What is the Doctrine of Pleasure?

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

A civil servant of the Crown holds office during the pleasure of the Crown, in accordance with the doctrine of pleasure. This doctrine has its roots in English law, where the Crown alone had the authority to dismiss any civil servant without giving a reason. The law was recognised in India under Article 311 and specifies that no civil official can be fired without completing the procedure outlined in the article.

Table of content

  • 1. Doctrine of Pleasure (more)

Doctrine of Pleasure

The Doctrine of Pleasure was developed in England. The Crown is regarded as the Executive head in England, and the civil services are part of the Executive.

  • The Doctrine of Pleasure states that the Crown has the authority to terminate the services of a civil servant at any time without providing the servant with any notice of termination.
  • Thus, civil servants serve at the pleasure of the Crown, which has the authority to dismiss them at any time.
  • When civil servants are fired, they do not have the right to sue the Crown for wrongful termination, nor do they have the right to seek restitution for losses incurred as a result of the termination.

Doctrine of Pleasure under the Indian Constitution

In the Indian Constitution, the Doctrine of Pleasure comes under Article 311. This article states that no civil servant can be terminated from service at pleasure in the following conditions:

  • No civil servant shall be terminated by a subordinate authority than by which he was appointed.
  • An inquiry shall be initiated and a reasonable opportunity of being heard shall be given to the civil servant.

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