(b) Any order of dismissal for default.
A decree is preliminary when further proceedings have to be taken before the suit can be completely disposed of. It is final when such adjudication completely disposes of the suit. It may be partly preliminary and partly final.
An analysis of the definition of the decree quoted above will show that the term includes the following essential elements:
1. There must be a formal expression of adjudication. All requirements of form must be complied with. If a decree has not been drawn up, no appeal lies from the judgment.
2. The adjudication must have been given in a suit. Every suit is commenced by filing a plaint in a civil court. There cannot be a decree unless the suit has been filed. A decree is an indispensable part of a suit carried out to its logical conclusion.
3. It must have determined the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit. An order of dismissal for default of appearance is no determination of the rights of the parties and, therefore, is not a decree.
4. Such determination must be of a conclusive nature. The decision must be one which is complete and final as regards the court which passed it.
It is only when all the four conditions are fulfilled that the adjudication is termed a decree.
Prior to the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act 1976, the decree also included the determination of any question under Section 47 which relates to execution of decrees. This provision was mainly responsible for the delay in the execution of decrees.
An appeal against the trial court’s order rejecting the objections raised in respect of the Commissioner’s report is not maintainable as such order is not an adjudication amounting to a decree, i.e., it does not finally determine the rights of the parties. The test of final adjudication is whether the reliefs sought by the parties have been considered and either granted or denied.