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Who is more powerful? A high court judge or an IAS Officer at the joint-secretariat/secretariat level.
Depend on the officer/judge. A cabinet secretary is much more powerfully than a high court judge. Whereas a DM, not so much. Also it depends on the court; A Delhi and Bombay high court judge is much more powerful than say one in Tripura, just because of the kind of matters they get.
Powerful because of the type of matters they judge? Nonsense.
I don't have empirical data but I suppose a High Court judge in Tripura would be more powerful in Tripura than a High Court judge in Delhi would be in Delhi.
But is being very power within Tripura really more powerful than being mid powerful in Delhi?
You are spreading a misinformation that a cabinet secretary is more powerful than judge. Where it is written or where you have seen that. Not only high court judge, even a junior civil judge have the power to summon any ias officer and can take actions on him. Please correct your false statement. This is not the legal knowledge that you are giving.
everyone is powerful in their field judge is powerful inside court only
I think the usage of "power" here is incorrect and I think that is too subjective. But in terms of precedence, this is not entirely incorrect. Refer to the table of precedence within the Government:

You will note that a cabinet secretary comes in at No. 11 (along with the AG) whereas High Court Judges come in at 14 (Chief Justice) or 17 (other puisne judges). These are however higher than all other IAS officers given that Chief Secretaries come in only at No 23.
Then why to get confused again by half answer?? Chief Justice of India comes at 6th position (along with the speaker of the Lok Sabha). Now tell who is superior?? Question was not about the designation (cabinet or chief or any kind of secretary). It was about IAS in general. So no need to compare at all or if we do then it should be properly (donโ€™t compare HC judge with cabinet secretary, compare CJ of SC with the highest post of an IAS officer)
Why half and illiterate comparison?? If you want to compare the cabinet secretary then compare him with CJ of SC. CJ of SC is superior to the highest post of an IAS officer. He is at 6th position (along with the speaker of Lok Sabha) in the order of precedence as issued by the GOI.
Is that even a question? In an honest democracy, no one should be mkre powerful than the other. In real world metrics yes ofcourse High Court Judge is more powerful. Just see the Indian order of precedence in tje Constitution of India. IAS officers are constantly in fear of being in contempt of court for their actions. Being CEOs, industry head, secretaries, PSU directors etc, IAS officers have to constantly appear before judges, and being a litigator I have literally seen them trembling before a HC judge. It is like their entire demeanour almost changes.
What you say is true but superintendence is not the only definition of power, is it? As the Secretary of an important department, you can literally shape the policy of the entire country (ministers may decide the broader agenda but you direct the fine print). Add to that you have thousands of crores under budgetary discretion to spend on public if you want to do good for others.

In the end, power depends on how you use the power. As a judge, you can be a Bhagwati or a Krishna Iyer whose judgements impacted millions. Or you can be an unknown judge from a high court whose greatest work was a judgement interpreting rule x (iv) under section a (b) of Irrelevant Act, 1986.

Similarly, as an IAS officer, you could be Ajit Doval, Jaishankar or Amitabh Kant. Or you could be the Director of Random Corporation of India.
In India court even denies parliamentory supremacy which is a clear sign that even people of the country trust more on judges.That is not a sign of any democratic country..
But, Why you want to "Parliamentary Supremacy"??

If you really willing to taste that experience, then make a time machine and go back in the era of 1975,,, you will got to know how much PARLIAMENT can be a bad**ss!!!
Are you high,,, used to take any kind of drug before sleep or have any type of connections with mafias??
This is UPSC v. IAS thread all over again.

To sum up what I said there also: it depends on your clout/network.
Both are public servants and neither is supposed to be "powerful". It's because of thought process such as this any semi decent self respecting individual seeks to leave India given an opportunity.
Just quickly going to address all the weird arguments I've seen people make in these kinds of threads:

1) It's unfortunate that commenters are making the same old "Order Of Precedence" arguments again. It's been iterated multiple times by governments that this list is inapplicable for the daily functioning of the state.
By this precedence logic, a former vice-president is more powerful than the current CJI? Does that make any sense?

