CLATalogue Legal Reasoning Test Series Paper 9
CLATalogue Legal Reasoning Test Series Paper 9
The character and conduct of people play a very important role in our day to day lives, people act and react and go about their daily lives based on their assumptions of what other people will do. Thus, when a court is asked to judge a person’s conduct on a particular occasion it may become pertinent to question the person’s conduct. Character evidence plays an important role in almost all jurisdictions. The character of persons has been used in order to determine guilt for centuries. Over the years the law has evolved and the applicability of character evidence to civil and criminal cases has become limited. The character sought to be proved, may be of the parties to the proceedings, the witnesses or even third parties. While talking about character evidence, there are two important questions to be asked, firstly, whether the character of a person is relevant, and if relevant under what circumstances they become so relevant. The second question to be asked is when such character becomes relevant, how it is to be proved. The character of a person is a summary of his past actions whether good or bad. English Law does not have a single, well defined technical meaning for character; it is however understood to include both disposition as well as reputation. Similarly the Indian Evidence Act, under the explanation to Section 55 makes a feeble attempt to explain the meaning of character; it merely states that the word ‘character’ includes both disposition as well as reputation. However disposition and reputation are not the same things. Disposition of a person is what he actually is, it means a person’s entire character or “the sum of inherited and acquired ethical traits which gives a man his individuality,” sometimes character may also mean a single trait such as honesty, chastity etc. Reputation on the other hand is the community opinion as to what a person is supposed to be. It should be noted that in law, reputation is the chief means of proving a person’s character. Evidence of the general reputation of a person affords the basis for an inference as to the actual character. However the words character and reputation are used synonymously. Circumstances Under Which Character Evidence May Be Adduced- In both English law as well as Indian law, the evidence of a person’s character may be offered under two circumstances, firstly to prove its existence as one of the facts in the case, that is character as a fact in issue and secondly to prove its existence as circumstantial evidence in order to prove another fact therein. In the first case, the character of the person is the disputed fact and it is the existence of such character which has to be proved by evidence, while in the second case character is offered and used as evidence, as the basis to infer some other facts in the case.
Mohan was accused of theft. At the trial the prosecution stated that Mohan has also embezzled money while he was in the police custody. Decide whether this fact is relevant under Indian Evidence Act?
Yes as this explains Mohan’s reputation
No as this is not an act for which he is being tried
Yes as this is relevant in explaining his disposition
No as embezzlement of money is not a crime under IPC
Rationale: Disposition of a person is what he actually is thus the act of embezzlement of money while he was in the police custody explains his habit of stealing i.e. he is in a general habit of committing theft.
What is the importance of character evidence under Indian Evidence Act?
It helps the court in forming an impression about the accused
It helps in the determination of the guilt of the accused
Both a and b
None of the above
Rationale: Character evidence plays an important role in almost all jurisdictions. The character of persons has been used in order to determine guilt for centuries.
Section 55 of the Indian Evidence Act defines character as both disposition and reputation. What is the difference between the two?
Disposition refers to the person’s entire character whereas reputation is the community opinion.
Reputation refers to the person’s entire character whereas disposition is the community opinion.
Disposition refers to the person’s entire character which is presumed by people whereas reputation is the opinion of the person in the eyes of law
Disposition refers to the person’s entire character which is presumed by his relatives whereas reputation is the opinion of the relatives of the accused.
Rationale: Disposition of a person is what he actually is, it means a person’s entire character or “the sum of inherited and acquired ethical traits which gives a man his individuality,” sometimes character may also mean a single trait such as honesty, chastity etc. Reputation on the other hand is the community opinion as to what a person is supposed to be.
Aman is guilty of the offence of staking. At the trial one the college mate of Aman states that he teases every girl in the college pathway. Similar statement was also given by the cleaners of the college. Decide whether this statement is relevant under section 55 of the Indian Evidence Act? If yes, then how?
No as general opinion of court is no evidence in law
Yes as Aman has hurt their sentiments also
No as the college mate and cleaners are not the party to suit thus their statement will become irrelevant
Yes as their statements helps in determining the character of Aman
Rationale: The character of persons has been used in order to determine guilt thus it is relevant and evidence of the general reputation of a person affords the basis for an inference as to the actual character.
What do you understand by the term ‘fact in issue’?
