Report No. 54
Judgment and Decree
20.1. Under Order 20, after the case has been heard, the Court should pronounce judgment, which should contain a concise statement of case, the points for determination, the decision thereon and the reasons for the decision. The Court must state its finding or decision on every issue, unless the finding upon one or more of them is sufficient for the decision of the case.
20.2. Under the scheme of the Code1, on a judgment a decree is to follow. There are detailed provisions as to what the decree should contain in general, as well as provisions for several types of decrees. The guiding principle behind these provisions is that the decree should be self-contained and capable of execution without referring to any other document, or, as has been stated2, the decree is the "mounth-piece of the suit in its immediate result".
1. Cf. section 2(2) definition and section 33 of "decree".
2. Ranjit v. Illahi, 1883 ILR All 520 (527) (Stuart C.J.).
Order 20, rule 2
20.3. In the earlier Report1, a point relevant to Order 20, rule 2, was discussed.
Order 20, rule 2 provides that a Judge may pronounce a judgment, written but not pronounced by his predecessor. The Commission noted that though the word used is "may", one view is that the rule casts a duty on the succeeding Judge, and it is mandatory upon the succeeding Judge to pronounce the judgment written by his predecessor, and he cannot re-open the whole matter2. But a contrary view has been taken in some cases. The former view is based on the ground, that the Legislature did not intend to leave an uncontrolled and unregulated discretion to the succeeding Judge, and that ,a duty is cast on the Judge to pronounce a judgment in the interests of the public and to save time. The view taken by the Commission was that the provision seems to confer a power (and not a duty) but the Code also contemplates that the power should ordinarily be exercised. It considered it unnecessary to insert any rigid rule. No change was therefore, suggested.
1. 27th Report, note on Order 20, rule 2.
2. (a) N. Vankatesu v. N. Suryanaryana, AIR 1959 AP 16 (DB).
(b) Hargula v. Abdul Gany, ILR 14 Rang 136: AIR 1936 Rang 147 (148) (FB).
(c) Lachman Prasad v. Ram Kishan, ILR 33 All 238 (Knox and Karamat Husain JJ.).
20.4. In our view, however, it should be mandatory for the succeeding judge to pronounce the judgment in such case. This will avoid unnecessary delay. We, therefore recommend that instead of the word "may", the word "shall" should be substituted in Order 20, rule 2.
Order 20, rule 5A (New)-judgment to inform parties of right of appeal
20.5. In order to acquaint unrepresented litigants with the right of appeal against a judgment adverse to them, it would be desirable to have a suitable provision to the effect that the judgment should indicate the Court of appeal and the time limit for appealing.
20.6. It may be of interest to note that the Fundamentals of Civil Procedure in the U.S.S.R.1 provides-
"The judgment of the court must be legally correct and valid. The Court shall base its judgment only on the evidence examined at the trial. In any event, the judgment must state the circumstances established by the court; the evidence on which the court's conclusions are based, and the reasons for which the court has rejected any evidence; the laws by which the court was guided; the court's decision satisfying or denying the claim in full or in part; the time limit and the manner in which appeal may be taken from the judgment." [Rest of the article in not relevant].
1. Article 37, Fundamentals of Civil Procedure of the USSR and the Union Republic, 1961.
20.7. A similar provision may be useful. To begin with, cases where both the parties are represented by lawyers may be excluded from the new provision for mentioning time-limit and manner of appeal.
20.8. Accordingly, we recommend that the following rule should be inserted as rule 5A in Order 20:-
"5A. Except where both the parties are represented by pleaders, the Court shall, when it pronounces judgment in a case subject to appeal, inform the parties present as to the court to which an appeal lies and the period of limitation for filing an appeal."
Order 20, rule 6, and registered address-Recommendation
20.9. The question whether a provision should be inserted to the effect that the decree should mention the address for service (consequential on the proposed addition of a rule requiring a pleading to be accompanied by the registered address), was considered in the 27th Report1, but no amendment was regarded as necessary. We think that the decree should contain it. We, therefore, recommend that Order 20, rule 6(1) should be revised as follows:-
"(1) The decree shall agree with the judgment; it shall contain the number of the suit, the names and descriptions of the parties, and their registered address and particulars of the claim, and shall specify clearly the relief granted or other determination of the suit."
1. 27th Report, note on Order 20, rule 6, and registered address.
Order 20, rule 6A [new]-(Last paragraph of the judgment)
20.10. Under Order 20, rule 6, a judgment has to be followed by a decree, which is the "formal expression" of the adjudication of the Court. The Code does not contemplate a long interval between the judgment and decree. But, in practice, the interval turns out to be long, with the result that the filling of an appeal against the decree is delayed, because an appeal has to be accompanied by a copy of the decree1. We think that this delay could be avoided if a provision is inserted to the effect that the last paragraph of the judgment should be framed as precisely as at decree, so that it can be used for the purposes of appeal. We had in our Questionnaire2, inserted a question on the subject, and the suggestion has been generally favoured.
1. Order 41, rule 1.
2. Question 20.
20.11. This last paragraph of the judgment could, we think, be used also for the purpose of execution, (though this aspect was not mentioned in our Questionnaire).