New Pattern Legal Reasoning Practice Questions for CLAT 2020

New Pattern Legal Reasoning Practice Questions for CLAT 2020

 

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

Passage I

The increase of COVID-19 positive cases in India due to targeted testing following the​​ Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi on March 13-14 had led to a disturbing rise in cases of hate speech aimed at the entire Muslim community. Some in the media took to labelling the entire community as ‘corona criminals’ propagating ‘corona-jihad’. The Star of Mysore​​ newspaper went to the extent of inciting genocide/ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India. The hate speech was soon followed by calls from across the country for a social and economic boycott of Muslims.​​ Sections of the media, both regional and national, have been infamous for anti-Muslim hate speech, further fuelled through hate speech by members of parliament and state legislative assemblies. This hate speech is then supplemented with fake news and tangible action in terms of direct attacks on Muslim relief volunteers and socio-economic boycott of Muslims in public spaces.

For instance, in early April in Ankanahalli village in Ramanagara district on the outskirts of Bengaluru in south Karnataka, it was reported that an announcement was made to residents saying, ‘Listen, everyone! The gram panchayat is making this announcement. No sahibs (Muslims) should come into the village. No one should work for Muslims. If you do, you should pay a fine of Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.​​ 

Article 15, which encapsulates one of the fundamental rights of India’s Constitution, explicitly prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, besides race, caste, sex or place of birth. Article 15(2) further proclaims that no citizen be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to ‘access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public’.​​ Most fundamental rights can only be enforced against the state, however, Article 15(2) is a horizontally-applicable right against discrimination, enforceable against a private citizen or group.​​ Article 15(2) has two limitations. First, the acts of discrimination must fall within the understanding of the arena defined – i.e. public space – and second, these acts are not punishable by law.

Section 153B(1)(b) of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes imputations and assertions prejudicial to national-integration. The wording of the section holds that any expression that asserts, counsels, advises, propagates or publishes that any class of persons shall, by reason of their being members of any religious, racial, language or regional group or​​ caste or community, be denied or deprived of their rights as citizens of India, is a punishable act. The language is wide enough to cover calls for social and economic boycott on grounds of religion, however, this section seems to be severely underutilised when it comes to prosecuting such acts.

 

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://thewire.in/communalism/covid-19-lockdown-muslims-boycott-law​​  by​​ The Wire,​​ May 2020​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ The author has used the term “horizontally applicable” in​​ third​​ paragraph of the passage to mean that-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ Article 15(2) is enforceable only against the State​​ 

(b)​​ Article 15(2) is enforceable only against private citizens​​ 

(c)​​ Article 15(2) is enforceable against both State and private citizens​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

2.​​ Mr. X has built a home theatre in his house. He then invites all his Hindu friends, out of love affection,​​ to watch a movie in the​​ home​​ theatre and have a cup of tea​​ together.​​ Mr. X’s Muslim friend asks him if he can come too but​​ Mr. X refuses saying that only Hindu friends are invited.​​ Being aggrieved, Mr. X’s Muslim friend files a case against Mr. X before a court of law alleging violation of Article​​ 15(2) of the Constitution.​​ Whether Mr. X’s friend shall succeed in his case?​​  ​​​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ Yes, because Article 15(2) is also applicable against private citizens​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ No, because Article 15(2) is not applicable against private citizens​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ No, because​​ Article 15(2) is applicable only to places of public entertainment​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

3.​​ Mr. A​​ writes​​ a​​ post on social media to the effect that​​ Muslims should not be allowed to enter the holy city of Ayodhya.​​ Appropriate action can be taken against Mr. A under-​​ ​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ only Article 15(2) of the Constitution​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ only under section 153(1)(b) of the Indian Penal Code​​ 

(c)​​ both​​ Article 15(2) of the Constitution​​ and​​ section 153(1)(b) of the Indian Penal Code​​ 

(d) None of the above

 

4.​​ The residents of Shastri Nagar, Delhi circulated a video amongst themselves which talked about banning Muslims from entering their​​ locality.​​ Such boycott is-​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ Constitutional because fundamental rights are not enforceable against private individuals​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ Constitutional because there is no prohibition in the Constitution against such boycott​​ ​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ Unconstitutional as it is in violation of Article 15(2) of the Constitution​​  ​​ ​​​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 

 

5.​​ In village Katheria, located in the State of Rajasthan,​​ Ramesh got built a​​ well for the use of​​ local residents of the village​​ except​​ persons belonging to the Dalit caste.​​ Whether Dalits can file a case against Ramesh alleging discrimination​​ in violation of Article 15(2)?​​ 

(a) Yes, because Article 15(2) is applicable to wells intended for use of general public​​ 

(b) No, because the well is not maintained out of State funds​​ 

(c) No, because​​ Article 15(2) is not applicable to private individuals such as Ramesh​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

 

 

Passage II​​ 

The legal concept of malicious prosecution has been discussed at great length by a division bench of the SC in West Bengal State Electricity Board vs Dilip Kumar Ray (2006). The​​ Law Commission’s 277th report speaks of wrongful prosecutions to include malicious prosecutions and prosecutions instituted without good faith. For the latter, relying upon the SC’s judgment in Harbhajan Singh vs State of Punjab (1965), the law commission said that it would include a prosecution instituted negligently without due care and attention also.

In practice,​​ to harass people, the police- (i) Invoke sections of law much in excess of what might have really transpired, (ii) Invoke sections of law the very ingredients of which are not found in the FIR, (iii)​​ Invoke sections of law, which are bogus in the sense that nothing of that sort might have happened, (iv)​​ Invoke Arms Act or Explosives Act by ‘planting’ arms or explosives on to a person and through those sections weave the victim into a terrorism charge, (v)​​ rope in even those people in a case, who might not even be present at the place at the time of the incident and (vi)​​ proceed to arrest people immediately even as arrest may not be warranted, simply to put him through public humiliation.

