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The Oriental Insurace Co. Ltd. Vs. Devansh Real Estate Pvt. Ltd. - (High Court of Delhi) (19 Jan 2018)

Honest guess work will always be required for calculating the mesne profits



Instant Regular First Appeal under Section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) is filed by the Appellant/tenant/Oriental Insurance Company Limited impugning the judgment of the trial Court whereby the trial Court has decreed the suit filed by the Respondent/plaintiff/landlord for mesne profits. The suit filed by the Respondent/Plaintiff/landlord was for both possession and mesne profits. On account of a decree earlier being passed under Order XII Rule 6 of CPC against the Appellant/Defendant, during the pendency of the suit, the Appellant/Defendant vacated the suit premises on 25th March, 2014. However, the mesne profits have been granted by the trial Court not later till 25th March, 2014 but earlier only till 31st December, 2013 as there was an offer made by the Appellant/Defendant to vacate the suit premises by 31st December, 2013, but the Respondent/Plaintiff did not take possession of the suit premises and ultimately took possession only in Court on 25th March, 2014 pursuant to an application filed by the Appellant/Defendant for handing over possession. The limited issue in present appeal is as to what should be the rate of mesne profits which should be payable by the Appellant/defendant for the suit premises for the period from 1st February, 2011 to 25th March, 2014.

Trial Court has very extensively dealt with the issue with respect to rate of mesne profits payable by referring to the lease deeds filed by both the parties for arriving at a conclusion for payment of mesne profits at Rs. 100/- per sq. ft. per month. In terms of the documentary evidence led by both the parties it is seen that the rate of rent from the year 2003 till the year 2008 with respect to the same area viz Asaf Ali Road, varied between Rs. 22.50/- per sq. ft. to Rs. 260/- per sq. ft.

No doubt, rate of rent varies as per location of a property as also the condition of the property, however in the facts of the present case, this aspect has been duly considered by the trial Court because the trial Court has granted rent at Rs. 100/- per sq. ft. for the period from 01st February, 2011 till 31st December, 2013. As held by present Court on repeated occasions, some amount of honest guess work will always be required for calculating the mesne profits, and that once there is some factual basis especially documentary evidence to make an honest guess work, then the finding of the trial Court cannot be held to be perverse or in any manner illegal for this Court to interfere with the same in a first appeal.

There is no illegality in impugned judgment. In fact, the Appellant/Defendant is very lucky because the rate of interest granted is also not at a high rate as the rate of 8% p.a. has been awarded although the letting out is for commercial purposes. Appeal dismissed.


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