What is the Doctrine of Pleasure?

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : July 1st, 2022

According to the doctrine of pleasure, a civil servant of the Crown holds office during the pleasure of the Crown. The origins of this doctrine can be traced back to the English Law, where only the Crown held the supreme power to dismiss any civil servant without assigning a reason. Read how is the doctrine of pleasure relevant to the Indian Constitution below.

What is Meant by the Doctrine of Pleasure?

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.

Related Questions:-


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  • The doctrine of pleasure was an English Law under which only the Crown held the supremacy to terminate the service of a civil servant. The law was accepted in India under Article 311 and states that no civil servant can be terminated from service without duly following the procedural method as described in the article. 

  • The doctrine of pleasure in the Indian Constitution comes under Article 311. It states that the service of a civil servant is only to be terminated according to the conditions mentioned in the article. 

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