Supreme Court on Sufficient Cause for Condonation of Delay

Sufficient cause is the cause for which defendant could not be blamed for his absence. The meaning of the word “sufficient” is “adequate” or “enough”, inasmuch as may be necessary to answer the purpose intended. Therefore, the word “sufficient” embraces no more than that which provides a platitude, which when the act done suffices to accomplish the purpose intended in the facts and circumstances existing in a case, duly examined from the view point of a reasonable standard of a cautious man. In this context, “sufficient cause” means that the party should not have acted in a negligent manner or there was a want of bona fide on its part in view of the facts and circumstances of a case or it cannot be alleged that the party has “not acted diligently” or “remained inactive”. However, the facts and circumstances of each case must afford sufficient ground to enable the Court concerned to exercise discretion for the reason that whenever the Court exercises discretion, it has to be exercised judiciously. The applicant must satisfy the Court that he was prevented by any “sufficient cause” from prosecuting his case, and unless a satisfactory explanation is furnished, the Court should not allow the application for condonation of delay. The court has to examine whether the mistake is bona fide or was merely a device to cover an ulterior purpose.

(See: Manindra Land and Building Corporation Ltd. v. Bhootnath Banerjee & Ors., AIR 1964 SC 1336; Lala Matadin v. A. Narayanan, AIR 1970 SC 1953; Parimal v.Veena @ Bharti AIR 2011 SC 1150; and Maniben Devraj Shah v. Municipal Corporation of Brihan Mumbai AIR 2012 SC 1629.)

Supreme Court
Basawaraj & Anr. Vs. The Spl. Land Acquisition Officer, 2013 AIR SCW 6510