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Decree (Section 2 (2) of CPC)

July 14, 2021



  1. Decree – Section 2(2) of CPC
  2. Significance of decree
  3. Difference between a decree and an order
    Decree- Section 2 (2) of CPC
    “decree” means 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 may be either preliminary or final. It shall be deemed to include the rejection of a plaint and the determination of any question within section 144, but shall not include-
    (a) any adjudication from which an appeal lies as an appeal from an order, or
    (b) any order of dismissal for default.
    Explanation – A decree is preliminary when further proceedings have to be taken before the suit can be completely disposed of. It is final when such adjudication completely disposes of the suit, it may be partly preliminary and partly final;
    It was held in AIR 1968 AP 239 (252) (FB), the importance of the definition of the word ”decree” rests on the fact that by reference to it the right of first appeal and second appeal is determined.

Significance of ‘ decree’:-
To appreciate the true significance of the reference to a “decree” in their Lordships’ judgment in The Secretary of State for India in Council v. Chellikani Rama Rao (1916) L.R. 43 I.A. 192 : I.L.R. 39 Mad. 617 : 31 M.L.J. 324 (P.C) and Ramachandra Rao v. Ramachandra Rao (1922) L.R. 49 I.A. 129 : I.L.R. 45 Mad. 320 : 43 M.L.J. 78 (P.C.) it is necessary to state that those observations refer to “decree” as defined in the Civil Procedure Code of 1882 (Act XIV of 1882). Under that Code “decree” meant “the formal expression of an adjudication upon any right claimed, or defence set up, in a Civil Court when such adjudication, so far as regards the Court expressing it, decides the suit or appeal”.

Difference between a decree and an order:-
They are, indeed, impressed with the incidents of a decree though they are not brought within its definition in Section 2(2) C.P.C. It is thus clear that C. P. C. has determined the true limits and province of a decree by showing what is and what is not a decree and what is it which it has only the force of a decree. Kumarika Subarna Rekha Mani Devi vs Ramakrishna Deo And Ors.: AIR 1968 AP 239.

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