Promissory Estoppel and the Control of Executive Powers

Palomita Sharma
Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, India

Volume II – Issue I, 2021

Avoiding injustice and promoting a fair system where each person is at par with the other is the essence of law. Promissory Estoppel is mainly used under the common law in a case where a breach of contract occurs either between parties or against the government. It is basically a case where if the government promises something to the citizens of the country and the promise turns out to be one of such a nature which is not against the law and ispermitted, as well as works in the favour of public welfare and interest, the government cannot refuse to fulfil such a promise made by it . The doctrine has its origins in the Principles of Equity which have been an original part of the English Legal System . The basic idea of proposing such a doctrine was to ensure the accountability of the government and the executory powers in cases where a promise is made to the citizens.

A major argument which was brought up was the differentiation between private and public bodies under the “doctrine of promissory estoppel”. It was asked by the authorities and powers to the courts to provide them an immunity to them which was declined under any executory functions.

It also provided that such a check is important to keep the executory powers of the government in control in consonance with the concept of checks and balances on the government. The courts clearly denied on making any clear demarcation or exception between private bodies/individuals and public bodies. The government will be held equally liable to fulfil all promises made notwithstanding the fact that there is no consideration provided in such a promise and the promise as such has not been put up in any formal recorded manner which is as stated under Article 299.

Keywords: Executive, Power, Promissory Estoppel, Government, Decline, Equity, Promise, Checks and Balances.


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