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What is the difference between order, decree and judgement?

What is the difference between order, decree and judgement?

By swatee Shukla

The decree is defined in the civil procedure code of 1908 CPC as the formal expression of an adjudication that conclusively determines the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit. The decree can only be passed in a suit which is commenced by presentation of a plaint. A decree is a final order. The decree is the final and conclusive order. 

The order of the court is different from the decree, order is a formal expression of the decision of the court, which is not a decree. Section 2(14) of CPC defines the order. Decree and order both are the formal expressions of court, but section 2(14) says that order is a formal expression but not decree, so how these two are different? A decree can be passed in a suit whereas an order may originate from the petition or an application as well. It may or may not conclusively determine the rights of the parties. Suppose if a case is waiting for decree, and any party is unable to produce some document or present in court, the party can request for adjournment order. Now, let's suppose a suit was filed to grant a perpetual injunction(permanently restraining a person to do or not to do any act) but during the trial court grants a temporary injunction, this temporary injunction is an order and when the court will give its final decision, whether perpetual injunction granted or rejection, it would be a decree. A decree may be preliminary or final, or partly preliminary and partly final, but there cannot be a preliminary order. A decree is only one, that is the final decree which is executed but the order can be more than one. Arrest and detention before the judgement is an example of order and acquittal or punishment of accuse is an example of the decree. Every decree is appealable, unless otherwise expressly provided, “ but every order is not appealable. Only those orders are appealable as specified in this case”

Judgement according to the code on the other hand means the statement on the grounds of the decree or order given by the judge. Hence proving a statement is necessary in case of a judgement as opposed to a decree which may or may not have a statement.  The essential elements of the judgement are a concise statement of the case; the points for determination; the decision thereon; and the reasons for such decision. Thus, a judgement contemplates a stage prior to the passing of a decree or an order, and, after the pronouncement of the judgement, a decree shall follow. Judgement has been defined in section 2(9) of the code of civil procedure. A concise statement of the case contains a written statement of the plaintiff and respondent.  It is a concise fact sheet of the case from both sides i.e. plaintiff and respondent. Based on this concise statement, points of determination are made. And this becomes the foundation of resulting judgement. And then the decision thereon and reason of judgement contains based on which evidence and circumstance, the decree is given. A decree must be in a proforma while a paragraph can work for judgement. 


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