Mesne Profit In Nigeria: All You Need to Know
What is mesne profit? how does it apply in Nigeria, what does mesne profit means, objects, conditions, calculation, and principles? these questions and more will be covered in detail in this article. Read on carefully.
Introduction to Mesne Profit
Property ownership and possession are regarded as two of the most significant legal rights granted by the law. Furthermore, the rules relating to the notion of ownership encompass a plethora of rights, powers, immunities, and responsibilities.
Some of these rights include the right to own and enjoy one’s property, the right to prohibit others from using it, the right to transmit, and the right to destroy one’s property.
And if there is any type of unlawful conduct that infringes a person’s rights to ownership and possession, that owner has the right to seek justice in court. The court is required to award damages and compensation to the plaintiff, and Mesne Profits is a prime illustration of this.
Mesne Profits arose during the medieval period when wealthy nobles would grant lands in tenancy and collect rents from tenant farmers. The provision for Mesne profits is included in the 1908 Code of Civil Procedure.
Mesne Profit Meaning
According to the Legal Dictionary, “mesne” implies “middle between two extremes,” or “a section between the beginning and the conclusion of a time period.” In other terms, it might relate to the profits made from the illicit possession until the legitimate owner regains control.
According to Section 2 Clause 12 of the Code of Civil Procedure, “mesne profits of ownership means some these profits which the person in wrongful custody of such property actually received or might with customary thoroughness have received therefrom, together with interest on such profits, but shall not include profits addition to advances made by the person in wrongful possession.”
In the words of the Delhi High Court, Mesne Profits refers to “when harm is claimed in respect of wrongful occupation of immovable property on the basis of the loss caused by the trespasser’s wrongful ownership of the immovable property to the person entitled to the possession of the immovable property, these damages are called mesne profits.”
According to the preceding assertions, Mesne Gains are profits or financial benefits that a person has earned or may have obtained through ordinary diligence by illegally holding the property of another.
And the law allows the owner the right to recover all earnings only where the unauthorized possession has resulted in the deprivation of advantages and profits that he would have enjoyed otherwise.
In a case, the Madras High Court stated that profit rights typically emerge in three situations:
Litigation to evict and reclaim ownership of immovable property from an illegal possessor who has no title to the property, as well as a claim for past and future mesne earnings.
When a tenant or tenants in common file a partition suit against others with a demand for an account of past and future earnings.
In the partition proceedings, a member of the Hindu Undivided family filed a claim for an account from the manager/head.
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Mesne Profit Conditions
There are two requirements that must be met in order to make a claim for Mesne Profit. These are the conditions: Possession of the item must be illegal and unauthorized.
The individual must have reaped some benefits or profited from his or her property.
It should be emphasized that Section specifies that any gains obtained by the unlawful possessor via property development are not counted as mesne profits.
And, as a trespasser, the possessor has no right to recover the expenditures incurred as a result of the renovations from the owner.
According to Order 2 Rule 4 of the Code, the claim for mesne profits must be combined with an action for recovery of possession of the property; no independent claim will be accepted.
Mesne Profits Can Be Claimed Against Whom?
When a person has and enjoys the advantages of immovable property that does not legally belong to him or her, he or she becomes responsible for mesne profit. They might be as follows:
Tenants- If a tenant refuses to leave despite being served with a notice to vacate the premises.
Mortgagor- If the mortgagor continues to own the mortgaged property after a foreclosure order has been issued against them.
Mortgagee- If the mortgagee is still in possession of the property following a redemption decree.
Any other individual against whom a possession decree has been issued.
However, if the plaintiff is dispossessed by many people, each of them will be held accountable to pay mesne profits to the plaintiff, regardless of whether they are in real possession of the property or have gotten any type of benefit from it.
The court may declare the trespassers jointly responsible and have their respective rights plead in separate contribution litigation to determine each of their liabilities.
‘A,’ for example, owns a farmhouse. ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D,’ and ‘E’ illegally claimed control of the farmhouse and benefit from it, despite the fact that only ‘C’ really lives on the grounds. Because this has taken away ‘A’s right to enjoy the property, he is entitled to file a suit for recovery of ownership and a claim for mesne profits against all four of them.
Another example: ‘K’ owns a house, and ‘M’ takes possession and begins collecting rentals. This is referred to as Mesne Profits. After a while, ‘M’ constructs additional rooms and rents them out to be transformed into a guest home. Mesne Profits are not the profits that will result from this development.
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How Are Mesne Profits Calculated?
The Civil Procedure Code does not specify how mesne profits should be calculated. The clause simply says that interest on such earnings is included and that any gains gained by improvement are excluded. Mesne earnings must also be net profits, according to equity law.
Because Mesne Profits are a type of harm, the government cannot set a hard and fast method for calculating them.