Section 19 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!

(i) A person who is officially designated a Judge.

(ii) A person who is legally empowered to give a definitive judgment in any legal proceeding, whether civil or criminal, and which judgment would be definitive if no appeal is preferred against it, or which judgment would become definitive after confirmation by other authority.

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(iii) A person who is member of such a body to whom the law has given power to give a definitive judgment.

A High Court Judge, District Judge, Assistant Judge and Subordinate Judge is covered in the first category.

Since the essential elements in the second category are that there should be a legal proceeding and the person must possess legal authority to give a definitive judgment in the proceedings, anyone who fulfils these conditions is a judge. A Magistrate is a Judge only when he is exercising jurisdiction in a legal proceeding. Consequently, the High Court cannot permit the use of an affidavit sworn before a Magistrate. A Panch is a Judge. The President of a Union Board is not a Judge since he has no legal authority to give a definitive judgment in a legal proceeding.

Under the third category an Arbitrator empowered by law to give a definitive judgment is a Judge when dealing with a case on reference to his arbitration.

Illustration (d) in this section is of added significance because it specifically states that a Magistrate exercising jurisdiction in respect of a charge on which he has power only to commit for trial to another court, is not a Judge.

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