Decree is formal expression of 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.

Meaning and Definition of Decree -



         Section 2 (2) of the Civil Procedure Code1908 defines Decree. According to said Section "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.

Decree Holder - 

         According to Section 2 (3) of the Civil Procedure Code - "decree-holder" means any person in whose favor a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made.


Types of decrees - 


Types of Decrees are as Follows -

i) Preliminary decree - 

   A preliminary decree is passed in those cases in which court has first to adjudicate upon the right of the parties and then to stay its hands for the time being, until it is in a position to pass final decree in the suit. A preliminary decree is only a stage of working out the rights of the parties which are to be finally adjudged by A final decree.     

ii) Final decree - 

 A final decree is one which completely disposes of a suit and finally settles all questions in controversy between parties and nothing further remains to be decided thereafter.

 A decree may be said to be final in following two ways -

  (a) when within the prescribed period No appeal is filed against the degree or the matter has been decided by the decree of the highest Court;  and

  (b) when the decree, so far as regards the court passing it, completely disposes of the Suit.

iii) Partly preliminary and partly final decree -

            As above said a decree may be partly preliminary and partly final.  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 the result of 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.

  a decree may be said to be final in following two ways -

  (a) where 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.

  (b) when the time for Appeal has expired without any appeal being filed against the preliminary decree the same stands completely disposed of.


Appeal from final decree when no appeal from preliminary decree -


           According to Section 97 of the Civil Procedure Code, Where any party aggrieved by a preliminary decree after the commencement of this Code does not appeal from such decree, he shall be precluded from disputing its correctness in any appeal which may be preferred from the final decree.

See also...


1. Difference between Judgement and Decree

2. Difference between Decree and Order

3. What are the similarities between Order and Decree?

4. The Provisions of Transfer of Suits or Appeal (Civil Procedure Code-Section 22 to Section 25)

5. What is Stay of suit or Res-Subjudice

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