The Evolution and Analysis of the Principle of Legitimate Expectation

I. Introduction

“A adult male should maintain his words. All the more so when promise is non a au naturel promise but is made with the purpose that the other party should move upon it” [ 1 ]

A jurisprudence can non be found upon mere trust and outlooks, no affair how sensible it may sound. For the persons to move on the jurisprudence, the jurisprudence has to be concrete and defined. Therefore, Torahs are codified and case in points are established, to convey about the brotherhood of stability and certainty. Laws, one time formed, create outlooks in the head of the individuals that such Torahs will be rightly implemented and observed by the administrative governments with any kind of flightiness. At the same clip, Torahs have to undergo changeless alterations and alterations and repealments to run into the challenges of a invariably altering society and to make more justness. The rule of legitimate anticipation keeps a cheque on the arbitrary exercising of power by public governments, by specifying the scope within which the administrative governments can alter the jurisprudence, and in this mode giving alleviation to an aggrieved person against an arbitrary usage of power even when such alleviation does non be under legislative act jurisprudence.

II. The Principle of Legitimate Expectation

Lord Denning [ 2 ] foremost made the reference of the rule of legitimate outlook, which was subsequently adopted by tribunals all over the universe. [ 3 ] The philosophy of “legitimate Expectation” falls within the scope of public jurisprudence. The rule protects persons from an arbitrary exercising of administrative authorization by a public organic structure and offers alleviation to those who has suffered a civil incorrect due to the non-fulfilment of his legitimate outlooks. However, under the rigorous significance of the rule under the jurisprudence, the claimant has no rights under this rule in a tribunal of jurisprudence. [ 4 ] It places itself between “a right” and “no right” , giving an person a right to near the tribunal, and differs from hope and desire. The rule has been widely implemented by Indian Courts to curtail the arbitrary exercising of power by administrative system. In general, a individual has a right to near the tribunals for alleviation under private jurisprudence when his rights originating out of a legislative act or contract has been violated. However, in public jurisprudence, this regulation relaxes the regulation ofvenue standiby allowing an person to near the tribunals whenever his rightful outlooks from the administrative organic structures have been breached. [ 5 ] Therefore, this philosophy is considered to be developed from the rules natural justness and comes under Article 14 of the Constitution. [ 6 ] Essentially, the rule of legitimate outlook protests against flightiness and encourages just covering by public governments. Like bulk of other philosophies in administrative jurisprudence, legitimate outlook is a theory created by the Courts for the scrutiny of administrative actions.

III. Types of Legitimate Expectation

Originally holding a procedural facet, with the development of the philosophy of legitimate outlook, the philosophy was divided into two classs by the tribunals. In common jurisprudence,Lord Diplock’sdetermination in the instance ofCouncil of Civil Service Union v. Minister for Civil Service, [ 7 ] laid down the two aspects of the philosophy. The Indian Court acknowledged these two facets given by the English Court in the instance ofNational Buildings Construction Corporation v S. Raghunathan[ 8 ] . The two facets of legitimate outlooks are:

A. Procedural Aspect

This is the most often used facet of legitimate outlook. The procedural facet rises and preserves the rules of natural justness and maintains equity and equity. It prevents the public organic structures from arbitrary and unreasonable exercising of administrative power. The procedural facet assures that an appropriate and just hearing will be carried out, and an chance to do representations will be provided before taking any hostile determination against the outlooks of the person. [ 9 ]

B. Substantial Aspect

The substantial facet although a ulterior add-on to the philosophy, yet covers half the instances which within judicial reappraisal. The substantial facet of the philosophy endorses and preserves the rule of equity and the philosophy of estoppel. It necessitates a representation through an confidence or regular yesteryear pattern, which secures a benefit or an advantage to an person. [ 10 ] The significant facet safeguards the person against any aberrance from this representation, and protects the person against any injury suffered during the sequence of events.

