Legal Reasoning Practice Questions for CLAT 2020

legal reasoning practice questions


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

Passage I

Unlike the US, free speech in India is not absolute. Our Constitution, while guaranteeing the freedom of speech and expression, places “reasonable restrictions”​​ on this basic human right.

Journalists are often targeted by state authorities for their comments on social media. In September, last year, a Delhi-based journalist was arrested for his tweets on sculptures at the Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha, and another journalist from Manipur was booked under the stringent National Security Act, 1980, and jailed for uploading a video on the internet in which he made remarks deemed to be “derogatory” towards the​​ Chief​​ Minister of the State.

In December, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the nodal ministry for regulating matters on information technology and the internet, released a draft amendment to guidelines under the Information Technology Act, which prescribe certain conditions for content hosting platforms to seek protection for third-party content.​​ 

The amendment, which was brought along to tackle the menace of “fake news” and reduce the flow of obscene and illegal content on social media, seeks to mandate the use of “automated filters” for content takedowns on internet platforms and requires them to trace the originator of that information on their services (this traceability requirement is believed to be targeted at messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram).

Apart from state authorities, content sharing and social media companies take down content in tandem with their community standards and terms and conditions. This is often arbitrary and inconsistent.

We believe that the draft amendment to the rules that regulate platform liability undermines free speech and privacy rights of Indians in the online world, while promoting private censorship by companies.

Having said that, acknowledging the problems of circulation of illegal content, legitimate access to law enforcement and disinformation on the internet, the law should mandate governance structures and grievance mechanisms on the part of intermediaries, enabling quick takedown of content determined as illegal by the judiciary or appropriate government agencies.

The “filter bubble” effect, where users are shown similar content, results in readers not being exposed to opposing views, due to which they become easy targets of disinformation.​​ 

Tech-companies must re-think their internal policies to ensure that self-initiated content takedowns are not arbitrary​​ and users have a right to voice their concerns.

Government agencies should work with internet platforms to educate users in identifying disinformation to check its spread.​​ 

Lastly, the government should adhere to constitutionally mandated principles and conduct multi-stakeholder consultations before drafting internet policy to safeguard the varying interests of interested parties.

Extracted​​ with edits​​ from​​ here​​ by Software Freedom Law Centre,​​ 24 May 2019​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ Which of the following views can be correctly attributed to author of the passage.

(a) ​​ Right of free speech must​​ be protected.​​ 

(b) ​​ Right of free speech can be​​ restricted by government agencies as per their choice.​​ 

(c)​​ The author does not have any opinion about right of free speech.

(d)​​ None of the above


2.​​ If a social website,​​ say​​ Twitter, uses automated filter to take down personal details, posted by a celebrity,​​ of​​ people who sent her​​ rape threats and obscene pictures,​​ in order to expose them​​ but does not take down the obscene content directed at the celebrity, would such action be in line with the amendment discussed by the author.​​ 

(a)​​ Yes.

(b) No

(c) Can't say​​ 


3.​​ According​​ to the author,​​ which of the following methods ensures better efficacy of new laws proposed to be enacted in India.​​ 

(a)​​ publically​​ releasing drafts of proposed laws​​ and​​ inviting​​ objections/comments​​ from​​ concerned persons​​ 

(b)​​ forming a special committee to​​ review the effectiveness of proposed law

(c)​​ extensive debate on proposed law by the legislature


4.​​ Judicial review​​ is the​​ process wherein validity of​​ laws can be tested by the judiciary. Which of the following options is correct?​​ 

(a) The author supports the concept of judicial review

(b) The author does not support the concept of judicial review

(c)​​ Can't say



Passage II

The hurriedly enacted Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, invalidates, as well as criminalises, instant triple talaq (ITT) with a sentence up to three years of jail for Muslim men found guilty. ITT is prevalent among one sub-sect (maslak) of Sunnis, a majority among India’s Muslims.​​ 

Ever since the Jawaharlal Nehru led government legislated the Hindu Marriage Act 1956, a section of society has been harbouring a grievance regarding why Muslims were ‘spared’ from as similar​​ reform.

In 1986, when the Rajiv Gandhi led-administration overturned the Supreme Court verdict in favour of Shah Bano through a legislation, snatching away her right to maintenance, this grievance was reinforced.

This overturning of the verdict was conducted under pressure from the Muslim clergy, who fanned social conservatism in the worst possible ways, taking recourse to street mobilisations. Notably, this grievance was not limited to the Hindu Right.​​ 

Former All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) president, Ali Miyan Nadvi, ‘confesses’ in his 1988 memoir, Karwan-e-Zindagi (Procession of Life), how he misled Rajiv Gandhi and made the prime minister upturn the apex court verdict through a retrogressive legislation.

