’25. We may state that even if the term ‘sufficient cause’ has to receive liberal construction, it must squarely fall within the concept of reasonable time and proper conduct of the party concerned. The purpose of introducing liberal construction normally is to introduce the concept of ‘reasonableness’ as it is understood in its general connotation.
26. The law of limitation is a substantive law and has definite consequences on the right and obligation of a party to arise. These principles should be adhered to and applied appropriately depending on the facts and circumstances of a given case. Once a valuable right has accrued in favour of one party as a result of the failure of the other party to explain the delay by showing sufficient cause and its own conduct, it will be unreasonable to take away that right on the mere asking of the applicant, particularly when the delay is directly a result of negligence, default or inaction of that party. Justice must be done to both parties equally. Then alone the ends of justice can be achieved. If a party has been thoroughly negligent in implementing its rights and remedies, it will be equally unfair to deprive the other party of a valuable right that has accrued to it in law as a result of his acting vigilantly.’
Balwant Singh (dead) v. Jagdish Singh and others [(2010) 8 SCC 685] referred to the pronouncements in Union of India v. Ram Charan [AIR 1964 SC 215], P.K. Ramachandran v. State of Kerala [(1997) 7 SCC 556] and Katari Suryanarayana v. Koppisetti Subba Rao [(2009) 11 SCC 183]