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IV. Evolution in English Law

The rule of legitimate outlook was foremost used inSchmidt v. Secy of Stare for Home Affairs[ 11 ] , in which the authorities had curtailed the clip period already allowed to an foreigner to get and remain in England. It was held that the rightful outlooks of an person can non be thwarted by the administrative governments unless a just and sensible process is followed. In the present instance, legitimate outlook was merely used to replace the term “right” . However, this instance laid down the basis for subsequent development ; the philosophy has since developed and occupied a strong place in administrative jurisprudence law. After this instance, the philosophy was expansively discussed inBreen v. Amalgamated Engg. Union[ 12 ] where the territory commission of a trade brotherhood had deprived indorsement of a member from being elected as store steward. The tribunal held that when an person has rightful outlooks that his election will be permitted, he can non be deprived of the same without a just land of expostulation. The tribunal in abovementioned instance acknowledged that legitimate outlook is a portion of the rules of natural justness. Likewise, in instance ofAttorney General of Hongkong v. Ng Yuen Shiu[ 13 ] , while oppressing the directive of remotion passed by the Hong Kong Immigration Authority without notice and hearing, the tribunal decided that the statement made by the concerned authorization that while look intoing instances of illegal in-migration, each instance shall be judged on virtues and facts. This is based on the rule of legitimate outlook between immigrants that removal order shall be delivered following a process of hearing and just notice.

Raising the philosophy of legitimate outlook, the House of Lords inCouncil of Civil Service Union v. Minister of Civil Services[ 14 ] decided that legitimate outlooks may take birth from a time-honored yesteryear pattern or a communicating or a promise made by the public organic structure. In the present instance, the authorization had revoked an established yesteryear pattern by unwritten orders. However, the philosophy of legitimate outlook enforces a responsibility upon public organic structures to move judiciously in general, non restricted to fortunes where an person has to be given a just opportunity to do representation. Hereafter, the philosophy levies wide restrictions upon administrative organic structures to move moderately and with equity in the involvement of people, irrespective of whether jurisprudence edicts discussion from such people or non. [ 15 ] InR v. Secy of State for Home Deptt. , Ex. P. Asif Mahmood Khan[ 16 ] , the tribunal decided that when an authorization makes a statement as respects the procedure that shall be followed, it generates a legitimate outlook amongst the people that the same shall be observed. Hereafter, the authorization is under a duty to follow the declared process.

The rule as evolved in England over the class of last three decennaries has assumed major importance and has been acknowledged by several legal powers, including India. However, it is still in a underdeveloped phase, where each legal power has restricted its growing taking into consideration their local fortunes. The Indian Courts have recognised the philosophy as a jurisprudence of land to discourage public organic structures from an arbitrary exercising of powers.

V. Application of the Principle in India

The Principle of Legitimate Expectation in India has originated from common jurisprudence like many other rules. In India, this philosophy has been implemented through the mechanism of judicial reappraisal, size uping the actions of public organic structures on evidences of equity. The rule of legitimate outlook was foremost acknowledged in India in the instance ofState of Kerela v. K.G Madhavan PillaI [ 17 ] , where legitimate outlook produced by a countenance order was used to reject a ulterior order on the land of maltreatment of natural justness. The ensuing application of the rule was in the instance ofScheduled Castes and Weaker Section Welfare Association v. State of Karnataka[ 18 ] . In this instance, the action of an administrative authorization formed a rightful outlook in the head of the populace and hence this resulted in the demand of a merely hearing when the authorization acted in a mode to queer that outlook.

