You must have heard people saying that we are visiting the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) or Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO). If you wonder what these posts are, then read on. The officers with these designations are responsible for resolving land disputes in the subdivision and maintaining law and order.
Both the posts are considered prestigious. While the officers employed in the position of SDM are posted to different divisions and subdivisions across the states, the term SDPO is common in the states of Bihar and West Bengal. It’s important to note that those seeking recruitment under any of these positions must clear the exams conducted by State Public Service Commission (PCS) or Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Sub Divisional Magistrate
A Sub Divisional Magistrate is an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) cadre or a State Civil Service officer of the State Administrative Service cadre. SDM exercises executive, revenue and magisterial powers to supervise administrative and legal affairs within a specific sub-division of the district. In most states, SDMs are also known as Assistant Collectors or Assistant Commissioners. The Sub Divisional Magistrate is also expected to perform the duties of an Executive Magistrate under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.
Here are major responsibilities of a Sub Divisional Magistrate:
· Vehicles registration
· Management of revenue-related tasks
· Supervising election related activities
· Renewal of arms licence and issuance of new licence
· Issuance of certificates like OBC, SC/ST, and Domicile
Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO)
It is a special police rank in India. The term SDPO has been taken from the British Indian Police Act, of 1861. It was introduced by Lord Raffles for police officers in British India. Tasks like patrolling and investigation are associated with this rank as SDPOs. They are responsible for coordinating from higher levels of state government to those holding the lowest designations at the police.
The Sub-Divisional Police Officer is a police officer who is head of a sub-division in the state. In many states the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) rank is equivalent to the post of SDPO in other states.
While the powers exercised by a SDPO are almost similar to that of an Inspector, there are also some differences. Supervision of investigations and the prosecution in important cases are the main duties of the SDPO rank officer.