In state matters applications cannot be condoned merely on the ground that bar of limitation will cause injury to the public interest: In the case of Maniben Devraj Shah vs. Mun.Corp.of Br.Mumbai, the Supreme Court has held that even though a liberal and justice oriented approach is required to be adopted in the exercise of power under Section 5 of the Limitation Act and other similar statutes, the Courts can neither become oblivious of the fact that the successful litigant has acquired certain rights on the basis of the judgment under challenge and a lot of time is consumed at various stages of litigation apart from the cost. What colour the expression ‘sufficient cause’ would get in the factual matrix of a given case would largely depend on bona fide nature of the explanation. In cases involving the State and its agencies/instrumentalities, the Court can take note of the fact that sufficient time is taken in the decision making process but no premium can be given for total lethargy or utter negligence on the part of the officers of the State and / or its agencies /instrumentalities and the applications filed by them for condo nation of delay cannot be allowed as a matter of course by accepting the plea that dismissal of the matter on the ground of bar of limitation will cause injury to the public interest.
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