Differences between ‘Order’ and ‘Decree’ are as follows:
Order (Sec. 2(14)):
‘Order’ means the formal expression of any decision of Civil Court which is not a decree. Thus, the adjudication of a Court which is not a decree is an order.
Decree (Sec. 2(2)):
‘Decree’ means the formal expression of an adjudicator 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.
Following decisions are decrees i) Order of abatement of suit, (ii) Dismissal of appeal as time barred.
Following decisions are not decrees: (i) Dismissal of appeal for default, (ii) order of remand.
Fundamental Difference between Order and Decree:
I. Plaint in a suit.
II. Conclusive adjudication about controversies.
III. May be final or preliminary or partly preliminary/partly final.
IV. One suit – one decree.
V. Every decree is appealable, unless prohibited
VI. Two appeals against decree.
I. Application of a petition in a suit.
II. May or may not be conclusive adjudication.
III. There cannot be a preliminary order.
IV. In a suit there may be many orders.
V. Every order is not appealable. Unless specified by the Code.
VI. Only one appeal against order.
Common features of Order and Decree:
1. Both relate to matters in controversy.
2. Both are decisions by a Court.
3. Both are adjudications of a Court of law.
4. Both are formal expressions of a decision.
Therefore the distinction between a decree and order is in the nature of the decision, rather than in the manner of expression.