The doctrine of legitimate expectation is a concept which has been evolved to exercise control over the discretionary power conferred on executive. This doctrine imposes a duty on public authority taking into consideration the entire relevant factor relating to such expectation. The origin of legitimate expectation can be traced in German concept of Vertrauenschutz – the protection of trust. Legitimate expectation includes expectation which goes beyond an enforceable right, provided it has some reasonable basis. Expectation may be based upon some express statement, or undertaking by or on behalf of public authority which has the duty of making the decision or from the existence of regular practice which  the claimant can reasonably expect to continue.

The basic principle of legitimate expectation was explained by Lord Diplock in Council of Civil Service Union V/s. Minister for the Civil Service  It was observed in that case that for legitimate expectation to arise, the decisions of the administrative authority must affect the person by depriving him of some benefit or advantage which either (i) he had in the past been permitted by the decision make to enjoy and which he can legitimately expect to be permitted to continue to do until there has been communicated to him some rational grounds for withdrawing it and which he has been given an opportunity to comment or (ii) he has received assurance from the decision maker that they will not be withdrawn without giving him first an opportunity of advancing reason for contending that they should not be withdrawn.

 In the case of Madras city Wine Merchants Assn Vs State of T.N.:circumstances were laid down which may arise legitimate expectation – 1) if there is express promise held out or representation made by a public authority or 2) because of the existence of past practice which the claimant can reasonably expect to continue and 3) such promise or repsentation is clear and unambiguous. Such legitimate expectations are commonly divided into procedural legitimate expectations, where the expectation is of a procedural benefit such as notice or consultation before any change of tack on the part of the public authority, following that procedural part of it relates to a representation that a hearing or the appropriate procedure will be afforded before decision is made.

Whereas substantive legitimate expectations, where the expectation is that the public authority will act in accordance with its representation as a matter of substance. In other words, substantive part is that if representation is made that a benefit of a substantive nature will be granted or if the person is already in receipt of the benefit that it will be continued and not be substantially varied then the same could be enforced.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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