Difference Between Collector and District Magistrate

By Shivank Goel|Updated : September 15th, 2022

The difference between District Collector and District Magistrate lies in their respective powers. Before independence, the judicial and executive powers were in the same hands in India. But, as the country's Constitution came into force, public services were divided. Thus, the responsibilities of a collector and district magistrate also got separated.

Difference Between Collector and District Magistrate PDF

However, in some states in India, the power of the collector and district magistrate are vested in the same person. This has led many people to believe that the collector and district magistrate is the same, which may not necessarily be true. There is a difference between Collector and District Magistrate as the magistrate enjoys extra powers like imposing section 144 and curfew.

Difference Between Collector and District Magistrate

The district collector is the senior-most administrator magistrate. The purpose of a district collector was to collect the land revenue or supervise the process. However, after independence, the judicial powers of the collector were transferred to the Judicial officers of the district. On the other hand, the District Magistrate is an IAS officer responsible for maintaining the coordination of police in a district.

The difference between the two posts is given below, along with a brief idea about the work done by a District collector and a District Magistrate-

Who is a Collector?

A District Collector is the highest officer for revenue management in any district. His powers are restricted to solving revenue matters through the Divisional Commissioner and the Financial Commissioner. He tends to the irrigation dues, Income tax duties, and indirect taxes. Besides revenue, the District Collector has the role of maintaining the land records and statutory certificates.

Who is a District Magistrate?

A District Magistrate, popular with an abbreviated form of DM, is the highest executive magistrate officer in the district. He/She is a chief in charge of the general administration of the district and responsible for maintaining law and order of the district. Besides it, a District Magistrate is the head of the police and the prosecuting agency. However, the responsibilities of a DM vary from state to state.

The difference between Collector and District Magistrate in terms of meaning, powers, and responsibilities is in the table below-

Basis of Difference

Collector

District Magistrate

Meaning

A District Collector is the highest officer for revenue management in any district.

A District Magistrate, often abbreviated as DM, is the highest executive magistrate officer in the district.

Power

The power of the district collector is given by the Land Revenue Code 1959.

The district magistrate gets power from the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Responsibilities

A district collector has the following responsibilities:

  • Conduct Revenue Court
  • Collect taxes such as Excise Duties, Irrigation Dues, Income Tax dues, etc.
  • Provide relief and conduct rehabilitation works
  • Arbitrate land acquisition, assess and collect land revenue
  • Maintain accurate land records
  • Register property documents, sale deeds, power of attorneys, defacement, share certificates, etc.
  • Issue various statutory certificates related to Nationality, Domicile, Marriage, SC/ST, OBC, etc.
  • To act as a custodian of evacuee and migrant property
  • To inspect various district offices, sub-divisions, and tehsils
  • To chair the District Banker Coordination Committee
  • To head the District Planning Center

A district magistrate has the following responsibilities:

  • Maintain their district's law and order
  • Issue adoption orders under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015
  • Grant arms and ammunition under the Arms Act
  • Give licenses to cinemas
  • Head the district disaster management authority constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005
  • Conduct criminal courts of the executive magistrate
  • Supervise the subordinate executive magistrates
  • Inspect police stations, prisons, and juvenile homes in the district

Though there is a Difference Between Collector and District Magistrate, the two posts are also similar in some respects. For example, both coordinate the activities between various departments and agencies of their district. Moreover, both District Collector and a District Magistrate work toward implementing the Government's development programs in the district.

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FAQs on Difference Between District Magistrate and Collector

  • Difference Between Collector and District Magistrate in India, In some states in India, the power of the collector and the district magistrate are vested to the same person.

  • The Difference Between a Collector and a District Magistrate in terms of power is that the district magistrate gets his power from the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973. On the other hand, the power of the district collector is given by the Land Revenue Code 1959.

  • The Difference Between the Collector and the District Magistrate in terms of responsibilities is that the district collector is the highest officer for revenue management in any district, and his duties revolve around revenue collection. The district magistrate is the district's highest executive magistrate officer and is responsible for maintaining law and order in the district.

  • Both the officers coordinate activities between various departments and agencies of the district and work towards its development.

  • Although both District Collector and Magistrate are responsible for maintaining the activities among their respective departments, yet, the District Magistrate can be considered more powerful as he enjoys a lot of powers, like imposing section 144 and curfew. He is responsible for closing shops or schools in a particular area. He permits conducting rallies (except in UP and Maharashtra). And lastly, he gives reports of any sort of riots in the district to the government.

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