Order under C.P.C.


According to section 2(14) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, ‘Order’ means the formal expression of any decision of a Civil Court which is not a ‘Decree’. Thus as per the definition provided under the Code, the adjudication of a court which is not a ‘decree’ is an ‘order’. An ‘order’ of a court, as a general rule, is founded on objective considerations and as such the judicial order must contain a discussion of the questions at issue and the reason which prevailed with the court which led to passing of the order.

The word “order” as defined in the Code is analogous to a decree and does not imply that what is popularly understood, namely “the view expressed by a judge on the merits of the case before him and his decision thereof”.

An “order” only gives expression to what is in the judge’s mind already as a decision. The formal expression is necessary both as a matter of record and as a matter of a communication.

When an ‘Order’ amounts to ‘Decree’

(i) Order rejecting a plaint;

(ii) Order in contempt proceeding;

(iii) Order of dismissal of suit on account of non-payment of court-fees;

(iv) Order for discharge of defendant for want of cause-of-action;

(v) Order rejecting prayer for final decree for foreclosure;

(vi) Order for abetment of a suit;

(vii) Order dismissing cross-objection, etc.

Orders which do not amount to a Decree

(i) Order of remand under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908;

(ii) Order for amendment;

(iii) Order rejecting an application to sue in forma pauperis for no suit till then had been filed;

(iv) Order under the Indian Trust Act, dismissing an application for removal of trustee;

(v) Order of an Appellate Court returning a memorandum of appeal be presented to the Supreme Court;

(vi) Order appointing a commission to take accounts;

(vii) Dismissal of non-compliance with an order of court;

(viii) An interlocutory order in execution deciding a point of law arising incidentally, etc.

Similarities between ‘Order’ and ‘Decree’

An adjudication of a court of law may be either:

(i) decree; or

(ii) order.

But cannot be both. However, one can witness few common elements in both the above terms, viz.:

(i) both relate to matter in controversy;

(ii) both are decisions given by the court of law;

(iii) both are adjudication of a court of law; and

(iv) both are ‘formal expressions’ of a decision.

Distinction between ‘Order’ and ‘Decree’

Besides the similarities between these two terms, there are fundamental distinction between ‘order’ and ‘decree’ which are given below in a tabular form:

Points of distinctionDecreeOrder
1. OriginA decree can only be passed in a suit which is commenced by presentation of a plaint.An order originates from a suit by presentation of a plaint or from proceeding commenced by a petition or an application.
  2.Determination of rights of partiesA decree conclusively determines the rights and legal obligations of the parties.An order may or may not finally determine such rights or legal obligations of the parties.
3. KindsA decree may be preliminary or final or partly preliminary or partly final.Order cannot be preliminary or final.
4. AppealEvery decree is appealable unless otherwise expressly provided.Every order is not appealable, and only orders enumerated under section 104 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and Order XLIII, rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 are appealable.
5. Second appealA second appeal lies in before the High Court in case some substantial questions of taw involved in the decree passed in first appeal. Thus, there may be two appeals in case of decree.This is not possible in case of ‘order’.
6. CourtIn every suit, there can be only one decree except in few exceptional cases where preliminary and final decrees are passed.In a suit or proceeding, a number of orders may be passed.


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