Difference between Judgment and Decree



The judgment, decree and order are not synonymous terms, but these are distinct principles have different legal implications.


Decree means the formal expression of an adjudication which, so far as 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.


Judgment means the statement given by the Judge of the grounds of a decree or order.

Decree to follow judgment:

According to S.33, the court after the case has been heard, shall pronounce judgment, and on such judgment a decree shall follow. Decree, however, must conform with the judgment and must not be opposite to it.


  1. Governing rules:

Order 20, rule 1 to 5 enumerate the contents of a judgment, while rule 6 provides for the contents of decree.

  1. Executability

It is the decree which is executable. A complete Order (O.21) deals with execution of decree

  1. Appealable:

Only decree is appealable. As long as the decree is not drawn, a judgment cannot be challenged by way of appeal or revision.

  1. Types:

There are no types of judgment. However, a decree can either be final or preliminary.

  1. Nature:

A judgment is a statement on the ground of decision. Decree is formal expression of adjudication.

  1. Mode of pronouncement:

A judgment must be pronounced in open court and the judgment not pronounced in open court is a nullity in law. A decree may be drawn up later and there is no requirement of its being pronounced in open court. It must, however, conform with the judgment.

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