Facts of the case:
- Legitimate Expectation means that a person may have a reasonable
expectation of being treated in a certain way by administrative authorities
owing to some consistent practice in the past or an express promise made by
the concerned authority.
- According to this doctrine, a public authority can be made accountable
in lieu of a legitimate expectation. It pertains to the relationship between
an individual and a public authority.
- Legitimate expectation may arise if:
- There is an express promise given by a public authority; or
- Because of acceptance of a regular practice, a claimant can reasonably
expect it to continue; and
- Such expectation may be reasonable (Logical and valid. Any expectation
which is based on sporadic or casual or random acts, or which is
unreasonable, illogical or invalid cannot be a legitimate expectation.)
- This case is in regard with the Writ Petition that was allowed directing
the appellant to provide financial assistance for payment of the arrears as
well as current pension to the employees of the Anugraha Narayan Sinha Institute of
Social Studies, Patna (Institute).
- (Mandamus' means 'we command'. It is issued by the Court to direct a
public authority to perform the legal duties which it has not or refused to
- The Institute is incorporated by the Anugraha Narayan Sinha Institute of
Social Studies Act, 1964. The Institute has a perpetual succession and a common
- 27 petitioners invoked the writ jurisdiction of the High Court for a
direction to the respondents to pay the arrears as well as current pension
on the month to month basis which has been stopped from the month of January
- The Writ Petition was dismissed holding that the resolution of the Board
inconsistent with the Act and Rules, therefore, the writ petitioners were
not vested with any legal right.
- Correspondingly, there is no legal obligation on the State to pay
- In terms of Section 6 of the Act, the Board is the supreme governing
body of the Institute and is to exercise all the powers of the Institute.
- Section 8 mandates the State Government for the Payment to Institute:
- The State Government shall contribute to the institute a sum of two lakhs of
rupees in each financial year for the maintenance of the institute also may
contribute additional sums to the Institute as it may deem fit for other
purposes such as research, development etc.
The argument is that the State Government has provided funds for payment of
pension for the last many years, therefore, the Institute and the employees of
the Institute have legitimate expectations to receive the amount of pension.
Reference of other judgement
- Board as an independent juristic entity is empowered to prepare its
budget but financial burden of the pension scheme cannot be passed on to the
- It was pointed out that the Chief Minister of the State Government
seeing the poor financial condition of the Institute tried to resolve by few
alternative schemes of retirement benefits, such as Contributory Provident
Fund; (ii) Contributory Provident Fund-cum- Gratuity;
- Therefore, it was contended that contribution towards the amount of
pension has created legitimate expectation of the employees of the Institute
that they are entitled to pension.
- In the judgment reported as Union of India & Ors. v. Hindustan Development
Corporation & Ors.- it was held that a pious hope even leading to moral
obligation cannot amount to a legitimate expectation. The legitimacy of an
expectation can be inferred only if it is founded on the sanction of law or
custom or an established procedure followed in regular and natural sequence.
On examination of some of these important decisions it is generally agreed that
legitimate expectation gives the applicant sufficient locus standi (the right or
capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court) for judicial review but The
doctrine does not give scope to claim relief straightaway from the
administrative authorities as no crystallised right as such is involved.
· In view of the above judgments, legitimate expectation is one of the grounds
of judicial review but unless a legal obligation exists, there cannot be any
legitimate expectation. The legitimate expectation is not a wish or a desire or
a hope, therefore, it cannot be claimed or demanded as a right.
Thus, the resolution of the Board of the Institute to implement a retirement
benefit scheme from its own resources will not bind the State Government to pay
the amount of pension to the employees of the Institute.
State Government nor the State can be burdened with the responsibility to pay
pension to the employees of the Institute. Hence, the appeal was allowed and the
Writ Petition was dismissed.