CLATalogue Legal Reasoning Test Series Paper 7

CLATalogue Legal Reasoning Test Series Paper 7


Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow-  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

Passage I

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, has as its object “better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic disease”. Committed to brevity, this law does not even define what is an “epidemic disease”. The Delhi Health Bill which is still on the drawing board, uses the term “hazard” instead, and defines it as the outbreak of a disease or epidemic, or any event or situation or condition that may cause or result in loss of life, harm to the safety, or harm to the health of persons’ or destruction of, or damage to, property or any part of environment.

On March 12, 2020, under this law, the Lt Governor of Delhi has notified the “Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19, Regulations, 2020”.​​ While, the brevity of this law might be a carte blanche for the executive, we must remember, this was a pre-constitutional law and post 1950, the limitations of fundamental rights have to be read into the same.

The anachronistic nature of the 1897 law also becomes apparent when one glances at the relatively recent Disaster Management Act, 2005. The DMA offers an array of weapons to combat disasters, establishing a multi-tier system, with governments and authorities constituted under or brought within the purview of the DMA, operating at the national, state, district and local levels.

While some might argue that the DMA offers effective and even aggressive measures to combat any kind of disaster including epidemics, such an approach is problematic because of two issues. First, while the definition of a “disaster” under the DMA may be wide enough to include an epidemic and while guidelines regarding biological disasters have been issued under the DMA, it does not contain any provisions to specifically address the unique conundrums thrown up by an epidemic, nor does it incorporate the nuanced approach required to be taken in public health emergencies of such a level. Therefore, such an epidemic would require a more specific legislation rather than being dealt with using a general law that lumps it with natural disasters or even acts of bioterrorism. Secondly, considering the exponential rate at which the corona virus pandemic is growing, even the aggressive measures provided for in the DMA may fall short of adequately tackling with it.

Extracted with edits from:​​​​  by​​ The Wire,​​ March 2020​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ The​​ use of​​ the phrase​​ “committed to brevity”​​ by the author​​ suggests that-​​ 

(a)​​ the author appreciates the brevity of the Epidemic Diseases Act​​ 

(b)​​ the author appreciates the brevity of the​​ Epidemic Diseases Act and highlights it with​​ the example of definition of “epidemic disease”

(c) the​​ author has used the phrase​​ in a sarcastic manner while criticizing the lack of definition of epidemic disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act

(d) None of the above​​ 


2.​​ The use of the phrase “still on the drawing board” by the author implies that-​​ 

(a) the​​ Delhi Health Bill has become an enforceable law​​ 

(b) the​​ Delhi Health Bill is yet to become an Act​​ ​​ 

(c) the​​ Delhi Health Bill​​ has become an Act​​ but not come into force ​​ 

(d) Can’t say ​​ 


3.​​ In​​ the line “On March 12, 2020, under this law”​​ used in the second paragraph, ‘law’ refers to-​​ ​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19, Regulations, 2020

(b)​​ Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897​​ 

(c)​​ Disaster Management Act, 2005​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(d) None of the above


4.​​ According to the author–​​ 

(a)​​ neither Epidemic Diseases Act nor​​ Disaster Management Act contains the definition of epidemic​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ the Epidemic Diseases Act contains a straightforward definition of epidemic​​ 

(c)​​ the Disaster Management Act impliedly covers an​​ epidemic​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 


Passage II​​ 

Last month, Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra proposed a ‘solidarity tax’ to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed solidarity tax would be temporarily imposed on wealthy and super-rich Peruvians earning more than $3,000 a month. The tax authorities are expected to raise 300 million soles ($88 million) per month in additional revenue from the solidarity tax. Targeted at the wealthier sections of society whose livelihoods have been less disrupted by government-enforced lockdown restrictions, the proposed solidarity tax is inspired by the principle of solidarity.​​ In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colombia also introduced a three-month solidarity tax, which shall remain in force during May-July 2020, on public servants with a monthly salary of over 10 million pesos ($2,500).

