Author : Sushant Rochlani
The theory of Legitimate Expectation is a branch of Administrative Law. It is a concept fashioned by the Courts for the review of administrative actions. It has been accepted by the English, Irish and Indian Courts but has been out rightly rejected in Australia and Canada.
The theory of Legitimate Expectation marches into operation when there is an express promise from any Public Authority / Official that there is a regular practice of a certain thing, which the claimant can reasonably expect to continue. In other words, it consists of either inculcating anticipation in the citizen, or assuring him that under certain rules and schemes he would continue to reap certain benefits of which he would not be deprived unless there is some overriding public interest.
Lord Diplock, in the English case Council of Civil Service Union v. Minister for Civil Service, has explained the doctrine, both in procedural and substantive contexts.
Procedural: The procedural part of it relates to a representation that a hearing or other appropriate procedure will be afforded before any decision is made.