This is a purely ceremonial ranking that tries to satiate the ego of all the three wings of the Indian state - it still does not change the fact that India is not a country with perfect separation of powers - it's a state where the Legislature enjoys slight superiority over the Judiciary and Executive due to the former's ability to impeach and suspend persons serving in the latter two wings. This stuff is taught in basic civics classes now.

It's also strange that some "litigator" in this thread has claimed he's seen IAS officers tremble before HC judges - that sort of stuff sounds like good inspiration for a Jolly LLB franchise movie but doesn't reflect reality.
By this same strain of logic, SC judges tremble in front of Ajit Doval? He has the Prime Minister's ear and access to methods of investigation and related technology that's military-grade.

2) What is this drama about how a judge can summon IAS officers and even ministers but that the same ministers/officers can't "summon" a judge? The power to summon is something that's exclusively reserved for courts of law to carry out judicial proceedings, it doesn't prove the superiority of judges. It's frankly quite immature to think so.

Again, by the same logic only an SP can authorise PAC personnel to go and carry out an encounter of dacoits. Judges can't order encounters. Does this mean judges are suddenly not powerful?

Army officers, starting from the post of Brigadier, are allowed to take unilateral action to a large degree at the border - this can quite literally make the Republic enter a state of war - judges can't initiate war so I'd assume they're not powerful either?

See how absurd this logic of "summons" is?

3) Now, coming to the actual comparison. A HC Judge vs an IAS officer.

High Court judges enjoy extra-ordinary privileges against arrests (well, so did IAS officers above the joint secretary level until a certain judgement. You'd still never see the police arrest a Jt. Sec., however).
HC judges are eligible for red-light beacons, one of the few functionaries who still are. They get excellent bungalows and adequate support staff.

However, it's very difficult to make this comparison without really knowing the grade at which said IAS officer is.

Is an HC judge more powerful than an SDM? Most definitely. While an HC judge mostly cannot interfere directly in an SDM's work as they belong to different wings of the state - they are still extremely senior and enjoy the benefit of connections made over many decades. A freshly-minted SDM or DM simply cannot compare.

However, compare a HC judge with a Chief Secretary or the state's Home Secretary and things change extremely rapidly.

(The HC judge only has a ceremonial order of precedence rank going for them here.)

Chief Secretaries and Home Secretaries work side-by-side with the Chief Minister of the state. The Chief Secretary is the principal advisor to the CM on all state matters. They are provided palatial housing right next to the CM and his/her cabinet and freely use helicopters and such vehicles for their work (Even DMs have former mansions and palaces reserved as their official residence in most cities.)

They are the administrative lynchpin that connects the CM and the ruling legislative party with any state's executive branch.

A High Court judge simply does not compare with the kind of functions that a CS carries out. The CS broadly oversees every single department that the state runs and specifically hold charge of multiple departments such as personnel, administrative reforms, planing and so on.

They are also the highest nodal point that can be contacted for law and order issues - the CS outranks the state's Director General of Police (DGP).

Compared to ALL of this, a HC judge's domain is indeed restricted. They're powerful functionaries too with political contacts, but an IAS officer works far more closely with public representatives than any judge does. They tend to accumulate considerable political heft after years of manoeuvring through the demands and challenges posed by MPs and MLAs.

A High Court judge has considerable power - they can order arrests for contempt. But that's really it? Unless your case is in the docket and is eventually heard by some HC judge who despises you, they can't really do shit to you.

On the other hand: Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries' involvement in a citizen's life is huge. Revenue, law and order, health, schooling and whatnot. I'm not going to elaborate much on this but most people here are most likely aware of the kind of power someone who can order around the DGP and controls land-revenue records holds...
This is quite accurate. To reiterate again, your clout is what matters.
I'm surprised by the number of downvotes on the parent comment. What's been stated there is pretty accurate.