Peru was among the first in the region to impose nationwide restrictions on people’s movement, starting March 15. Despite more than 50 days under nationwide lockdown and considerable public support to “flatten the curve,” Peru has the second-highest​​ number of confirmed cases and deaths in Latin America, next to Brazil. As of May 22, 2020, there were more than 108,769 confirmed cases and 3,148 deaths from COVID-19 in Peru, with a total population of 32 million.​​ 

India desperately needs solidarity and wealth taxes to boost direct tax revenues that would decline drastically this year due to lockdown and social distancing measures implemented in response to COVID-19. In late-March, the government announced an economic package of $22 billion (amounting to 0.8% of GDP) that is grossly inadequate to support a $2.9 trillion economy and to protect 1.3 billion people from coronavirus.

While supporting the idea of solidarity and wealth taxes, we are not suggesting that these taxes alone would mobilise trillions of dollars needed to address the humanitarian and economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.​​ There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The design and implementation of solidarity and wealth taxes should reflect country-specific economic and institutional circumstances. The tax authorities should design these taxes in such a manner that maximises revenue and minimises the scope for evasion. Admittedly, the scope of tax evasion is far greater in Peru, Brazil, and other Latin American countries where the super-wealthy park bulk of their wealth abroad.

If carefully designed and used in conjunction with other taxes, solidarity and wealth taxes could mobilise substantial resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.


Extracted with edits from:​​​​ ​​ ​​ by​​ The Wire,​​ May 2020​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ Which of the following statements best describes the meaning of ‘solidarity tax’-​​ 

(a) a tax imposed by countries on the rich and poor alike​​ 

(b) a tax imposed by countries only on its rich citizens​​ 

(c)​​ a tax imposed by countries only on its rich citizens​​ having income exceeding a certain threshold​​ 

(d)​​ can’t say​​ 


2.​​ The example of Peru discussed by the author suggests that-  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ imposition of a​​ complete​​ nationwide lockdown is a sure shot strategy​​ to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ imposition of a​​ lockdown only in certain parts of a country is a sure shot strategy to​​ tackle the Covid-19 pandemic​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ imposition of a partial nationwide lockdown with certain​​ relaxations​​ is a sure shot​​ strategy to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic​​  ​​​​ ​​ 

(d) imposition of a nationwide lockdown does not guarantee lesser casualties linked to the Covid-19 pandemic​​ 


3.​​ “The author has given the example of Peru to suggest that India should implement solidarity tax​​ exactly​​ as done by Peru”. This statement is-​​ 

(a)​​ True​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ False​​ ​​  ​​​​ 

(c) ​​ Can’t say​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 


4.​​ According to the author,​​ imposition of a solidarity tax shall-​​ 

(a) help in raising funds needed for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic​​ 

(b) help in tackling tax evasion​​ 

(c) both (a) and (b)

(d) None of the above​​ ​​ 


Answer key with explanations

Passage I

Question 1 - Option (c) is the correct answer.

Explanation​​ ​​ A careful reading of the line “Committed to brevity, this law does not even define what is an “epidemic disease”” indicates that option (c) is correct. ​​ 


Question 2 - Option (b) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation​​ ​​ The meaning of the line “still of the drawing board” has to be understood in reference to the context of a ‘Bill’ which indicates that option (b) is correct.​​  ​​​​ ​​ ​​ 


Question 3 - Option​​ (b) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ discussion of the Epidemic Diseases Act continues from the first to the second paragraph therefore option (b) is correct. ​​ 


Question 4 – Option (c) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “while the definition of a “disaster” under the DMA may be wide enough to include an epidemic” indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ ​​ 


Passage II

Question 1 - Option (c) is the correct answer.

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ second​​ line​​ of the first paragraph of the passage​​ indicates that option (c) is correct.​​  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 


Question 2 - Option​​ (d) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ line “Peru has the second-highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in Latin America, next to Brazil” indicates that option (d) is correct.​​ 


Question 3 - Option (b) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation - The​​ line​​ The design and implementation of solidarity and wealth taxes should reflect country-specific economic and institutional circumstances” indicates that option (b) is correct.


Question 4 – Option​​ (c) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation – A careful reading of the passage indicates that the author has​​ linked imposition of solidarity tax to both mobilization of funds necessary to tackle Covid-19​​ and​​ reduction of tax evasion.​​ ​​ 


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