12 October 2021 Written by 

Judgment and Decree

 

On the basis of Art 273, we are coming closer to the culmination of the life of a civil suit. That is, once we address issues with regard to the pre-trial stage and trial stage; now we will embark on the final section which deals with judgment and decree.

According to Art 180 of the Civil Procedure Code, the court shall pronounce judgment in open court either at once or, as soon after as may be practicable, on some future day to be fixed by the court. Once the court renders judgment, the judgment shall be reduced to writing, signed by the member or members of the court, and be pronounced by the judger or, where there is more than one judge, by the presiding judge.

Who should pronounce judgment/ how should it be pronounced?

As it is clearly indicated under Art. 181[2], where a case has been heard by more than one judge, the decision of the majority shall be the judgment of the court: provided that any judge dissenting from the decision of the majority shall state in writing the decision which he thinks should be made together with the reason, therefore.

What do we mean by the decision by the majority?

As to the contents of the judgment, it shall contain the points for determination, the decision thereon, and the reasons for such decision. And, in a case where several issues have been framed, the court shall state its decision on each separate issue unless the decision on any one or more issues is sufficient for the decision of the case.

What should judgment contain?

At this juncture, it is important to note that the court may not give judgment on any matter not specifically raised by the parties. Note, however, that the court has the power to frame additional issues, and if it believes that there is an issue that has not been raised and should have, it may frame that issue, require the parties to give evidence on it, and render judgment in light of its decision on the issue.

Which are the issues on which judgment should be given?

Since the judgment itself cannot be executed, it is necessary that the court, after delivering the judgment, reduce the operative part of the judgment. Accordingly, the decree must contain:

  1. The number of the suit,
  2. The names and description of the parties,
  3. The particulars of the claim,
  4. A clear order to do or to abstain from doing something or to pay a definite sum of money or to deliver a particular thing or surrender or restore the immovable property.
  5. The number of costs incurred, and by whom or out of what property they are to be paid,
  6. Such particulars as are necessary to render the decree susceptible of execution; and
  7. Where the decree can be executed by the personal obedience of the judgment debtor, the time within which it shall be executed.

If the judgment was for the defendant, it would seem that the decree should state matters (1), (2), (3), and (5) and that the judgment in the suit was for the defendant.

What is the significance of reducing judgment into decree?

Once the operative part of all judgments is reduced to the form of decree, it must be signed and dated by the judge or judges who passed it, exclusive of any dissenting judge.

The very reading of Art 185 of the Civil Procedure Code envisages that a decree for the delivery of movable property shall also state the amount of money to be paid as an alternative if the property cannot be delivered.

How decree should be enforced?

Where the decree is for the payment of money, the court may, for sufficient reason, postpone the payment of the amount decreed or permit payment to be made in installments, with or without interest. This is a very salutary provision, enabling the judgment debtor to make payment without suffering execution.

E.g. Payment by Wage Earner could depend on the amount of his wage, and the interval of payment. Similarly, payment by farmers could depend on the season of harvest.

Where the suit is for the recovery of immovable property together with rent or mesne profits, on the basis of Art. 187 of the Civil Procedure Code, the decree should be for the possession of the immovable together with the rent or mesne profits, which have accrued prior to the suit and until the delivery of possession to the decree-holder.

How should the amount be determined?

In certain suits, an accounting or division of property may be necessary. In such cases, there should be a preliminary order and a final decree. To this effect, the court shall, before passing decree, order such account to be taken and give such other directions as it thinks fit. That is, after the accounting has been made, it will issue a final decree, stating the amount of money that is to be paid to the decree-holder.

Where a set-off is allowed, the decree shall state what amount is due to each party and shall be for the recovery of any sum, which appears to be due to either party.

Is a party entitled to get a copy of the judgment and the decree?

Lastly, on the basis of Art 184(1) of the Civil Procedure Code, after the decree has been passed, certified copies of the judgment or decree or both shall be furnished to the parties on application to the registry of the court which passed it and the date be mentioned thereon.

 

Summary

On the basis of Art 273, the stage of judgment and decree is the culmination of the life of a civil suit. That is, once issues are addressed with regard to the pre-trial stage and trial stage; it is inevitable to embark on the final section which deals with judgment and decree.

 

According to Art 180 of the Civil Procedure Code, the court shall pronounce judgment in open court either at once or, as soon after as may be practicable, on some future day to be fixed by the court. Once the court renders judgment, it shall be reduced into writing, signed by the member or members of the court, and be pronounced by the judge or, where there is more than one judge, by the presiding judge.

 

As to the contents of the judgment, it shall contain the points for determination, the decision thereon, and the reasons for such decision. And, in the case where several issues have been framed, the court shall state its decision on each separate issue unless the decision on any one or more issues is sufficient for the decision of the case

 

Since the judgment itself cannot be executed, it is necessary that the court, after delivering the judgment, reduce the operative part of the judgment. Once the operative part of all judgments is reduced to the form of decree, it must be signed and dated by the judge or judges who passed it, exclusive of any dissenting judge.

 

Lastly, on the basis of Art 184(1) of the Civil Procedure Code, after the decree has been passed, certified copies of the judgment or decree or both shall be furnished to the parties on application to the registry of the court which passed it and the date be mentioned thereon.

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