Spread the love

This article is written by Bhaskar Joshi of 9th Semester of Amity Law School, Amity University


The pronouncement of judgment is a crucial and defining moment in the legal system of any country. It represents the culmination of legal proceedings, where a judge or bench delivers their decision on a case, determining the rights, obligations, and outcomes for the parties involved. The pronouncement of judgment serves as the final act of the adjudication process, marking the culmination of rigorous examination of facts, application of law, and judicial reasoning. It plays a pivotal role in upholding the rule of law, ensuring access to justice, and providing closure to litigants and society as a whole. The process of pronouncement encompasses various stages, each governed by specific rules and procedures to guarantee a fair and reasoned decision.

The process of pronouncement involves meticulous preparation, analysis, and writing of the judgment. The judge or bench responsible for deciding the case conducts a thorough examination of the legal issues, facts, arguments, and evidence presented before the court. They engage in legal research, review precedents, and apply relevant legal principles to arrive at a well-reasoned decision. Once the analysis is complete, the judge or bench prepares a written judgment that outlines their findings, reasoning, and conclusions. The judgment is expected to be clear, concise, and logically structured, enabling the parties and subsequent readers to understand the rationale behind the decision. The judgment goes through a review process within the court, allowing for inputs, modifications, or concerns to be addressed, ensuring accuracy and coherence. In India, the pronouncement of judgment follows a well-defined legal framework and embodies the principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability. This article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the pronouncement of judgment, the procedure involved in reaching a judgment, and the subsequent enforcement process in India. With reference to relevant legal provisions, acts, and sections, we will explore the framework that governs these processes.

Keywords: Judgment, procurement, alteration, Code of civil procedure, Decree.

Key Aspects of Pronouncement

The pronouncement of judgment holds significant importance as it provides closure to the parties involved, establishes legal precedents, and serves as a basis for the enforcement of rights and obligations. The legal framework for the pronouncement of judgment in India is primarily governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which outline the general rules and procedures for civil and criminal cases, respectively. These codes provide guidelines on how judges should conduct themselves, analyze evidence, interpret laws, and deliver judgments. Additionally, the Supreme Court Rules, High Court Rules, and subordinate court rules provide further instructions and procedural aspects specific to their jurisdictions.

There are several types of judgments that can be pronounced by the courts in India. Let’s explore some of the common types:

  1. Final Judgment: A final judgment is the ultimate decision of the court that conclusively determines the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a case. It puts an end to the litigation and resolves all the issues raised in the proceedings. A final judgment is binding on the parties and is subject to appeal, review, or revision as per the applicable legal provisions.
  2. Interlocutory Judgment: An interlocutory judgment is a temporary or provisional decision made by the court during the course of the litigation. It deals with procedural or substantive matters that arise before the final determination of the case. Interlocutory judgments address issues such as granting or refusing injunctions, appointing receivers, granting temporary relief, or deciding on preliminary objections. These judgments do not finally dispose of the case but rather deal with interim matters until a final judgment is pronounced.
  3. Consent Judgment: A consent judgment is a type of judgment that is reached by the mutual agreement and consent of the parties involved in a case. It reflects the terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties and is often based on a settlement or compromise. Consent judgments are considered final and binding, as they are voluntarily entered into by the parties and reflect their mutual agreement.
  4. Judgment in Rem: A judgment in rem is a judgment that is binding on the entire world or a specific class of persons rather than just the parties involved in the case. It is typically pronounced in cases involving property rights, inheritance, or other matters that affect the general public or a defined group of individuals. A judgment in rem establishes the legal rights and status of the subject matter and applies to all persons who have an interest in it.[1]

The pronouncement of judgment adheres to the principles of natural justice, ensuring that the parties have a fair opportunity to present their case, be heard, and receive a reasoned decision. This includes the right to be heard, the right to legal representation, and the right to a fair and impartial tribunal. This judgment is based on the application of legal principles, precedents, and sound legal reasoning. The judge or bench considers relevant case laws, statutes, and legal doctrines to arrive at a well-founded decision. Precedents set by higher courts are binding on lower courts, ensuring consistency and predictability in the legal system.

