Difference Between Decree and Judgment under CPC



A “decree” is a formal adjudication expression that definitively acknowledges the parties’ rights with regard to all or some of the issues in the matter and may be either preliminary or final, according to section 2(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure.

A decree must include the following:

  • the denial of a plaint.
  • any controversy resulting from Section 144 of the Code.

The following should not be included in a decree:

  • Any conclusion from which a review is allowed must be seen as an appeal from an order.
  • any dismissal order for noncompliance.


There should be an adjudication:

It is the main feature of a decree. There should be a reference to a previous judge’s ruling on the subject. In the absence of such a judicial decision, there can be no decree.


By submitting a plaint in the civil court, the Court of Law starts these legal actions. Similar to adjudication, a civil complaint is required to acquire any decree. Applications filed under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Indian Succession Act are regarded by some sections as suits.

Setting up the parties’ rights:

The ruling should define each party’s rights in the case. The plaintiff and defendant are referred to as the “parties” in this clause.

The conclusion of the determination must be absolute:

The Court’s judgment has to be conclusive in character with regard to the parties rights. Provisional decisions are not deemed to be decrees.

A formal statement of judgment must appear in a decree: There must be a formal declaration of judgment in a decree. In other words, the court must formally announce its judgment in the manner required by law.


The Civil Procedure Code lists three different categories of decrees. These are what they are:


It is given out in situations where the court must first determine the parties’ legal standing and take further action before the case can be completely dismissed.


When a case is fully concluded and all of the parties’ differences have been settled, a final decree is issued.

If no appeal is filed against the decree within the allotted time frame, or if the topic has been decided by the highest court by decree, a decree may be conclusive in one of these situation.

Where the matter was completely resolved by the decree.


If a decree just establishes the parties’ rights and allows the remaining matters to be decided in following proceedings, it is regarded as partially preliminary or partially final.


According to Section 2(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a judgment is the declaration made by the court based on a decree or order. A judgment is the justification for the judgment provided by the court. The court’s final decision, expressed as an action against parties, is known as a judgment.

Order 20, Rule 4 states that a judgment must include a concise summary of the case, the issue to be decided, the resulting decision, and all relevant reasons. Order 20, Rule 3 of the CPC states that the judge must sign and date the judgment while it is being read aloud in court. The verdict is enforceable only with the judge’s signature and it cannot be amended, except in the event of arithmetical mistakes caused by an omission. Section 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure contains the necessary provisions.


The decision will be made in open court shortly after the hearing is over, or on a different day designated by the court for that purpose, with proper notice to the parties and their attorneys. The Court will try its best to issue the ruling within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing in cases where the decision is not rendered immediately. There is an exception to this rule, and under special circumstances, the judgment may be extended to 60 days.


The elements of the case, reasoning, and the core contention on which the decision is rendered should all be included in a judgment. Other than the Small Causes Court’s conclusion, the essentials of the judgment.

  • A perfect summation of the case
  • The determining factor.
  • On this, a decision that has been reached.
  • The reason behind such a decision.
  • The Relief that has been granted.


  1. Judgment means the statement given by the judge on grounds of a decree or order. In a decree it is not necessary for a judge to give a statement in a decree though it is necessary in a judgment.
  2. Judgment has been defined under Section 2(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Decree stands defined under Section 2(2) of CPC, 1908.
  3. In the case of judgment, it is not necessary that there should be a formal expression of the order in judgment. In a decree, it is necessary that there should be a formal expression of an adjudication.
  4. Judgment is a stage prior to the passing of a decree or order. The decree is followed after the pronouncement of the judgment.
  5. The case’s facts serve as the foundation for the judgment. On the judgment, a decree is based.
  6. There is no classification for judgment. Preliminary decrees, final decrees, and partially preliminary and partially final decrees are the three types of decrees.


Judgment is always followed by decree, hence it is possible to say that judgment is the set and decree is a subset of it. There are three different types of decrees: preliminary, final, or partially preliminary and partially final. Only civil cases are decided upon in court. A decree cannot be made in criminal proceedings. Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure outlines the process for carrying out a decree. After the decree is issued, the case is considered to be resolved because the court has definitively decided the parties’ rights. Order and decree are on a different level than judgment. The phrases “formal expression” are not utilized in the definition of “judgment,” despite their use in the definition of ‘order’ and ‘decree’. A decree is a formal expression of the judgment. So, a formal expression of the order in the judgment is not necessary though it is desirable.

Author: Anshika Jain,
Amity University, Madhya Pradesh, B.A. LL.B (Hons.), 3rd year

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