.
  5. The PwD candidates can appear for the exam till the age of 37 years.
  6. For the domiciles of Jammu from Jan, 1980, to Dec, 1989, the age limit to appear for the examination is 32.
  7. The Economically Weaker Section (EWS) are given the standard age limits to follow.

Number of Attempts in the UPSC

The number of attempts for examination also differs according to the caste. General category candidates have six attempts at the exam. OBC category candidates have nine attempts at the examination, whereas ST / SC candidates can give unlimited attempts until 37 years of age.

Importance of SDM

The districts are the administrative divisions of a state that are further divided into Sub Divisions for the smooth and efficient functioning of the system. These Sub Divisions are run by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sub Divisional Officers, and the Tehsildar. SDM facilitates the working of large Tehsil of District. He is crucial in the revenue work as he acts as the assistant to the land revenue. He supervises whether the laws are implemented or not and can issue orders accordingly. He is also empowered to arrest, release an order to use tear gas whenever required, and cover areas during the curfew.

SDM has the authority to assist the District Magistrate in clerical work. He acts coordinator to the District Magistrate and assists him. He is also empowered to set an independent enquiry in any case if required.

An SDM can be an IAS officer or a PCS Officer. SDM is important for the efficient functioning of the Sub Division as they execute financial, administrative, judicial work and maintain law and order.

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