Definition of Decree
Section 2 (2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 reads as follows
(2) “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 1 [* * *] 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;
- M/s. S.B. Minerals Vs. M/s MSPL Limited [Supreme Court of India, 23 Nov 2009]
An order admitting a second appeal is neither a final order nor an interlocutory/interim order. It does not amount to a judgment, decree, determination, sentence or even “order” in the traditional sense. It does not decide any issue but merely entertains an appeal for hearing.
- Shankar Balwant Lokhande Vs. Chandrakant Shankar Lokhande [Supreme Court of India, 20 Mar 1995]
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. Then, as a result of the further inquiries conducted pursuant to the preliminary decree, the rights of the parties are fully determined and a decree is passed in accordance with such determination which is final. Both the decrees are in the same suit.
Final decree may be said to become final in two ways:
(i) when the time for appeal has expired without any appeal being filed against the preliminary decree or the matter has been decided by the highest court;
(ii) when, as regards the court passing the decree, the same stands completely disposed of
It is in the latter sense the word “decree” is used in, s.2(2) of CPC. The appealability of the decree will, therefore, not affect its character as a final decree. The final decree merely carries into fulfillment the pre- liminary decree.