Promissory Estoppel – Definition, Understanding, And Why Promissory Estoppel Is Important?

Promissory Estoppel

This article aims to research the idea of promissory estoppel and its growth, which provides the party affected with a good relief that has not been blamed. There is no provision as such to make it clear that relief is available under this principle, but the protection of the innocent party as a shield is enforceable and equitable. This project addresses the theory itself, its evolution, and the jurisprudence behind it.

What Is Promissory Estoppel?

Promissory estoppel meaning is the legal principle that a promise is legally enforceable even though the promisor makes a promise to a promisee that depends on it at its later disadvantage, without formal consideration. Promissory estoppel seeks to avoid the Promiser from argues that an underlying promise should not be kept or implemented legally. 

Promissory estoppel cases are seen as a part of the law of the United States and other nations, although the specific legal provisions relating to the promissory estoppel not only vary from country to country but also from jurisdictions such as states in the same country. Furthermore, the requisite decline aspect is described as another requirement.

The promisee must have been affected substantially by an economic loss resulting from a failure of the promisee to deliver. Lastly, promissory estoppel is generally granted only if a court decides that the implementation of the promise is the only way to rectify unfairness to the promisee.

Promissory Estoppel Indian Contract Act

Contract law usually allows an individual to get a guarantee or an agreement. Legal consideration is a precious commodity that at the point of promise or agreement is exchanged between two parties to a contract. Usually, for the contract to be lawfully enforceable, some kind of consideration is necessary, either an exchange of money or a pledge to refrain from any action. 

However, if the promise is made fairly dependent and the dependence on the promise has caused the promise to a loss to the promise, a court can enforce the promise even without consideration.

Promissory Estoppel Example

An example of promissory estoppel may be used when an employer gives an oral pledge to an employee to pay the employee a fixed monthly or yearly sum during the full retirement period. If the employee then retires based on his or her commitment, the employer could be prevented from fulfilling his or her pledge of making the specified retirement payments lawfully.

Evolution Of Promissory Estoppel

Estoppel discusses honesty, fairness, and justice laws. And that law has increased its size in recent years. Promissory Estoppel, which has been recognized by courts in the world, was among the classifications of estoppel. In 1880, Ganges Manufacturing Co. V. Soorajmull emerged in the Indian Law System the principle of Promissory Estoppel when the high court of Calcutta affirmed that an undertaking that had not been made without due regard could only be enforced on the grounds of interest.  The meaning of promissory estoppel isn’t contrasting different than estoppel. The major difference between estoppel and promissory estoppel is between tort and contract.

In 1892 a decision of the high court of Calcutta was not followed as the high court in Madras rejected the basis of interest and reliance and reverted to the conventional approach of considering it necessary in Schoulank V. Mulhunaryan. The promisee shall not appeal the Promise Stoppel Doctrine during the time under development, except where there has been harm to the group. 

The other party’s confidence in the pledge and action on the commitment made by the promise is compulsory. A change in the party’s stance is the only essential condition of this theory. In the case of Union of India V. Anglo-Afghan Agencies, the doctrine of promissory estoppel has been fully explained. The promissory estoppel against the government was never enforced before. 

This case, however, changed its status over time. The government made a statement on specific modifications about the import of specific raw materials to increase the export of woolen garments to Afghanistan. Later, however, there were only small changes, not all amendments as promised allowed. 

The Supreme Court held the government accountable because its pledge was stopped. The promissory estoppel has now been extended by the courts against the Government. The doctrine of promissory impoverishment was fully adopted without regard in India and became known to the parties to whom the pledge was delivered as reasons for action.

Doctrine Of Promissory Estoppel In India

Sometime before the doctrine of promissory estoppel was established, the Calcutta High Court found that the estoppel rule was not strictly governed by the law of proof, but that a person could be stopped from acting or from making specific dispute. In a later promissory estoppel example case, in the conviction that the municipality had a flat outright which could not turn out even if another fairground had been created, the High Court of Bombay enabled the municipality to challenge a case by the Secretary of State to be launched from the earlier stage that the municipality had leveled.  

