The East District as a Administrative District, has its beginning only from 1973. Before that it was a part of East Zone (region) as Sikkim State at that time was divided into two administrative Zones- East Zone and West Zone. Every Zone was under the control of Revenue Officer appointed by Chogyal ( the then king) of Sikkim and the administration of justice was in the hand of Tribal Authority like Zonepal at the district, Zone level, Yaplas Feudal Landlord, Pipon (head men), Mandal head etc. The revenue of the land used to be collected and augmented by the Mandals and Yaplas to deposit in states khazana which was most of the time in terms of food grain and some agriculture based articles.
The concept of District, first came into existence only in the year 1973 when 4 districts came into existence by a notification in the month of April. Hence East Zone was bifurcated into two districts- East District and North District while the West Zone was bifurcated into West District and South District. The District Officer was given administrative powers on behalf of the King Chogyal, the king, though the authority of Zonepal , Mandals and Yaplas was still prevailing. In 1976 the term District Collector/ District Magistrate was used for the District Officer after the merger of Sikkim in India and Shri Sonam Wangdi became the first Disrict Collector cum District Magistrate of the East District.