Expression “Sufficient Cause” – Interpretation of

The expression “sufficient cause” is adequately elastic to enable the court to apply the law in a meaningful manner which subserves the ends of the justice – that being the life –purpose for the existence of the institution of Courts.
Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana v. Chandra Mani and others, AIR 1996 SC 1623 held as under:
“In G. Ramegowda v. Special Land Acquisition Officer, (1988) 2 SCC 142, it was held that no general principle saving the party from all mistakes of its counsel could be laid. The expression “sufficient cause” must receive a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice and generally delays in preferring the appeals are required to be condoned in the interest of justice where no gross negligence or deliberate inaction or lack of bona fide is imputable to the party seeking condonation of delay.”
In Baswaraj v. Special Land Acquisition Officer, AIR 2014 SC 746 it was held as under:
“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 view of 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.” Smt. Jinnatul Nisa v. VIth ADJ, 2017 (123) ALR 431.

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