Legal Reasoning New Pattern Practice Paper for CLAT 2020

Legal Reasoning New Pattern Practice Paper for CLAT 2020

 

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

Passage I

On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister addressed the nation and informed all that on account of the growing threat and spread of corona​​ virus in the country, it has been decided to impose a lockdown throughout the country for a period of 21 days. This was the first lockdown imposed in the country, on account of a virus, commonly known as Covid-19. Before this, many of us had not even understood the true and correct meaning of the word “Lockdown’’ been imposed in the country. Thus, the Prime Minister had himself clarified that it is almost akin to a curfew.​​ 

I sent a request to all the arbitrators known to me, senior​​ advocates, other esteemed​​ advocates and​​ litigants​​ stating​​ that let us evolve a procedure of​​ hearing through video conferencing on various web based platforms and try to utilize this time as much as was possible. I certainly received some positive response from many.​​ I started sending mails, in all my pending matters, either as a sole arbitrator or as member of a three-member panel with a request to resume the hearings, through video conferencing.​​ 

Speaking of logistical and technical issues involved, I have experienced quite a lot of such issues in my limited experience, which if handled properly in a planned manner can drastically reduce the problems and instil confidence in the minds of parties as well as arbitrators. In my opinion, prior to any hearing the following point can be discussed by the parties and the arbitrators: (a) the preferred platform and technology to be used (including legal access to such platform and technology); (b) the minimum system specifications and technical requirements for smooth connectivity (audio and video), adequate visibility and lighting in each location; (c) the contingency measures to be implemented in case of sudden technical failures, disconnection, power outages (alternative communication channels and virtual technical support for all participants); (d) number and list of participants joining the hearing. This is important as excessive number of participants may result in hiccups during the video hearing; (e) Real time transcription and recording of the hearing.

As this is a new arena for all of us, certain due process must also be followed with respect to online hearings: (a) Obtaining written statements from the parties/counsel that the tested platform and technology are adequate as tested by the parties; (b) Confirming the parties’ agreement on proceeding with a virtual hearing or identifying the legal basis for proceeding with a virtual hearing absent such agreement by the parties; (c) Advising​​ the parties on their duty to cooperate on technical matters prior to and during the virtual hearing.

Keeping in mind the fact that coronavirus is likely to continue to spread its wings throughout the globe, for at least another year or two, having sittings through video conferencing, would be new normal procedure to be adopted by all of us. In this regard, Work From Home (WFH) to a certain extent has to be developed and it should be imbibed in all of us. This will keep all of us safe and productive.​​ It is pertinent to mention here that if we adapt to such a procedure, then many of us may not be required to travel at all, from their respective places and to run the risk of getting infected. This will enable us to work from home, avoiding wastage of time, money, energy, tension etc. I, therefore, request all of you to kindly try to adapt and follow this new procedure of online hearing and let us follow​​ this new normal system to hold arbitral​​ sittings. Needless to say, these are my personal views experienced during this period.

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://thedailyguardian.com/covid-19-effect-online-hearings-will-now-become-the-new-normal/​​ ​​  by​​ The Daily Guardian,​​ June​​ 2020​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ The​​ given passage suggests that-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ Curfew and lockdown are the same thing​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ Curfew and lockdown are extremely different from each other​​ 

(c)​​ Curfew and lockdown are different but​​ similar​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

2.​​ The passage suggests that the author has been acting as-​​  ​​​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ a​​ judge​​ 

(b)​​ an​​ arbitrator​​ 

(c)​​ a​​ lawyer​​ 

(d)​​ All of the above​​ 

 

3.​​ The area of legal dispute resolution to which the author seems to be associated is-​​ ​​ 

(a) mediation

(b)​​ arbitration​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ conciliation​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

4.​​ Based on the given passage, it can be said that the correct course of action to be followed in case of a sudden technical failure or disconnection occurring during the​​ virtual hearing of a case would be-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ dismissal of​​ the case​​ by the judge​​ 

(b)​​ adopting pre-determined contingency measures​​ 

(c)​​ adjourning the hearing of the case to a date which would be determined later​​ 

(d)​​ Can’t say​​ 

 

5.​​ The​​ views of the author of the passage are endorsed by-​​ 

(a)​​ the Central​​ government​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ the​​ Prime Minister of India​​ 

(c)​​ the government of the State where the author resides​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 

 

6. In respect of hearings taking place through virtual mode, the author supports-​​ 

(a) having large number of participants to ensure greater participation​​ 

(b) having large number of participants to ensure adequate representation of all parties​​ 

(c) having less number of participants to ensure that the hearing gets conducted smoothly

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

Passage II​​ 

The novel coronavirus has resulted in people being locked down in their homes. Notwithstanding the widespread health concerns attached with Covid-19, it has been able to instil, in the minds of people, fear.

