What are the Functions of the Metropolitan Magistrates’ Courts in India?

If requested by the Central or State Government, the High Court may confer on any person who holds (or has held) any post under the Government, all or any of the powers conferred on a Metropolitan Magistrate, in respect of particular cases, or a particular class of cases, or cases generally.

Such Magistrates are known as Special Metropolitan Magistrates, and can be appointed for a maximum of one year at a time. Moreover, under S. 18 of the Code, such a Magistrate cannot impose any sentence which a Judicial Magistrate of the Second Class is not competent to impose.

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It is also provided that the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and every Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate is subordinate to the Sessions Judge, and every other Metropolitan Magistrate is subordinate to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. S. 19 empowers the High Court to define the extent of subordination, if any, of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. It is for the latter to make rules for the distribution of business amongst the Metropolitan Magistrates and for the allocation of business to an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.