Is this topic usually put up by judicial exam aspirants?

Same happened in the other thread also. A guy became super defensive at when the people here actually attempted to disillusion him - the thread was about lower judicial services versus UPSC. The logic ends at "oh judge can summon you so you are inferior hurr durr"
Feelings hurt ho gayi. That's why someone has written such a long answer. Now folks aside of order of presidence:

Frankly speaking indeed different arms has different function but judiciary is superlative to all. DGP or Cabinate Secretary may look after various departments like clerk has to handle multiple files of every department of his organization because its the very duty of the clerk.

But, one may look even when on a simple ground, HC Judge calls a DGP/Secretary in court. Judges are the real bosses. An SP can order to PAC for lathi charge. But it was right or wrong just for a single opinion, if courts call them for hearing, forget SP, even IG has sleepless night before the next day of submission in court. They may fear of

jobs, actions and many more even if they could be right for controling riot.

And the last comment:

Writer's Father is Secretary to GoI & Writer preparing for Upper Judicial Services. So, Nothing more to say. :-)
People on this site have told you a million times - it isn't as black and white as you make it out to be.

And no, officers of the rank of IG do have "sleepless nights" before court days. It's a regular occurrence when they are juniors, so by this rank they are used to it. Further, summoning an officer of this rank is not common. Lastly, how about you let me know the last time any court took any serious action against any officer of this rank? Theek hai, court me bula loge, so what? If your entire point is that X can summon Y, therefore X is superior - I don't think you have sufficient real life experience/maturity to carry this discussion further. Life is way more nuanced than that. And not to forget everyone is always asking for favours from everyone - judges looking for one from the executive is not unheard of.
As an alumnus and having seen some of them very very closely, this is quite close to the truth.
Interesting question because a Senior District Judge (Judicial Service officer) just before he becomes.eligible to be elevated as a HC JUDGE, are often posted as Joint Secretaries in the State Law Dept (talking of Maharashtra and WB here). So this would indicate a junior HC Additional Judge is above a Joint Secy atleast in terms of seniority and pay.
With all due respect, you're talking out of your butt.

Senior District Judge (Judicial Service officer) just before he becomes.eligible to be elevated as a HC JUDGE, are often posted as Joint Secretaries in the State Law Dept
There are no joint secretaries who serve at a state level. Jt. Secretaries only serve at the central level - they are EXTREMELY high ranking officers.

Lots of people in the last thread gave us the example of how some serving district judge was appointed as Law Secretary - and that it took IAS officers years to attain Secretary level posts therefore "judge more powerful".

Well, not quite.

A judge was appointed as Law Sec. for the first time, ever. Asinine to use an exception as a rule and claim a district judge is at par with a Secretary to the GOI in terms of power.

Moreover, the government maintains an in-house cadre called the Indian Legal Service to fill positions in the Central Law Ministry. Most appointees there always ARE judges and advocates. They don't get those positions by virtue of possessing greater power/influence than an IAS officer.

To reiterate, very odd to assume that the Union Home Secretary is less powerful than a district judge because of appointments in a specific ministry which only appoints advocates/judges to their executive posts.
People who keep making these threads and engage in make-believe pissing contests between two different arms of the State dealing with completely different things really have no idea about the law.
In a democratic set up, it may be undesirable to say who is more powerful than the other as every body has to work within his responsibility and power. However, in the warrant of precedence, a judge of a high court is placed above the IAS officers.
in the court, the judge is more powerful, outside of it it is the IAS
Judge is powerful, anywhere, no matter within the court or outside it!!
My dad is a high court judge for the state of AP and wherever we go like,the temples or even to our villages the district magistrates and the IAS officers would be present there.
Bro,,, really?? These types queries are self-contradictory!!