 

When it comes to a law firm, clients and resources are quintessential. The wellbeing of a law firm’s clients and its resources is paramount and in dealing with the impacts of Covid-19, the wellness of the clients and resources is central. In order to understand the means adopted by a law firm to survive, and ultimately, thrive from the present situation, one needs to understand and acknowledge the impact of the novel virus on the legal industry. A major impact of the lockdown and Covid-19 has been, one that most shy away from admitting or at least explicitly acknowledging, the cash flow crunch. Cash flow may not necessarily be a direct consequence of the pandemic but, in most cases, a subsequent one.

For a lawyer, and on a larger scale, a law firm, apart from issuing advisory and opinions to clients for the various activities undertaken by the client, there is also involvement in the dispute resolution process of the disputes that have arisen out of the transactions undertaken by the clients. Dispute resolution has been on a backfoot with the courts only taking up matters being urgent in nature, which most often than not do not include matters involving disputes between parties at a personal/commercial level.​​ 

Moreover, with businesses shut due to the lockdown and only bare minimum and essential activities being allowed by the governments, the opinions sought by the clients have also declined. Resultantly, the incoming work has been restricted leading to lower revenue generation and along with outstanding invoices. Another major impact for the industry has been the morale level of the individuals. A law firm is only as good as its representatives.

In other words, if the overall morale of those responsible for running the various day​​ to-day affairs of the firm is not high, the natural consequence of the same would be lower​​ morale of the firm. Therefore, tackling with the affected morale of the members has been a key challenge for law firms. Yet another challenge faced by law firms has been simply coping with the prevalent situation caused by the pandemic. There has been a lot said and spoken about the present times being to tackle and deal with a pandemic and not a “productivity contest”.​​ 

By means of a dedicated Covid-19 resource centre on their websites, law firms are regularly updating and posting about legal, regulatory, statutory developments. Various articles and information are also being posted to provide the clients and other visitors on the websites with a view on the key developments and the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. The evolutionary theory propagated by Charles Darwin spoke of “survival of the fittest”. The present times have demonstrated and showcased a different scenario. The key qualities being talked of and required for emerging from the present circumstances are: resolve, resilience, return, reimagine and reform. Turning over a challenging situation, like the present one, requires innovation, a cohesive team, and leadership (both in those managing and those implementing).

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://thedailyguardian.com/law-firms-and-the-covid-19-pandemic-lessons-and-notes/​​  by​​ The Daily Guardian,​​ June​​ 2020​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ According to the author, spread of the Covid-19 pandemic gave​​ rise to the following issues affecting​​ law firms-​​ 

(a)​​ lower generation of revenue​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ dropping morale of employees​​ 

(c)​​ coping up​​ normally​​ with the situation created by the pandemic​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ All​​ of the above​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

2.​​ The passage suggests that spread of the Covid-19 pandemic-​​ 

(a)​​ adversely affected the functioning of the judiciary​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ positively affected the functioning of the judiciary​​ 

(c)​​ did not affect the functioning of the judiciary​​ ​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

3.​​ During persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian courts were only keen on taking up-

(a)​​ commercial matters​​ 

(b) matters involving personal disputes between parties​​ 

(c)​​ urgent matters such as grant of bail​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 

 

4.​​ According to the author, the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’​​ given by Charles Darwin-​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ applies in respect of the way law firms need to tackle the issues arising out of Covid-19 pandemic​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ partially applies in respect of the way law firms need to tackle the issues arising out of Covid-19 pandemic  ​​​​ 

(c) does not apply in respect of the way law firms need to tackle the issues arising out of Covid-19 pandemic  ​​ ​​​​ ​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

Answer key with explanations  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

Passage I

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “the Prime Minister had himself clarified that it is almost akin to a curfew.” Indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ line “I started sending mails, in all my pending matters, either as a sole arbitrator....” indicates that option (b) is correct.​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ passage, as a whole,​​ discusses​​ the future of arbitration hearings,​​ post the Covid-19 pandemic,​​ hence option (b) is correct.​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The author has recommended pre-determination of contingency measures for situations such as technical failure or disconnection​​ before arbitration hearings are conducted​​ hence option (b) is correct.​​ ​​ 

 

Question 5​​ ​​ Option (d) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation –​​ The​​ line “Needless to say, these are my personal views experienced during this period” indicates that option (d) is correct.​​ 

 

Question 6​​ ​​ Option (c) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation – The line “excessive number of participants may result in hiccups during the video hearing” indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ 

 

Passage II

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

Explanation​​ ​​ A plain reading of the passage indicates that option (d) is correct.​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ author states that courts were hearing only matters of an urgent nature after​​ spread of the Covid-19 pandemic hence option (a) is correct.​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The author​​ states that courts were​​ taking up only urgent matters and were​​ not taking up commercial matters and matters involving personal disputes between parties hence option (c) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation –​​ The line “The present times have demonstrated and showcased a different scenario...​​ indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ 

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