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DECREE

Decree means According to section 2(2) "Decree" means the formal


expression of an adjudication which conclusively determines the rights
of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in
the suit.
• (i) there must be an adjudication of a suit with formal expression;
• (ii) the adjudication must determine the rights of parties regarding
the matter in controversy;
• (iii) such determination must be conclusive in nature.
• (iv) such adjudication must be given by a civil court.
• (v) such decision must have been expressed in a suit.
If all the above conditions are fulfilled, the decision is a decree, if not; it
is an order or a finding on an issue.
Madan Naik Vs. Hansubala Devi, AIR 1983 (SC) 676
“ An adjudication means a judicial determination of a matter in
controversy. If there is no judicial determination of any matter in
dispute, it is not a decree. Further such judicial determination must be
by a court. Thus an order passed by an officer who is not a court is not
a decree. “
Rights of parties as to matter in controversy :
The word “rights” means substantive rights of the parties and not merely
procedural rights.
The words “rights of the parties’ in the definition of the decree have
reference to ‘rights to relief.”
So every order of the trial court which grants or refuses a relief is a
decree.
There must have been adjudication on the rights of the parties. Thus an
order of dismissal for default of appearance is no determination of the
rights of the parties, and therefore is not a decree.
Conclusively determine
• The expression implies that the decision must be one which is
complete and final at regards the court which passed it.
• An interlocutory order which does not decide the rights of the parties
finally is not a decree.
According to section 2(2) decree shall also include:
i) the rejection of a plaint; and
ii) the determination of any question within section 144.
In Bashir Vs. Jamir it was held that an order rejecting a plaint on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction is a decree.

According to section 2(2) decree shall not include:


(i) any appealable order; or
(ii) any order for dismissal for default
Types of Decrees
• According to the definition provided under section 2(2) of the CPC, 1908, a
decree may be either Preliminary or
• Preliminary or Final or Partly preliminary and partly final;
• Deemed Decree
Preliminary Decree: A decree is preliminary when further proceedings have to
be taken before the suit can be completely disposed of.
In Shankar vs Chandrakant SCC 1995, SC stated that a preliminary decree is one
which declares the rights and liabilities of the parties leaving the actual result
to be worked out in further proceedings.
Example:- suit for mesne profits, dissolution of partnership, suits relating to
partition.
Final Decree A final decree is one which completely disposes of a suit and finally settles all
questions in controversy between parties and nothing remains to be decided thereafter.
• A decree may be said to be final in three ways:
a) when no appeal is filed within the prescribed period; or
b) the matter has been decided by the decree of the highest court and
c) when the decree, so far as regards the court passing it, completely disposes of the suit.
Partly preliminary and partly final : A decree inheriting characteristics of partly preliminary and
partly final is passed in suits as for possession of land and mesne profits, the court orders to deliver
possession of the land in favour of the plaintiff and directs inquiry regarding the mesne profits. The
first portion of the decree is final as it directs the delivery of possession to the plaintiff, while the
second portion is preliminary in as much as it directs an inquiry as to mesne profits.
Contents of decree: According to R. 6(1) Or. 20 of the CPC, 1908 decree shall contain the following
things:
• The number of the suit,
• The names and descriptions of the parties,
• Particulars of the claim, and
• Shall specify clearly the relief granted or other determination of the suit.
Examples of Decree
• Rejection of Plaint
• Rejection of Memorandum of Appeal
• An order setting aside ex-parte decree.
• Dismissal of suit or appeal for want of evidence or proof.
• Order refusing one of several reliefs.

Decisions which are not decree


• An order rejecting an application for Suit by an indigent person
• An order rejecting stay.
• Dismissal of appeal for default.
• Return of plaint for presentation in proper court.
• Rejection of application for condonation of delay.
Examples of Preliminary Decree
• Suits for possession and mesne profits. (Order 20 Rule 12)
• Suits for dissolution of partnership firms. (Order 20 Rule 15)
• Suits for partition and separate possession. (Order 20 Rule 18)

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