Shah Bano, married in 1932 and separated from her husband in 1975, was the 62-year-old wife of a well-off advocate in Indore when she approached the court in April 1978 for maintenance. An instant triple talaq was uttered against her inside the Indore court only after the judge, in course of the plea, said that under Muslim Personal Law, she was entitled to maintenance.

This historical fact is pertinent for many reasons, including for being at the core of the notion of maintenance of a divorced Muslim woman in India.

The tragedy with Tuesday’s legislation is that it does not say a word on maintenance. Muslim women remain as potentially hapless and helpless as Shah Bano — as are so many women abandoned by their husbands in other communities, including Hindu.

Sadly, even the citadels of modern education such as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have also miserably failed in reaching out to the Muslim masses and freeing them from the clutches of religious reactionaries. But enough of modern, educated, middle-class Muslims have emerged, even from earlier marginalised sections of the ommunity. They shall have to play their roles in bringing about reforms. The new anti-ITT law, too, shall have to be amended — as soon as better sense prevails on enough legislators. ​​ 

Extracted with edits from​​ The Economic Times,​​ 01​​ August​​ 2019​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ From the above passage,​​ which of the following conclusions​​ can be inferred?​​ 

(a)​​ Before enactment of law banning triple talaq,​​ only Muslim men had right​​ of​​ triple talaq against their wife.​​ 

(b)​​ Before enactment of law banning triple talaq, only Muslim women had right​​ of​​ triple talaq against their husband.​​ 

(c)​​ Before enactment of law banning triple talaq, both Muslim men and women​​ had right of​​ ​​ triple talaq against their spouse.​​ ​​ 

2. In the Shah Bano case, husband of Shah Bano -​​ 

(a) arbitrarily​​ exercised right of triple talaq only to avoid liability to pay maintenance

(b) correctly​​ exercised right of triple talaq​​ because​​ it was preposterous for Shah Bano to claim maintenance​​ 

(c)​​ correctly exercised right of triple talaq​​ because Shah Bano​​ was a bad person by nature​​ 

(d) None of the above


3. The​​ Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019​​ is a Central Act which can be amended only by Indian Parliament. In this context, the​​ phrase​​ "enough legislators" used by the author means-​​ 

(a)​​ such majority of members of both houses of Indian Parliament as is sufficient under law to approve​​ the​​ amendment​​ 

(b) such majority of members of legislature of each Indian State​​ as is sufficient under law to approve the amendment​​ 

(c) simple majority of members of both houses of Indian Parliament​​ and each State legislature​​ will be required to​​ approve the amendment​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 


4.​​ The author's opinion is that-​​ 

(a)​​ The​​ Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019​​ adequately addresses all grievances of​​ Muslim community​​ 

(b) The​​ Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019​​ does not address all grievances of Muslim community so it should be scrapped and replaced by a new law​​ 

(c) The​​ Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019​​ does not address all grievances of Muslim community so it should be amended suitably​​ 

(d) None of the above  ​​​​ 




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


Passage I

Question 1​​ -​​ Option (a) is the correct answer.

Explanation - ​​ A reading of given passage clearly indicates that the author supports right of free speech. ​​ 


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

Explanation -​​ The author has stated that the amendment aims to "reduce the flow of obscene and illegal content on social media" hence option (b) is correct.​​ 


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

Explanation -​​ The author supports "multi-stakeholder​​ consultations" of all interested parties hence option (a) is correct.​​ 


Question 4 -​​ Option (a) is the correct answer.​​ ​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​ ​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ ​​  ​​​​ 

Explanation - The line "enabling quick takedown of content determined as illegal by the judiciary" indicates that the author supports judicial review. ​​ 


Passage II

Question 1 -​​ Option (a) is the correct answer.​​ 

Explanation - The passage states that the newly enacted law prescribes punishment only for Muslim men so it can be inferred that only Muslim men could exercise right of triple talaq and not Muslim women.  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 


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

Explanation -​​ The facts given in the passage clearly support the inference given in option (a).​​ 


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

Explanation -​​ The question states that the law in question can be amended only by Indian Parliament hence option (a) is correct.​​ 


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

Explanation - The author has opined that the​​ Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019​​ does not address issue of maintenance of Muslim women​​ due to which​​ it needs to be amended.  ​​ ​​ ​​​​  ​​​​ ​​ ​​ 











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