Facts which have been state by the prosecution
Facts which are disputed by the parties
Facts which have been stated by the defence
Facts which are important to prove evidence
Rationale: fact in issue’ are the facts which are disputed by both the parties as one affirms it and other negates it.
The idea of Separation of Powers suggests that governance of the State should not fall solely under one organ of the State which could be identified as the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. Aristotle in his Politics submitted this theory but the most famous version was being suggested by Montesquieu in ‘De L’Espirit des Lois’. His arguments indicate that there were three functions of government, Legislative as the law-making body, Executive as the law-applying body and Judiciary as the Law-Enforcing body. Early findings indicate that Montesquieu theory was unreachable since it is almost impossible for United Kingdom (UK) to have full Separation Powers of the three organs. The UK constitution is largely unwritten which means that there is no one piece of material stating the constitution of the country. The constitution in seen to has grown over the years in history rather than having a piece of legislation stating the constitution like most of the countries. The constitution could be found in fundamental documents, statutes, case laws as the legal resources and some non legal-resources as the constitutional convention. They can be drawn from the Magna Carta (1215), The Petition of Rights (1628), Bill of Right (1689), Act of Settlement (1700), Treaty of Union (1706) and several other statues. The constitutional conventions are non-legal rules guiding the three organs of the state. The Separation of Powers is vital in the constitution as suggested by A.V. Dicey’s rule of law. The three organs could be identified as the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. All three organs should have different powers and do not interfere the powers of another. As being mentioned before, this theory seemed impossible given the constitutional convention in UK. The executive, comprising the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Minister and the Crown, formulate and implement government policies across all governmental activities. Parliament, being the Sovereign law making body (legislature) comprises the Crown, the elected House of Commons and the currently unelected House of Lords. The House of Commons which is considered superior to the House of Lords is made up of elected Members of Parliament who represent their own constituencies. The Judiciary, however, sits all the judges in the Courts of Law including those who hold judicial office in tribunals and the lay magistrates. Prior to the Constitutional Reforms Act 2005, Lord Chancellor was politically appointed member of the cabinet, speaker of the House of Lords and the head of Judiciary. As a senior judge, the Lord Chancellor was entitled to participate in judicial proceedings, although by convention he would not adjudicate cases which involved the government or were openly political in nature. He also has the rights to appoint judges. This obviously does not preserve the theory of Separation of Powers as he can be found to be in all three organs of the state. As a rectification step, the Labour Party as the government of the day enacted the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which removed Lord Chancellor from his office. His office will now be filled by a member in either House and need not be a lawyer. His position as the head of judiciary is now replaced by lord chief justice. House of Lords in future will elect its speaker from one of its members.
Which of the following countries is known to have the lengthiest written constitution?
Rationale: India is known to have the world’s lengthiest written constitution.
As per Montesquieu there must be separation of powers. Thus what are the regulating theories to guide the existence of separation of powers?
Laws made by the judiciary
Conventions established in the constitution
Rules and regulations made by the legislature
All the above
Rationale: The constitutional conventions are non-legal rules guiding the three organs of the state.
Parliament of UK comprises the Crown, the elected House of Commons and the currently unelected House of Lords. Mention the organs of Indian Parliament
Prime Minister, State legislature and Central legislature
President, Prime Minister and Governor
Council of Ministers, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
President, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
Rationale: India’s federal legislative branch consists of President, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
Lord Chancellor of UK was entitled to participate in judicial proceedings, although by convention he would not adjudicate cases which involved the government or were openly political in nature. Thus can the Chief Justice of India adjudicate cases which involved the government or were openly political in nature?
Yes, in India Chief Justice has the jurisdiction over government and political issues
No, like UK Chief Justice of India also cannot adjudicate cases which involved the government or were openly political in nature
Yes, in India Chief Justice has the autonomy over all the cases
No, Chief Justice can only monitor the proceedings but he cannot adjudicate them
Rationale: in India Chief Justice has the jurisdiction over government and political issues like other Supreme Court judges.
What is the principle behind the rule of separation of powers?
It is incorporated in order to remove the fear of biasness
Separation of power ensures that the power is not concentrated in one hand and in turn prohibits monopoly of power
It helps in demolishing arbitrariness by keeping a check on each other
All the above
Rationale: separation of power ensures the removal of fear of biasness by keeping a check on the functions of each other. Also the power is not concentrated in one hand, creating a monopoly.