Sufficient Cause u/s. 5 of Limitation Act, 1963 is a pure individualistic test

 

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While examining the legal position regarding the condonation of delay u/s. 5 of Limitation Act, 1963, the Court observed that the test of ‘sufficient cause’ as in S. 5 is a pure individualistic test and not an objective test, therefore it depends upon the facts from case to case. It was further observed by the Court that The statute of limitation has left the concept of ‘sufficient cause’ undefined, thereby leaving to the Court a well-intentioned discretion to decide the individual cases whether circumstances exist establishing sufficient cause. There are no specific categories of sufficient cause. The categories of sufficient cause are never exhausted.Citing the Supreme Court decision in Oriental Aroma Chemical Industries Ltd. v. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, (2010) 5 SCC 459, the Court observed that the u/s. 5 the courts are empowered to condone the delay where a party approaching the court belatedly shows sufficient cause for not availing the remedy within the prescribed period. The meaning to be assigned to the expression ‘sufficient cause’ occurring in S. 5 should be such so as to do substantial justice between the parties. The existence of sufficient cause depends upon facts of each case and no hard and fast rule can be applied in deciding such cases. M/s. Super Metal, Faridabad v. State of Haryana, VATAP No. 27 of 2013 (O&M), decided on May 12, 2014

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