Even jmfc is much more higher than any govt. Puppies!!

High Court judge >>>>>>>>>Ias officer (j. S level)
Can anyone post a link to that infamous upsc vs judiciary thread? Trying to find it.
Guys, back to basics - separation of powers. It is not apple to apple comparison. Superiority of position in cross-functional sense here will be a misnomer.

If you must, the power and authority must be decided based on what confers those powers to each office holder. The Constitution. And as such you got to follow the Order of Precedence.

If your question is influenced by dilemma over career choice, pick either of these and you will be fine. :)
Just a side note, the order of precedence has no constitutional or statutory significance, nor is representational of how much power a person holds/can hold, as that is a super subjective factor anyway depending on a lot of elements.
have you ever seen those youtube videos of judges commanding ias officers.. you can see it for yourself.
Bro,,, i myself belongs from family of judges....

My father is a HIGH COURT Judge,,,,

And all I can say that,,, there is no need to compare honable Judiciary with executive puppies!!

High Court judge is much more powerful!!
He is absolutely and 100% right!!

HC judge is boss and Ias (executive puppy) is servant!
The one thing that is always missing from these comparisons is the matter of age. Yes, a HC judge is more powerful but also when heโ€™s 50 years old. While an IAS has same amount of power and clout when heโ€™s <30. Makes all the difference in the world to have that kind of power at such a young age. Opens all the doors + the clout is more.
Hey hey hey wait wait,, don't mislead!!

That line - While an "IAS has same amount of power" when he's less than 30" (Joke of the year).

Ever heard the name of Chief Judicial Magistrate?? No?, Might you, anyways I don't care!

Lemme tell you,even the powers of Honourable CJM is much more than that of DM!! And has much more fame too!!

Power & fame of HC judge is, literally, much much much more than that of shitty executive(s), Shocked?!, this is the truth!

If u don't know, keep shut ur mouth, but pls don't mislead!
Again, same writing style and lack of grasp over language as the guy in the UPSC v. Judiciary thread.

We get it, buddy, you're prepping for judiciary real hard and really want it to be the best career path in the world. But that does not change the reality of things. It's not as black and white as you are making it out to be. It's much more complicated than that - the person, the post, the clout. And let's also stop pretending that judges don't have to work within the limits of the law. "oh CJM has more fAmE than Dm" (lolwut) - no.
Is their any kind of drugs u used to take before sleep or something sort of that??

Look , I'll not elaborate frthr cuz truth is always bitter!! But what I've said is absolutely accurate! "CJM HAS MUCH MORE FAME THAN DM"! I can understand u r jealous, but that's the truth, right?,,, Right!!
Anyways, I'll always say,

Judiciary is extremely powerful on pen and paper,! Even Jmfc is much more powerful than any executive puppies!. Just because they got selected through Upsc doesn't mean they have upper hand!

Last but not the least, Those who write and apprehend that DM is powerful, haven't has much experienced in real life! They are just fascinated by social media reels - "ENTRY OF AN IAS/IPS OFFICER"!
And yaa, one thing also missed, what about "gulami of netas (politicians)"?? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Did u expect the same from judicial officer(s)??

(click on the abovementioned link and then tell me, Do you still want to stand firmly on what you've said above)

I belonged to family of judges and I myself experienced what's the name and fame is!! Don't mislead, if u don't know!!
Don't take me wrong but you must be a Civil Service aspirant. You'r question seems to be influenced by some youtube videos where they said that "DM is a kid post, actual IAS post starts from Joint Secretary". He make statements in positive way but you took in other way.

Lets discuss some facts -

1. HC Judges holds constitutional post where as Joint Secretary holds only legal post i.e., bureaucratoc post (Naukershah) (not even semi-constituional like Judges of Higher Judiciary are)

2. Rank of HC judges are equivalent to Cabinet Ministers of State.

3. HC Judges are not subordinate to any offices or authorities but the J.S. are subordinates to respective ministries or cabinet ministers.