The pronouncement of judgment also serves an educative purpose by contributing to the development of jurisprudence. Judgments pronounced by various courts, especially the higher courts, are often published and made available to the public. This facilitates legal research, provides guidance to legal professionals and litigants in similar cases, and contributes to the evolution of legal principles and precedents.

Pronouncement of Judgment

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),1973  and the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) in India provide specific provisions regarding the pronouncement of judgment in criminal and civil cases, respectively. These provisions outline the rules and procedures to be followed by judges and courts during the pronouncement of judgments, ensuring fairness, transparency, and accountability. A typical process of pronouncement of judgment goes as follows:

  1. Analysis of Evidence: The judge or panel of judges carefully evaluates the evidence presented during the trial, including witness testimonies, documents, and any other relevant material. The analysis of evidence is essential in determining the factual basis of the case.
  2. Application of Law: Once the evidence has been assessed, the judge applies relevant legal principles, precedents, and statutory provisions to the facts of the case. The judge’s legal expertise and knowledge play a crucial role in ensuring that the judgment is in line with the applicable laws.
  3. Writing the Judgment: After thorough consideration of the evidence and application of the law, the judge prepares a written judgment that includes findings of fact, legal analysis, and the final decision. The judgment should be clear, concise, and supported by legal provisions, acts, and relevant case law. It must address the issues raised during the trial and provide a reasoned explanation for the decision.
  4. Pronouncement in Open Court: The judge reads out the operative part of the judgment in open court, summarizing the decision and providing necessary directions to the parties involved. This public pronouncement ensures transparency and allows the parties involved, as well as the general public, to witness the decision-making process firsthand. It fosters trust in the judiciary, enables accountability, and reinforces the principles of natural justice.

Section 353 of the CrPC and Order XX of the CPC deals with the judgment and decree in civil cases. It specifies the procedure to be followed by the court during the pronouncement of judgment. As per Order XX, the court should pronounce the judgment either immediately after the conclusion of the hearing or on a future date, which should not exceed 30 days from the date of conclusion of arguments. But Prior to the modification in 1976, there was no time restriction set for the declaration of judgment, which resulted in a recurrent demand throughout India for the imposition of a fair time period for the declaration of judgment once the case’s hearing is over. As observed by the Supreme Court in R.C. Sharma v. Union of India,1976 AIR 2037[2] where the court said that the confidence of a person in the judiciary tends to be shaken if there is excessive delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of judgments. Later, A change was made that set a time limit for the judgment’s declaration. It said that  If it is not possible to pronounce the judgment right away, it must be done so within thirty days of the day the hearing was concluded. If an extreme circumstance should arise, the declaration of pronouncement may also be extended until sixty days after the hearing was finished. As a result, the judge has a choice over whether to pronounce judgment within the first sixty days, but beyond that, the judge must do so. Similarly, Rule 1 of Order XX requires that the judgment should be pronounced in open court and in the presence of the parties or their representatives. This provision ensures transparency and allows the parties to hear the decision firsthand.

Rule 2 of order XX states that the judgment should contain a concise statement of the case, the points for determination, the decision on each point, and the reasons for the decision. It Emphasizes the need for a well-structured judgment that provides clarity and comprehensibility to the parties and facilitates their understanding of the decision. But it is not possible that all the parties to be present even after a notice has been served. Rule 4 of Order XX grants the court the power to pronounce a judgment in the absence of any party who has been duly served with a notice of the judgment. However, if a party has not appeared, the court must ensure that the party is aware of the pronouncement and is given a copy of the judgment. This provision ensures that parties are informed about the judgment, even if they are absent during the pronouncement.