Much later, after it had previously decided not to charge any leases in private sector sectors for business areas, the Supreme Tribunal linked the standard with one judge using the word promise estoppel, to prevent the government from assessing land income in connection with a market place. The UOI vs Anglo-Afghan Agencies court found that its most articulate exposition was the doctrine of the promissory estoppel. 

For this case, the writer-applicant was dependent on the fare advancement plot that the central government had provided and subsequently assured the authentication of the import qualifications for the program. As regards dependency, the lawyer compiled its case, and the administration argued officially that it was necessary.

The Supreme Court refused to protect the official need and argued that if the native person acting independence on the guarantee, he had adapted his status and the guarantee had not been entered in the framework demanded by Article 298, he did not discharge the legislature from his obligation to obey the guarantees it made. 

The Supreme Court finally administrated unbelievably the doctrine of the promissory estoppel and held the conduct to be justified. It was concluded that the all-inclusive presentation in the letters for Uttar Pradesh, in which the appellant acquired cash from the organizations involved in the money and established a facility, evoked the doctrine of promissory impotence and that the administration must without a doubt complete the representation and excluded the litigant from the bid charge about the bids. 

The Supreme Court has seen that the doctrine of the promissory estoppel is a guideline established for the prevention of foul play, and yet the promissory estoppel is not usually referred to as either in agreement or estoppel.

Promissory Estoppel In Contract Law

When it does, the principle of promissory estoppel applies without a concluded deal. It cannot be conjured up that a certain term in the Agreement would include a bank terminating its advance agreement or the organization dropped a permit to run pay phones at the end of the term or the Court would not extend the mining permit for a half-year period, or where the Commission rate was reduced and the measure was taken on account of the office arrangements for operating pay telephones.

The rule was linked to civil rule for rent, where the applicant had spent money to obtain water and power associations and developed the plot on correspondence from the load up on distribution, or to prevent power load from retrieving the refund guaranteed, while standard competition was explanatory with the power shopper.

The law has also been linked with the requirement to prevent city or lodging experts from changing portion schemes or the singular distribution of plots or houses or forcing them to allocate or transfer plots or houses or even to prevent these specialists from changing tasks by changing their policies. It has also been linked to guaranteeing the funds or advances of monetary foundations.

Application Of Promissory Estoppel In Administrative Law

The court observed in this case that government authorities are, as often as private individuals, obliged to make full representations of certainties and promises that various citizens have adapted to their preference and therefore refuse to simplify the situation in a way that acknowledges the use of the Prospective Stoppel doctrine between the private and the public authorities. 

The commitment could appear as legal action and could be authorized in equity if the statute requires the arrangement to be placed within a particular framework. After studying the promissory estoppel doctrine, the case decided to what extent the doctrine was relevant to the administration. However, the decision suggests that the doctrine is being used for private meetings.

Indeed, promissory estoppel is sometimes spoken of as a substitute for the administration or even a private meeting to complete a demonstration that is negated by law or that promissory estoppel cannot be exhorted to constrain the parliamentary or even a private rally to complete a law-bound demonstration.

N all Indian cases referred to above were depicted by or for the benefit of state or public bodies containing guarantees. From there on in India, the doctrine was mainly developed in the field of the law of authority.

The main problem in the situation was the applicability of the doctrine to the legislature in its various capacities and after selecting the extent of the doctrine the court proceeded to choose the equivalent. The doctrine between private parties is not expressly applied. There is no blocking of perception except for the solo perception that the rule is relevant to management law and not between private parties.


It seems to be pointed out that if the Indian government or of any State in India commits any individual and the promise does not clash with the law and regulations which must be respected and do not run counter to the public intrigue, it cannot refuse to deliver on its promise shortly afterward. The Supreme Court of Indeed stated that there is ample follow-up on the claims or images and there is no demonstration of the subsequent burden, damage or prejudice caused.

The same applies if, without committing the entire obligations to it, the government or any private institution promises to fulfill any contractual obligations. Therefore, it would lead to arbitrariness in respect of the rights of a party and would therefore lynch the rights of a party because any party is entitled to withdraw from its obligations. So, we hope this article on promissory estoppel helped in clearing your doubts.

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