4. Forget about HC judges, subordinates of HCs holds higher rank then your J.S. like Registrars of HCs holds equivalency with the Principal Secretary of State i.e., Additional Secretary to Govt. of India.

So, the conclusion is that the Joint Secretary is not even near to HC Judges in any terms, then what made you to compare their power ?

Must respond. Awaiting

Thank to the God ! You didn't compared with SDM.

I truly hope you crack your judicial services exam. Although do note, as others have also warned you earlier, a lot of your misconceptions are going to break once you join the service.
Okay my friend, thanks for the compliments!! :), (liked your comment)!
@Mod: Why did you censor that?

Saying that one's comments are entertaining is offensive now?

All hail the torchbearer of free speech.
Please be kinder to others, not snarky. Free speech does not mean you have to be a rude โ–ฎโ–ฎโ–ฎ ;)
You draw the line way too early. This site has gone to shit. Goodbye.
after IAS reaches joint secretary level with good political connections HC judge cannot mess and once he becomes Cabinet secretary level with connection to PM then even SC judges cant mess
haha they dont mess kyunki there is no reason to mess as a secretary you dont wield any real powers practically, only a more glamorised puppet in the system.

But if you commit bribery, crimes, corruption, fraud, intimidation, and there are honest prosecutions, these courts will fk you up, especially with contempt notices.
After reading last 6-7 comments (exclude official LI) it seems like same person is posting and criticizing his own comments. ๐Ÿคฃ
Always the same typical UPSC v. Judiciary wala response. Reply ka content bhi same, command over language bhi same...
"Always the same typical UPSC v. Judiciary wala response. Reply ka content bhi same, command over language bhi same..."

It's u dude & no other. So don't act like smart ๐Ÿคฃ
sadly you have no clue about real life, even supreme court judges take bribes to hear specific cases and plump posts after retirement, politics is above everything in India not judiciary
Commentor - Politics is above everything in India!

Meanwhile me to commentor - So jaa bro jaa so jaa !
Can this thread be taken down, some "facts" and points of law regarding powers of government servants is misleading to aspirants and everyone. This is worsened by unprofessional moderation to tag them as facts contested.
Honestly, itโ€™s a good question.

With all due respect to IAS and senior officials, as per me, HC Judge is more powerful and an independent authority, and yes nothing to do with political system of the nation.
Just see district judge vs District magistrate, the DM has way more direct dealings with the public so he has wayy more power, the judge is powerful in that he can give judgments which can be appealed, the DM has 100 plus other powers, he is ceo of municipal corporation, all tax funds go through him, many statutory bodies make dm chairman, SP has to take his signature, criminals produced before magistrate first, it is incomparable, and obviously district judge will maintain good relation with DM and vice versa, this is in every step of the hierarchy, so obviously IAS is the king, unless he falls in a legal trap, but then it is the law which can take him down not the judge himself, and once the ias becomes close to CM he is almost unstoppable within that state
LMAO, what kind of question is this? You may mean to ask - 'kiska jyada bhaukal hai?'. The answer to this is IAS, unless you have a hearing in court on a matter related to you.

No one is powerful, the law is. They are just a tool to enforce the law in different forms, they cant go beyond what the law allows and requires them to do (keeping aside the corruption and unethical practices that one may choose to do.)
Question should be who is more powerful the 1 % of top lawyers and MDs of law firms, vs IAS that is more even playing ground, because IAS is one or even 2 steps above in the hierarchy, however top lawyers are 2 steps above ias, unless ias has made connections, then ias will be in same level of top lawyers
Judge have more power no doubt but to show his power one has to present in the court

Ias has more wider range to "show his power"

But if they come face to face or in court judge have more power

Though judge have more power but if someone get a chance to become an ias officer or judge most of the people will select ias in my opinion because ias get respect every where

So for me both are equal in larger view
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