Legitimate outlook is generated by the administrative organic structures either through an express confidence to the populace to move in a certain manner or making certain things or through recognized pattern or old actions which produce outlooks in the heads of the populace. [ 19 ] This rule is applied entirely in the model of administrative jurisprudence, and confers an duty on the governments to warrant any nonconformity from recognized patterns or promise, to restrict any flightiness in their behavior. [ 20 ]

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A. Nature and Scope of Legitimate Expectation

The range of legitimate outlook was explored in the instance ofNavjyoti Coop. Group Housing Society v. Union of India[ 21 ].The instance gave the chance to the tribunals to size up any determination made by the administrative governments, if their determination affected an individual’s right to bask certain benefits which once he was allowed to bask and truly expected to go on to bask in the hereafter. The determination made it certain that merely a superseding public policy would be able to clear up nonconformity from what has been truly expected. This conferred an duty on the governments to move moderately and in the involvement of the general populace. The overriding of public policy was applied in the judgement ofFood Corpn. of India v. Kamdhenu Cattle Feed Industries. [ 22 ] , to show nonconformity with the rightful outlook to allow stamp to the highest bidder.

In the instance ofRam Pravesh Singh v. State of Bihar[ 23 ] , the Court defined what precisely would make an constituted pattern. A consistent, regular, certain and predictable behavior, which differentiates itself from being a insouciant or irregular behavior, would be considered as a pattern which is established and consistent. The pattern besides has to be sensible and logical.

The thought of outlook was explored in the determination ofUnion of India v. Hindustan Development Corporation[ 24 ] , where differentiation was made between “anticipation” and “expectation” , and it was held that any right or desire or mere letdown did non mention to as outlook. “Expectation” under the philosophy is in the sense of being “justifiably legitimate and protectable” . And the legitimacy is to be based on the consent of jurisprudence or an recognized process of course observed.

Yet some misinterpretation still exists sing “legitimate expectation” being considered a right. The instance ofM.P. Oil Extraction v. State of M.P.[ 25 ] , held that legitimate outlook in a suited scenario would consist of an enforceable right. However, Supreme Court made it apparent inRam Pravesh Singh[ 26 ] , by explicitly flinging the thought of “legitimate expectation” being a legal right. The tribunal said that it can merely use in fortunes where an outlook is involved, which is justified and made legitimate by an established yesteryear pattern or an express promise. Additionally, as perAlliance of Ex-Serviceman Assns v. Union of India[ 27 ] , the rule merely gives an chance to a just hearing and merely process to be followed merely to the individual who is anticipating. Merely such a individual is entitled to cognize the grounds for denial or order by the Court to the governments to follow the established pattern.

B. Principle of Legitimate Expectation and Equity

The rule is considered to be a portion of the rule of equity, as was seen inM.P Oil Extraction instance[ 28 ] , where just intervention was given to companies with whom the Government had contracted to provide sal seeds based on the reclamation clause within the contract. The rule of equity was further endorsed in the instance ofRaj Kumar v. Union of India[ 29 ] , where it was recognized that a individual could be debarred of availing of the rule of legitimate outlook based on the behavior of the individual himself. In this instance, legitimate outlook was opposed based on equity, as the BSF guards tried to derive retiral benefits without validly retiring.

In the instance ofNational Buildings Construction Corporation[ 30 ] , the functional facet of legitimate outlook was stressed upon and it was said that the state of affairs should be dealt with in a similar mode as if the rule of promissory estoppel was applied. Furthermore, this instance along withPunjab Communication v. Union of India[ 31 ] , laid down an extra standard where the philosophy of legitimate outlook can non be applied. It was established through old instance Torahs that the lone exclusion to legalize outlook was public involvement. However, now in footings of important legitimate outlook the action or order of the administrative authorization had to travel through a trial of rationality before measuring public involvement. If the order or action fulfills theWednesburyrule of rationality, so that the action or order of the authorization is non unreasonable or even inauspicious, the public involvement involved in the order can be evaluated.

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VI. Decision

From the treatment and analysis of the instance Torahs and governments above, it becomes clear that the philosophy of legitimate outlook imposes an duty and responsibility on the administrative governments to move reasonably and moderately. The rule owes its origin application to assorted sorts of state of affairss and is really wide in itself. Hence, it is non executable to come up with an thorough list of actions which will give rise to state of affairss of legitimate outlook. This is because authorities activities in themselves are huge and expansive and alteration as clip goes by. However, one thing has become certain that tribunals can non feign to hold legal power in order to reexamine an administrative act under the screen of legitimate outlook as I would be unjust on the portion of the tribunal.

