The doctrine of legitimate expectation was first developed in English law as a ground of judicial review in administrative law to ensure a procedural or considerable intrigue when a public authority repeals from a representation made to an individual. It seeks to prevent the mishandling of power by authorities as it focusses on equity and natural justice.
In Attorney General of Hong Kong v. Ng Yuen Shiu , Lord Fraser said: When a public authority has promised to follow a certain procedure, it is in the interests of good administration that it should act fairly and fulfill its promise, provided that the implementation does not interfere with its statutory duty.
An individual may have a real desire for being treated considering a specific way by an administrative authority in a specific way, in spite of the way that he has no legitimate right in private law to get such treatment. Such expectation may emerge either from an express promise or from the presence of normal practice which the applicant can sensibly hope to proceed.
Natural Justice Principles will apply where there is some right which is probably going to be influenced by an act of administration. Good administration, be that as it may, requests recognition of the doctrine of reasonableness in different circumstances additionally where the residents may legitimately expect to be dealt fairly. A Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation has been created both with regards to reasonableness and with regards to Natural Justice.
Public law remedy
The doctrine of Legitimate Expectation is well-accepted and operates in the public law domain. It excludes private law. In managing a nation’s undertakings, the Government and its department are dependent on respecting a predictable set of accepted rules by treating all citizens fairly and equally. The Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation consequently gets absorbed in the doctrine of the rule of law.
The concept of Legitimate Expectation showed up in Schmidt v. Secretary of State for Home Affairs , wherein it was held that an outsider who was conceded leave to enter the UK for a constrained period had Legitimate Expectation of being permitted to remain for the allowed period.
In India, in State of Kerala v. K.G. Madhavan Pillai , the Principle of Legitimate Expectation was first debated in the Indian arena. A sanction was issued here for the respondents to open a new aided school and to upgrade the existing schools, but 15 days later an order was issued to keep the previous sanction in abeyance. The respondents opposed this order in lieu of a breach of natural justice standards. The Supreme Court held that the sanction qualified the respondents with legitimate expectations and that the second-order violated natural justice principles.
Then again in Navjyoti Coop. Group Housing Society v. UOI 
As per the policy of the government, allotment of land to housing society was to be given on the basis of ‘first come first serve’. It was held that the Societies who had applied before could summon the doctrine of Legitimate Expectation.
When is an expectation legitimate?
Firstly, it must be based on a public authority promise or practice that is said to be bound to fulfill the expectation.
Secondly, clear legal words supersede any desire howsoever established.
Thirdly, notification of a relevant policy change destroys any expectations that are based on the previous policy.
Fourthly, the individual seeking protection of the expectations must deal fairly with the public authorities themselves.
How legitimate expectation arises?
i. If there is an express guarantee held out or portrayal made by a public authority; or,
ii. Because past practice exists, where the claimant can reasonably expect to continue; and
iii. Such a guarantee or portrayal must be clear and unambiguous.
Legitimate expectation and natural justice
Where the government or an instrumentality of State pronounces a policy, or holds out a promise, or says something, or receives a specific set of accepted rules, the doctrine of Legitimate Expectation operates. Ignoring legislation or deviating from the procedure will be unacceptable on the part of the public authorities. It is similar to breaching Natural Justice Principles. Wade appropriately expresses that the doctrine of Legitimate Expectation has been created, both with regards to reasonableness and Natural Justice.
Duty of applicant
Legitimate Expectation manages the candidate remaining to apply for a judicial review. A person, who builds his claim on the doctrine of Legitimate Expectation, must fulfill that there is an establishment of such a case.
Duty of authority
Where the applicant prima facie satisfies the court that his case based on Legitimate Expectation it is for the authority to legitimize the activity taken against the applicant.
Duty of court
When the applicant issues a case of Legitimate Expectation, the court will consider the applicant’s prayer for a relief grant. On the basis of overturning public interest, the court may uphold the authority’s decision.
Article 14 and legitimate expectation
The use of the doctrine has been essentially embedded in Article 14 of the Constitution, thus making ‘non-arbitrariness and unreasonably’ the necessary qualifications for assessing whether or not there has been a denial of legitimate expectation. Such a policy has rendered the Indian Background theory somewhat obsolete. For the doctrine to develop exclusively, it is fundamental that lower standards are set as qualifiers which without a doubt may run its own dangers like an excessive amount of judicial intervention.
Scope of judicial review
In order to qualify as a subject of judicial review, the contested decision must have outcomes that influence an individual or assemblage of people by denying him of any benefit or advantage that either
i. In the past, the decision-maker has allowed him to enjoy and can legitimately expect to be allowed to continue until some rational ground for withdrawal has been communicated to him; or
ii. He had been told by the decision-maker that these incentives should not be removed without offering him an opportunity to support grounds for arguing they would not be removed first.
i. The Legitimate Expectation concept is only procedural and has no substantive aspect to it.
ii. The doctrine doesn’t have any kind of effect on legislative matters.
iii. The Legitimate Expectation doctrine doesn’t have any significant bearing if it is contrary to public policy or against state security.
In the Indian courts, the doctrine has undoubtedly gained importance, giving locus standi to a person who may or may not have a direct legal right. The doctrine of legitimate expectations may well refer to a procedural right yet the considerable part of the convention can be supposed to be in a maturing stage. Academics have hesitated about whether the doctrine should be applicable to substantive rights at all. It has been contended that utilization of the doctrine to substantive rights may bring about the failure of separation of powers and would qualify as overstepping of Judiciary’s powers.
  2 AC 629
  1 All ER 90
 (1988) 4 SCC 669
 AIR 1993 SC 155