Identification of topic
To begin with , as the topic has been identified the Doctrine of legitimate
expectations is related to fairness and reasonableness depending on what a
society consider to be fair and reasonable . To aggravate matters, there will be
a critical analysis of this doctine attached with suggestions and social impacts
Novelty Of The Topic
Furthermore, on this blog, there will be an evaluation of the Doctine of
Legitimate expectations focusing more on its evolution, meaning, the inclusion
of Article 14 of the Constitution of lndia. Not forgetting suitable and relevant
Introduction Of The Topic
Legitimate expectations is the doctrine which means the reasonable expectation
by a person being treated in a certain way by the public authorities on account
of consistent practice or an express promise made by the concerned authority.
This doctrine is traced back to the English Law which was taken as a ground for
judicial review in the administrative law to protect the procedural and
substantive interest when a public authority abolish representation made to a
Doctrine of legitimate expectation is evolved as the principle of natural
justice. lt is also related to the field of public law. As the doctrine imposes
a duty on the public authority when he makes a promise either expressly or
impliedly which then results in expectation by an individual. The doctrine of
legitimate expectation is to keep a check on public authority his duty and to
act fairly by taking into consideration all relevant factors relating to
legitimate expectation. It also imposes the duty on the public authority not to
act in defecting the legitimate expectation without having some reason for
public policy to justify doing.
As the doctrine imposes a duty on the public authority when he makes a promise
either expressly or impliedly results in expectation by an individual. The
doctrine of legitimate expectation is to keep a check on public authority his
duty and to act fairly by taking into consideration all relevant factors
relating to legitimate expectation. It also imposes the duty on the public
authority not to act in defecting the legitimate expectation without having some
reason for public policy to justify doing.
A case of M.P. Oil Extraction v. State of M.P., (1997) 7 SCC 592. lt was
observed that this doctrine of Legitimate Expectations operates in the domain of
public law, and is not merely a procedural right subsumed within the requirement
of natural justice or elementary canons of fair play. It constitutes a
substantive, enforceable and protectable interest as a facet of Article 14
itself. The doctrine applies a fortiori and proprio vigore to cases of contract
and renewals thereof.
ln the Constitution of India Article 14 reviews the principle of natural justice
which includes the right to hearing which has its ground for legitimate
expectation. lt is not subject to individual determination and its
unreasonableness is necessary to know whether there was a denial of legitimate
expectation. Article 14 emphasize on reasonable or legitimate expectation for
every individual to treat fairly in the relationship between the individual and
the public authority.
The doctrine of legitimate expectation cannot be claimed as a right in itself,
but can be used only when the denial of a legitimate expectation leads to the
violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. This judgment was pronounced by the
division bench comprising hon'ble Justice Dhananjay Y. Chandrachud and Justice
Indu Malhotra at Supreme Court in the matter of The State of Jharkhand and
others v. Brahmputra Metallics Ltd.
The need for this doctrine to have an independent existence. The doctrine of
legitimate expectations very well leads to a procedural right that is right to
judicial review in India but the substantive aspect of the doctrine can be said
to be in a budding stage. There has been hesitance amongst academicians as
A.K.Srivastava, Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation (1995to whether the doctrine
should apply to substantive rights at all.
It has been argued that application of the doctrine to substantive rights might
result in failure of separation of powers and would qualify as overstepping of
Judiciary. Therefore this doctrine has to be applied.
The doctrine of legitimate expectations has undoubtedly gained significance in
the Indian Courts, giving locus standi to a person who may or may not have a
direct legal right. lt is a welcome addition to the armory of the courts
ensuring that discretions are exercised fairly. The phrase legitimate
expectation, which is much in vogue, must not be allowed to collapse into an
inchoate justification for judicial intervention.
Written By: Memory Mbombe, a student of 2nd year of BA.,LLB Student of
Lovely Professional University