It is normally agreed that legitimate outlook by and large allows the individual to near Court and to claim the right of just representation or hearing in a state of affairs where his rights were affected randomly. The philosophy does non give chance to claim redress at one time from the administrative governments as no clear right as such is straight involved. Consequently, even if the precaution is guaranteed based on legitimate outlook, it does non vouch entire alleviation to the individual.

The entreaty of legitimate outlook still remains a really lame entreaty in Indian Administrative Law. A right to profit based on legitimate outlook is negative by the tribunals more frequently than is known. In a state of affairs of confusion over the thought of legitimate outlook what needs to be cleared is that the construct envisions non merely “expectation” but “legitimate expectation” intending which there is something super-imposed to “expectation”- a certain sort of promise or confidence by the administrative governments or the fact that the outlook was established by some long-standing pattern. The construct is embedded more in the rules of equity than in legal regulations.


I. Books:

  1. SP Sathe, Administrative Law ( 7th edition ) , Lexis Nexis ( 2010 )
  2. MP Jain and SN Jain, Principles of Administrative Law ( 6th edition ) Lexis Nexis ( 2013 )
  3. IP Massey, Administrative Law, Eastern Book Company ( 2001 )

II. Articles

  1. Lord Denning, Recent development in the Doctrine of consideration, Modern Law Review, Vol. 15, 1956.
  2. Sushant Rochlan,Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation, January 21, 2011, available at hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Last seen on 14ThursdayFebruary, 2015 ]

III. Case Laws

  1. Schmidt v. Secy of Stare for Home Affairs( 1969 ) 2 WLR 337
  2. R. Clerk, “In chase of Fair Justice” AIR 1996 ( J ) 11
  3. Council of Civil Service Union v. Minister for Civil Service, ( 1983 ) UKHL 6
  4. National Buildings Construction Corporation v S. Raghunathan, ( 1998 ) 7 SCC 66.
  5. Breen v. Amalgamated Engg. Union, ( 1971 ) 2 QB 175
  6. Attorney General of Hongkong v. Ng Yuen Shiu, ( 1983 ) 2 AC 629
  7. Council of Civil Service Union v. Minister of Civil Services, 1985 AC 374
  8. R V Secy of State for Home section, Ex. P. Ruddock, ( 1987 ) 1 WLR 1482
  9. R v. Secy of State for Home Deptt. , Ex. P. Asif Mahmood Khan, ( 1984 ) I WLR 1337
  10. State of Kerela v. K.G Madhavan PillaI, AIR 1989 SC 49
  11. Scheduled Castes and Weaker Section Welfare Association v. State of Karnataka, [ 1991 ] 2 SCC 60
  12. Navjyoti Coop. Group Housing Society v. Union of India, ( 1992 ) 4 SCC 477.
  13. Food Corpn. of India v. Kamdhenu Cattle Feed Industries( 1993 ) 1 SCC 71.
  14. Ram Pravesh Singh v. State of Bihar, 1999 ( 1 ) BLJR 625
  15. Union of India v. Hindustan Development Corporation, ( 1993 ) 3 SCC 499
  16. M.P. Oil Extraction v. State of M.P( 1997 ) 7 SCC 592.
  17. Alliance of Ex-Serviceman Assns v. Union of India, ( 2006 ) 8 SCC 399
  18. M.P Oil Extraction instance,1990 ( 0 ) MPLJ 675
  19. Raj Kumar v. Union of India, 1969 AIR 180
  20. National Buildings Construction Corporation instance, 72 ( 1998 ) DLT 121
  21. Punjab Communication v. Union of India, ( 1999 ) 4 SCC 727