Whenever the police frame somebody under false charges, their stock excuse is that if a complaint is given to them, they are bound to register a case and investigate. In other words, they try to project that they are so conscientious that they have to investigate every single word that is narrated before them. The law speaks differently, however. In State Of West Bengal & Ors vs Swapan Kumar Guha & Ors (1982), a three-judge bench of the SC had emphasized that there is no such thing as unfettered discretion. Explaining the often misunderstood Privy Council judgment in the case of Emperor vs Khwaja Nazir Ahmed​​ (1944), the SC said that the police cannot investigate an FIR which does not disclose the commission of a cognizable offence.​​ A constitution bench of the SC, in the case of Lalita Kumari vs Govt. of U.P.​​ & Ors (2013), held that the police is not liable to launch an investigation in every FIR which is mandatorily registered on​​ receiving information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence. A police officer can foreclose an FIR before an investigation under Section 157 of the​​ Code​​ of Criminal Procedure, if it appears to him that there is no sufficient ground to investigate the same. 

The evil business of foisting false cases entails a greater consequence for the nation as well. The inability to find, arrest and prosecute the real culprits of charges of terrorism means that the culprits remain happily in hiding somewhere—and would be able to strike again. Thus, framing of innocent persons, particularly in terror cases, seriously jeopardises national security.

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://thewire.in/government/malicious-prosecution-abuse-police-power​​  by​​ The Wire,​​ May​​ 2020​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ According to the Law Commission, wrongful prosecution includes-​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ malicious prosecution​​ 

(b)​​ prosecutions​​ instituted without good faith​​ 

(c)​​ prosecution instituted without due care​​ 

(d)​​ All of the above

 

2.​​ The police arrests Mr. A in connection with a crime committed in Delhi on May 21​​ although Mr. A was in Lucknow on that day. Whether, in light of the given passage, it is a case of malicious prosecution? ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ No, because the law presumes Mr. A to be innocent until proven guilty​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ No, because Delhi and Lucknow are close to each other and Mr. A could have committed the crime and then gone to Lucknow

(c)​​ Yes, because Mr. A was not at the place of incident at the time of its commission​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

3.​​ According to the author,​​ the police is bound to carry investigation-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ in each case involving commission of a non-cognizable offence

(b)​​ in each case involving commission of a cognizable offence​​ though there may not exist sufficient grounds for investigation​​ 

(c) in each case​​ involving​​ commission of a cognizable offence provided there exist sufficient grounds to investigate the same​​ ​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 

 

4.​​ The offence of theft is punishable under section 378 of the Indian Penal Code which defines theft as dishonestly taking away any movable property from the possession of another. The purse of Mrs. A is found by the police in the house​​ of Mr. B. The police lodges an FIR against Mr. B under section 378 of the Indian Penal Code. Whether it is a case of malicious prosecution?​​ 

(a) Yes, because Mrs. A could have herself given her purse to Mr. B

(b) Yes, because Mr. B did not take away Mrs. A’s purse dishonestly​​ 

(c) No, because the facts of the case give rise to a reasonable suspicion of theft​​ by Mr. B

(d) Can’t say​​ 

 

5.​​ Mr. A slapped a police officer​​ in anger​​ who refused to lodge an FIR on the request of Mr. A.​​ In view of this, the police registered​​ a case of attempt to murder against Mr. A. Whether, in light of the given passage, it is a case of malicious prosecution?  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a) Yes, because the charges invoked by the police are disproportionately in excess of what actually transpired​​ 

(b) No, because​​ Mr. A’s slap could have actually killed the police officer​​ 

(c) No, because Mr. A slapped the officer with the intention of killing and it is irrelevant that the police officer did not die​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

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

Passage I

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line​​ Most fundamental rights can only be enforced against the state, however, Article 15(2) is a horizontally-applicable right against discrimination, enforceable against a private citizen or group” indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ given​​ passage states that Article 15(2) is only applicable to places of public entertainment and a home theatre of a private individual cannot be considered as a place of public entertainment.​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The passage states that Article 15(2) is not applicable to such acts of discrimination which are​​ otherwise​​ punishable under any​​ other​​ law so​​ option (b) is correct. ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ Article 15 prohibits discrimination in respect of entry of persons to public places hence option (c) is correct.

 

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

Explanation – Even though the well gotten built by Ramesh was not built​​ or maintained​​ using government funds, Article 15(2) is applicable because the well is intended for use of the general public i.e. the local residents of the village,​​ so no discrimination against the Dalit caste is permissible. ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

Passage II

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

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

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The examples of malicious prosecution discussed in second paragraph of the​​ passage indicate​​ that option (c) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ A careful reading of the legal position explained​​ in the third paragraph of the passage indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation –​​ The given facts reasonably indicate the commission of theft by Mr. B hence option (c) is correct. The intention of Mr. B in taking away the purse or the possibility that Mrs. A herself gave her purse to Mr. B are irrelevant​​ at the stage of lodging of an FIR though they may be later alleged by Mr. B to prove his innocence.​​ 

 

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

Explanation -​​ The examples of malicious prosecution discussed in second paragraph of the passage indicate that option (a) is correct.​​ 

 

Read to know All About CLAT 2020

Read our previous post on offences against property under ipc here.

Take our test on offences against property under ipc here.

Read our post on the Landmark Judgements of 2019-2020.

Read our post on Elements of Crime.

Read CLATapult’s post on offer and acceptance here. Also, try their mocks for more legal reasoning practice questions

Got doubts about CLAT 2020? Find all your answers and much more here.

Get CLATalogue' Posts in Your Inbox