Mesne Profits

Mesne profits of property refers to the profits which a person in wrongful possession such immovable property actually received or with ordinary diligence would have received and includes the interest on such profit.However, it does not include profits received by the person in wrongful possession due to improvements made by him with respect to the same.

The object of providing for a decree for mesne profits is to ensure that one who is deprived of his property and enjoyment thereof must be restored the same with damages. It is thus compensation and is penal in nature.

Mesne Profits

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It can be claimed against-

(a) A trespasser

(b) A person against who decree for possession has been passed.

(c) A mortgagor in possession of property after passing of a decree of foreclosure.

(d) A mortgagee in possession of property after passing of a decree for redemption

(e) Tenant holding over at will after a notice to quit has been put up.

Where the plaintiff is dispossessed by several persons, he shall be entitled to receiving mesne profits from all of them. The court may either adjust their respective rights in a suit of contribution later (if not all of them pay the plaintiff at once) or may apportion the same to be paid by them.

Test for determining mesne profits is not what the plaintiff has lost but what the defendant has actually gained or could have reasonably gained from such land.

It includes interest as well which must be computed as per the court’s discretion. However, it cannot exceed 6% per annum and may be calculated till the day the payment is made.

However, mesne profits must be net profits, i.e. must be calculated after making deductions for amount spent by the defendant say on collection of rent, cess, cost of cultivation, etc.

Example of calculation of mesne profits- incase of mesne profits with respect to rented property, it should be based on the rent of the property and not the value of land, produce, etc.

Post Contributed By:

Abhishek Bhargava

Indian Institute of Legal Studies



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