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State of Bihar v/s Dr.Sachindra Narayan Case Analysis

  • 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:
    1. There is an express promise given by a public authority; or
    2. Because of acceptance of a regular practice, a claimant can reasonably expect it to continue; and
    3. 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.)

Facts of the case:
  • 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 perform)
  • The Institute is incorporated by the Anugraha Narayan Sinha Institute of Social Studies Act, 1964. The Institute has a perpetual succession and a common seal.

  • 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 2014.
  • 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:
    1. 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.

  • 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 State Government.
  • 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.

Reference of other judgement
  • 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.


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