After the pronouncement of judgment comes the enforcement, the enforcement of judgments refers to the process of ensuring compliance with the court’s decision, thereby granting relief to the successful party and upholding the rule of law. Judgment enforcement is crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of the judicial system, as it ensures that the rights and obligations established by the court are upheld. The party seeking enforcement, known as the decree-holder, initiates the process by filing an execution petition before the court that passed the judgment. The execution petition outlines the details of the judgment, the relief sought, and the grounds for enforcement. The court issues a notice to the judgment-debtor, informing them of the execution proceedings and providing an opportunity to contest or satisfy the judgment. The notice includes the date, time, and place of the execution proceedings. The court may examine the judgment-debtor under oath to assess their ability to satisfy the judgment. This examination assists in identifying the judgment-debtor’s available assets and determining potential avenues for execution. And When enforcing a judgment against a legal entity, such as a company or partnership firm, specific procedures outlined in the Companies Act, Partnership Act, or other applicable laws must be followed.[3]

Alteration in Judgment

The final judgment is binding on both the parties and cannot be changed, A judgment cannot be changed after it has been signed, with the exception of correcting typographical or mathematical errors or errors caused by unintentional mistakes or omissions as described in Section 152 of the C.P.C. or on review, as mentioned under Rule 3 of Order 20 of the C.P.C. Once a judge has dated and signed a judgment, only clerical or mathematical errors can cause it to be changed or amended. Errors made in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of numbers are referred to as arithmetical errors, while errors made by clerks are referred to as clerical errors. Or if errors are discovered after review owing to unintentional mistakes or omissions (Section 152).A judgment delivered in open court may be modified,even fully before it is signed, so long as notice is given to all parties involved and they are given an opportunity to be heard before the amendment is made as found by the Allahabad High Court in Sangam Lal v. Rent Control and Eviction Officer AIR 1966 All 221[4]. But a judgment is the final decision of the court that is communicated to the parties and the public at large. After enduring the arduous process of the thorough hearing, the court’s objective is expressed in this declaration. The final, effective decision of the court that makes up the decision is this aim of the court.  Therefore, it was later opined that the court can do some formal corrections but the core of it cannot be altered or changed so as to modify the order or amend or even set at naught the same. That can be done only by the Court in appeal or in revision. Even with the consent or agreement of the parties also, a judgment cannot be altered or amended.

About Decree

In India, a decree is a formal expression of the adjudication by a civil court that conclusively determines the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a civil suit. It is an enforceable document that establishes the legal consequences of the court’s decision. Just like a judgment decree can be of following types:

  1. Preliminary Decree: According to Section 2(2)(c) of CPC, A preliminary decree is a decree that determines the rights and liabilities of the parties with respect to the suit but does not fully dispose of the case. It generally deals with matters such as partition of property, accounts, or other issues that require further action before the suit is finally concluded. A preliminary decree sets the stage for subsequent proceedings to complete the adjudication.
  1. Final Decree: As per Section 2(2)(d), A final decree is a decree that completely disposes of the suit or proceedings, leaving no question or matter for further determination between the parties. It concludes the litigation and resolves all the issues raised in the case. A final decree is based on the final judgment of the court and determines the rights and obligations of the parties with finality.

In the Indian legal system, the terms “decree” and “judgment” are often used interchangeably but carry distinct meanings. Understanding the difference between these two concepts is crucial for comprehending the legal landscape.[5]

The concept of a decree in the legal context refers to the final and conclusive judgment or order of the court that determines the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a civil case. Defined under Section 2(2) of the CPC, a decree is the formal expression of the court’s decision, and it carries the authority of law. To better understand the concept, let’s consider an example:

Suppose there is a dispute between two individuals, Mr. A and Mr. B, regarding the ownership of a piece of land. Mr. A claims that he is the rightful owner of the land, while Mr. B asserts that he has a valid title to it. The matter is brought before the civil court to resolve the dispute.

