The district is the basic unit of administration. The District Magistrate, Muzaffarnagar, as head of the district administration, is a functionary of the State Government, under the administrative control of Divisional Commissioner, Saharanpur. He has wide powers and manifold responsibilities. In many ways, he is chief custodian of law and authority, the pivot on which runs the local administration.
The main functions of the District Magistrate may be broadly categorized as co-ordination of development and public welfare activities, revenue officer/Court of the district as District Collector, and law and order functions as District Magistrate.
The District Magistrate is responsible for the maintenance of law and order in the district. He is the head of criminal administration and supervises all Executive Magistrates in the district and controls and directs the actions of the police. He has supervisory powers over the administration of jails and lock-ups in the district.
Additional District Magistrate(E)/ADM(Finance and Revenue
The post of Additional District Magistrate has been created to assist the District Magistrate in his day-to-day working. The Additional District Magistrate enjoys the same powers as that of District Magistrate under the rules.
Sub-divisional Officers (Civil)/SDM
The Sub-divisional Officer (Civil) is a miniature District Magistrate in his subdivision. In fact, under many revenue legislation, he is invariably vested with powers of Collector, to be exercised within his jurisdiction.
Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars
The officer in charge of a tahsil is called Tahsildar. However, there is no substantial difference in the revenue and magisterial duties of a Tahsildar and a Naib-Tahsildar, In revenue matters, both exercise the powers of Assistant Collector, Grade II, in their circles as Circle Revenue Officers.
For elections to the Vidhan Sabha, a Tahsildar is, invariably be appointed as Assistant Returning Officer for the constituency/constituencies falling in his tahsil.
The duties of a Kanungo are to supervise the work of the Patwaris. He is an important link between the Tahsildar/Naib-Tahsildar and the Patwari. Each Tahsildar is assisted by an Office Kanungo, besides a number of Field Kanungos.
Whereas the District Magistrate is regarded as the pivot of the district administration, the Patwari is the representative of Government at the village level. He has usually one or two villages in his charge. His local knowledge is so extensive that there is hardly any information about the village and its occupants of which he is not aware or of which he cannot make a guess. As such, he is viewed as the eyes and ears of the Collector.
The duties of the Patwari include conducting of surveys, field inspections, recording of crops, revision of maps or reports relating to mutations, partitions, revenue or rents, taccavi, etc. Under the orders of the Collector, he prepares the records of rights. He is also required to assist in providing relief to agriculturists in distress or in census operations. He reports the crime and prepares maps to illustrate police inquiries.