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What is the Difference Between Order and Decree?

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A decree is a formal judgment or decision made by an equity court. On the other hand, an order is a directive issued by a court in response to a specific request or motion during legal proceedings. This is the main difference between an order and a decree.

There are many complex terms used in the legal field. There are certain terminologies whose meanings are so close that it is impossible to avoid asking if they are replaceable. They might not be immediately clear to the eye. Two examples of these sentences are “order” and “decree.” Decree and order are defined and distinguished to some extent in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (hereafter referred to as “the CPC”). The Indian judiciary has attempted to provide additional clarification on the matter. Let’s explore the distinctions between these two names. 

What is a Decree?

A decree is a formal ruling issued by a government body that acts as a law that individuals and institutions must abide by. Decrees have a legal impact and authority. A decree’s main objective is to set forth guidelines, instructions, or provisions.

The Latin word “decretum” is where the word “decree” first appeared. It was common in feudal or aristocratic societies in the past, when the word of the monarch was considered to be law. Within the parameters set by the laws, especially as outlined in the national constitution, decrees must be followed.

Type of Decree

Preliminary Decree- The action remains open despite the Preliminary Decree of Adjudication establishing the parties’ rights to all or some of the disputed matters. The preliminary decree lays out the parties’ rights and obligations, but it leaves it up to further actions to decide how things will ultimately work out.

Final Decree- A “final” decree terminates the lawsuit completely. In the case of Shankar Balwant Lokhande (Dead) v. Chandrakant Shankar Lokhande, the Supreme Court ruled that although the preliminary decree outlines the parties’ rights and obligations, the final decree will be decided in the ensuing processes. The “Final Decree” clearly outlines the parties’ rights and is the product of the investigations carried out in compliance with the Preliminary Decree.

Partly Preliminary and Final Decree- This happens when the decree resolves part of a controversy while leaving other aspects up for discussion. The Apex Court explained in Lucky Kochuvareed v. P. Mariappa Gounder that a decree is merely one document, but it can have both preliminary and final aspects.

What is Order?

The legal declaration of the judge’s or the panel of judges’ judgement, without a decree, establishing the legal connections between the plaintiff and defendant throughout the court processes, trial, or appeal, is the order.

To put it more precisely, an order is a directive issued by the judge or court to one of the parties involved in the lawsuit, asking them to carry out a particular conduct, abstain from performing another act, or instruct a public authority to execute an action in particular.

Procedures like impleadment, adjournment, amendment, or striking out of parties of the contesting parties are all covered by an order.

Also read: What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Law?

Types of Order

Courts and other legal bodies can issue various orders to handle particular cases and oversee legal proceedings. These are a few common order types.

Protecting Rights and Preventing Harm

TRO: A prompt, temporary remedy to stop harm from happening right away or keep things as they are.

Preliminary Injunction: An extension of TRO that forbids particular conduct until a decision is made.

Protective Order: Prevents the revealing of sensitive information.

Gag Order: Prevents remarks regarding the case and guarantees a fair trial.

Managing Information and Evidence

Discovery orders: Give parties access to data and proof so they can strengthen their arguments.

Stay order: Halts legal procedures in other courts about connected subjects.

Subpoena: An order to produce records, give testimony, or perform other acts.

Enforcing Decisions and Requiring Actions

Show-cause order: requires a party to justify the court’s decision not to pursue a specific action.

Writ of Attachment: It seizes assets or property to guarantee the possible fulfilment of a judgment.

Writ of execution: It is used to enforce a judgment by taking property to pay off a debt.

Mandamus order: A mandate order requires a government agency or person to carry out a task that is specified by law.

Also Read: What is the Difference between Nationality and Citizenship?

What is the Difference Between Order and Decree 

Order and decree are the terms that seem almost the same in the legal field. But, they do have some differences. It is important to know the difference between order and decree as it may be helpful in future. To make it easy, we have jotted down a few of the differences below:

AspectDecree
Order
NatureUsually granted inequitable or
non-financial situations, including property disputes or the dissolution of marriages.
Issued in a variety of court situations, such as administrative, criminal, or civil ones.
ExamplesThe decree establishing a divorce, foreclosure, or declaratory.
Order for discovery, restraining order, or interlocutory order.
Finality Frequently serves as the case’s ultimate ruling and may bring the matter to an end.Until further proceedings, a temporary directive typically governs certain aspects of a case.
EnforcementRequires adherence and is subject to judicial or other authority enforcement.
Demands adherence, while the court may not always enforce it directly.
AppealabilityUsually appealable to a higher court if either side opposes the ruling.It can also be challenged, though there may be fewer grounds for doing so—typically based on legal mistakes.
TimingUsually presented following a trial or settlement to conclude a lawsuit.It is typically provided in response to motions or requests and may be issued at different points during a case.

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What is a judgement?

A judgment is a declaration made by a judge based on an order or decree. 

A decree is valid for how many years?

A decree or order can’t be carried out until 12 years have passed since the day it became enforceable, which is usually the decree or order’s date.

Is a decree legally binding?

A consent decree is a legally enforceable contract that is carried out under court supervision.

This was all about the “Difference Between Order and Decree”.  For more such informative blogs, check out our Study Material Section, you can learn more about us by visiting our  Indian exams page.

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