“Mesne” means intermediate or intervene.
The ‘mesne’ may be pronounced like ‘mean’ in the word ‘meaning.’
‘Mesne profits of property’ means those profits which the person in wrongful possession of such property actually received.
The CPC Sec.2(12) defines what is mesne profits.
Whoever in wrongful possession of property shall pay the mesne profits (profits to be calculated according to the rental income or other profits derived therefrom by way of damages or compensation) to its legal owner.
Mesne profits and the Limitation Act:
This mesne profits can be claimed upto the preceding three years only and not beyond that period, according to the Limitation Act.
This claim of mesne profits frequently occurs in suits between Landlord and tenant and the legal owner and the trespasser or anyone in wrongful possession.
The Supreme Court’s view on mesne profits:
The Supreme Court of India held that the wrongful possession of the defendant is the very essence of a claim for such mesne profits. Therefore the liability to pay mesne profits goes with actual possession of the land. Generally, the person in wrongful possession and enjoyment of the immovable property is liable to pay mesne profits.
The tenant, who is in occupation of premises, after the termination of his tenancy, is the person in wrongful possession and he shall pay the mesne profits (rental money by way of mesne profits) to the landlord.
Mesne profits in a partition suit:
Where in a partition suit, one of the co-sharers claims the profits/income from the disputed property (as mesne profits) from the other co-sharer/s is/are in possession of the disputed property.
Decree to be passed on mesne profits:
Under Order XX Rule 12 of the CPC, the Court while passing the decree may pass a decree (or directing an enquiry) for such rents or mesne profits which have accrued on the property during the period prior to the institution of the suit.
Under this Rule, the Court is to pass a decree for both past and future mesne profits;
Court fee has to be paid for “past mense profits”:
Specifically, the plaintiff must plead his cause of action, and claim a decree for ‘past mesne profits’ and value the claim approximately and pay court fee thereon.
No cause of action for “future mesne profits”:
However, with regard to ‘future mesne profits’, the plaintiff has ‘no cause of action’ on the date of institution of the suit.