Judgement, Decree and Order - Complete Reference | ILMS Academy

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The decision given by the court of law are either decrees or orders, Whereas the decrees always follows the judgment pronounced by the court after hearing the case which can either be declaratory or executor. Both the Decree and orders are analog to each other. The section 2(2) of the code of civil procedure, 1908 states that a decree may be defined as a formal means of adjudication which is done by the court to conclusively determine the rights of the parties with regard to any matter in issue, which may be preliminary or final.

Now let’s discuss the essential elements of Decree:-

i. Adjudication- The term adjudication directly refers to the Judicial determination of the cause of action made by the court while deciding the matter.
ii. Court: The adjudication must be done by a civil court having the jurisdiction to try the civil suit.
iii. The rights of the parties should be completely determined.
iv. The decision must be conclusive even if the suit is not completely dismissed.
v. The subject matter in controversy must directly relate to the Subject matter of the suit.

The decree can be further divided into 2 kinds:-

i. Declaratory Decree:- It is a statement from the court, issued during a trial, outlining the rights and obligations of the parties under a contract or a statute, which often answers some or all of the issues in a lawsuit.
E.g. Z is in a lawfully possession of a land. The residents of the neighboring village claim a right of way across the land. Z may enter and sue for the declaration that they are not entitled to the right so claimed.

ii. Executory Decree: - An Executory decree is a decree which is capable of being executed by the court of law.

##Classes of Decree

Following are the different classes of decree as contemplated by Sec 2(2) of C.P.C.

i. Preliminary Decree: A preliminary decree stipulates the rights and obligations of the parties in which the further matters are to be determined in the subsequent proceedings which will be conclusive in nature.

ii. Final Decree: A final decree is one which completely disposes of the suit so far as the court passing it is concerned.

iii. Partly Preliminary and Partly Final Decree: A decree may be of such a kind which is final in part and partly preliminary. E.g.: In a suit for recovery of possession of immovable property and rent the part of the decree, which directs delivery of possession of property, is final, whereas the part directing an inquiry of the mesne profits like rent or profit is preliminary.

iv. Order Rejecting a Plaint: Section 2(2) declares that order rejecting a plaint is a decree, although there is no adjudication of the legal rights of the parties but by the fiction of law, it is termed as a decree.

v. Determination of Questions under Certain Provisions of C.P.C: By virtue of Sec 2(2) orders made u/s 144 and under rule 60, 98, 99, 101 and 103 of order XXI are decrees.


The Section 2(14) of C.P.C defines order as a formal expression of any decision of the Civil Courts which is not a decree.v

Essentials of Order

i. Decision by Civil Court: Decision must be given after determination of facts and also in accordance with the evidences and also the court should be a Civil Court and not of the administrative tribunal.

ii. Formal Expression: Decision given by court must be formally expressed in other words it must be in writing, precise and the language must be deliberate, so that the execution would be possible.

iii. Not a Decree: The definition of order specifically excludes the decree from its ambit and as such any adjudication of court which is decree, cannot be an order at the same time.

Kinds of orders

Following are the two Kinds of order.

i. Final Order

ii. Interlocutory Order

Judgment has been defined under Sec.2 (9) of CPC, it states that the ‘judgment means the statement given by a judge on the basis of decree or order’. Judgment is something, where the judge expresses their reason or opinion for attaining such conclusion. The judgment starts from the brief facts of the case, issues involved, the arguments puts forth by the both counsels, judge’s opinion and reasons found in the case in order to attain such conclusion and the final decision. However on certain small cases the final conclusion i.e. the decision and the reasons for attaining such conclusion itself enough. (O.20 R.4)

It is very clear from the above that the judgment has been delivered in order to know about the decree or order. The decree is the ‘formal expression of an adjudication which, so far as regards the court expressing it, conclusively determines the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit and it may be either preliminary or final’ as per Sec.2(2) of CPC. Which clearly expresses that the decree has been expressed formally when the dispute has been resolved by the judge. The decree contains the number of the suit, names and other details of the parties with their addresses, details of their claims, issues involved, relieves sorted, the details of cost awarded and the date of the judgment. (sec.33)

So, the connection between these three is quiet clear, the judgment states about the reason for attaining the certain decree or order, by the court on adjudicating the disputes between the parties. The key similarities between the order and decree are that both have been rendered by the judge in their judgment during the adjudication of the alleged disputes.

Generally decree will be rendered only on the adjudication of a plaint.Order will be pronounced on all aspects of adjudication, it can be either application or petition or even plaint.
Decree is the final decision i.e crux of the judge; hence it determines the position of the parties with regard to the suit.Order can be passed at any stage of the case. Hence, it does not always confer the final decision on the dispute.
There are various types of decrees are there, preliminary or final or partly either of one.However order will be always final on such particular issue or dispute concern, there is no such classification.
As stated above based upon the circumstances, two decrees one preliminary and final can be made. There won’t be more than these. However that also only at the stage of conclusion of the adjudication.However, as many orders required can be ordered respective of the issues involved and irrespective of the stage of the case.
All decrees are appealable with exception to sec.100 of the act, even second appeal can be made.Orders concerned those are exclusively mentioned in the act for appealable, in regard to such orders only can go for appeal. And there is no such second appeal in order. (Sec.104, O.43 R.1)
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