After examining the evidence, hearing the arguments of both parties, and considering the relevant legal provisions, the court renders its judgment. The court determines that Mr. A has established his ownership over the land based on the documentary evidence and the testimonies provided. The court concludes that Mr. B’s claim is unfounded and lacks merit. Following the judgment, the court proceeds to pass a decree. The decree, in this case, will state that Mr. A is declared the rightful owner of the land in question. It will contain the necessary details, such as the description of the property, the boundaries, and any specific conditions or restrictions attached to the ownership. The decree has several implications. Firstly, it establishes Mr. A’s legal rights and ownership over the land, providing him with the legal authority to possess and utilize the property. Secondly, it imposes certain obligations on Mr. B, who is now legally bound to respect Mr. A’s ownership and refrain from interfering with his rights.

Differences between Decree and Judgment

Decree and judgment are two distinct terms in the context of the legal system, particularly in civil cases. While they are closely related and can be easily confused, there are significant differences between the two. Some of which are highlighted below:

A decree is the final and conclusive adjudication of the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a civil suit.A judgment is the formal decision or opinion of the court based on the analysis of the facts, evidence, and legal arguments presented in a case.
It determines the specific rights and obligations of the parties, including the relief granted or denied.It explains the reasoning and legal basis for the court’s decision, including the interpretation and application of relevant laws and precedents.
A decree is binding on the parties involved in the case and establishes their legal rights and obligations.A judgment sets the legal precedent that may be relied upon in similar cases in the future.
Decrees can be of different types, such as preliminary decree, final decree, decree for possession, decree for specific performance, etc.Judgments may be final or interlocutory, depending on whether they dispose of the case completely or address interim matters.
Decrees are enforceable and executable, meaning they can be implemented to ensure compliance with the court’s decision.Judgments may or may not have immediate enforceability, depending on the nature of the relief granted and any subsequent legal processes.
Decrees are often based on the court’s judgment, which provides the legal rationale and analysis for the decision.Judgments are comprehensive and provide a detailed analysis of the facts, evidence, and legal principles applied in reaching the decision.


The judgment plays a crucial role in establishing legal precedents, shaping the interpretation and application of the law, and providing guidance for future cases. It reflects the court’s careful consideration of the evidence, arguments, and legal principles, ensuring a fair and just resolution of disputes. The judgment’s reasoning and analysis contribute to the development of jurisprudence and the evolution of the legal landscape. Once the judgment is pronounced, the decree is passed to implement and enforce the court’s decision. The decree specifies the actions, rights, and obligations of the parties, providing clear instructions for compliance. It serves as the practical mechanism through which the judgment is translated into tangible outcomes. Both the judgment and the decree are subject to the scrutiny of the higher courts through the appellate process. Parties aggrieved by the judgment can seek a review or appeal to ensure the correctness of the decision and the application of the law. This appellate mechanism safeguards the principles of justice and allows for the correction of errors or the reconsideration of legal issues.The pronouncement of judgment and decree are critical components of a fair and effective judicial system. They ensure that disputes are resolved, rights are protected, and the rule of law is upheld. The transparency and clarity provided by the judgment and the enforceability of the decree contribute to the credibility and legitimacy of the legal process.

In conclusion, the pronouncement of judgment and the subsequent passing of a decree signify the culmination of legal proceedings, bringing clarity, resolution, and finality to the parties involved. They represent the essence of justice and the application of law, playing a vital role in maintaining the integrity and fairness of the Indian legal system.

[1] Six (6) Main Types Of Judgment in Law, bscholary.com, available at https://bscholarly.com/types-of-judgment-in-law/

[2] R.C.Sharma vs Union Of India & Ors on 6 May, 1976, Indiankanoon.org, available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/949565/

[3] Execution of Decree in Civil Court, legalserviveindia.com, available at https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-2628-execution-of-decree-in-civil-court.html

[4] Sangam Lal vs Rent Control And Eviction Officer … on 1 October, 1965, Indiankanoon.org, available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1131265/

[5] Judgement and Decree under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, Ipleaders.in, available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/judgement-and-decree-under-cpc/

1 Comment

PK Tomar · July 7, 2023 at 3:30 am

Very useful and informative knowledge has been shared. Thanks a lot for this topic

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *