Passage Based Legal Reasoning Practice Questions

Passage Based Legal Reasoning Practice Questions

 

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

Passage I

Appearing for the Centre in the Supreme Court Thursday in a PIL on migrant distress, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta slammed critics, questioning their motives and credentials. In the same vein, he criticised High Courts saying that some “are running a parallel government”. The Apex Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the plight of stranded migrant workers across the country. What Mehta called “running a parallel government” is a slew of directions from as many as 19 High Courts to governments — at the state and the Centre. These range from stopping coercive action during lockdown to addressing migrant distress to checking lacunae in testing strategies.

 

Currently, PILs related to Covid are being heard in the High Courts of Allahabad, Andhra Pradesh, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Gauhati, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madras, Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Orissa, Sikkim, Telangana and Uttarakhand. While some High Courts, like Bombay, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Patna, have taken suo motu cognizance, others are hearing pleas filed by petitioners including activists and members of the Bar.

 

On Thursday, hours after Mehta made the statement before the Supreme Court, a division bench of the Telangana High Court asked for testing of bodies for Covid before releasing them from hospitals. A bench of Justices R S Chauhan and B Vijaysen Reddy came down heavily on the state government against its “attempts to show a low number of cases.” The first detailed order came from the Allahabad High Court on March 18 in which it directed the Uttar Pradesh government to not take any coercive action against individuals that would force them to approach courts for relief during the lockdown. The next day, the Kerala High Court also passed similar orders.​​ However, the Supreme Court granted an ex-parte stay against orders of both the high courts on March 20.​​ 

The union government had moved the Top Court arguing that these orders could have a “pan-India repercussion” and would “incentivize citizens” to delay payments or taxes that are payable by law. The migrant issue has dominated proceedings in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madras and Uttarakhand High Courts. These courts have questioned governments on upkeep of migrants and payment of their train fare home.

Then there are issues several High courts have taken up suo motu. For example, on May 28, the Delhi High Court took up the issue of disposal of bodies in crematoriums. Two benches of the Bombay High Court, at Bombay and Nagpur, raised questions on the Maharashtra government’s policy on banning delivery of newspapers in the state. A division bench of the Patna High Court on May 28 took suo motu cognizance of a video on social media showing a toddler tugging a sheet that covered his dead mother in Muzaffarpur.

High Courts have broad powers under Article 226 of the Constitution “to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government,” orders for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Even though the rulings of the Supreme Court are binding upon the High Courts, both courts have similar powers to enforce fundamental rights.

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://www.latestlaws.com/latest-news/high-courts-running-parallel-govt-a-reality-check-of-sg-tushar-mehta-s-statement/​​  by​​ Latest Laws.com,​​ May 2020​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ The​​ passage indicates that ancillary issues resulting indirectly from the spread of Covid-19 pandemic are being taken up by various courts-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ through suo motu cognizance​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ on filing of cases​​ by public spirited individuals​​ 

(c)​​ both (a) and (b)​​ ​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ 

 

2.​​ The phrase “pan-India repercussion” means-​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ having effect in certain parts of India​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ having effect throughout India​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ having effect in few States of India​​ ​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

3.​​ The passage indicates that spread of​​ the​​ Covid-19 pandemic​​ in India​​ has given rise to the following ancillary issues​​ requiring judicial intervention-​​ ​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ migrant distress​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ taking of coercive action during lockdown​​ 

(c)​​ disposal of dead bodies ​​ ​​ 

(d) All​​ of the above

 

4.​​ The​​ passage indicates that ancillary issues which have arisen due to spread of the Covid-19 pandemic are affecting-​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ the legal rights of Indian citizens​​ ​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ the​​ statutory rights of Indian citizens​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ the​​ fundamental rights of Indian citizens​​ 

(d)​​ Can’t say​​ 

 

5.​​ The​​ given passage indicates that-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ The Supreme Court is superior to all High Courts​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ All High Courts are superior to the Supreme Court​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ The Supreme Court and High Courts are at the same level​​ ​​ 

(d) None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

 

 

Passage II​​ 

Timely intervention by the women and child welfare department resulted in cancellation of 118 child marriages arranged in Karnataka during April, when the state was in the grip of Covid-19 and the consequent lockdown. April and May are known to be the season for child marriages and the department took several precautionary measures, say officials. It has prevented 356 child marriages in all till April end this year.​​ 

According to KA Dayananda, director, women and child welfare department, the number of child marriages prevented is the highest ever in April 2020.​​ This is because of increase in awareness. The more complaints we get, the more effective out action will be. April and May are the months when child marriages are more. That is because it’s the time of summer holidays. The number of complaints we get also goes up during these months”, he said.​​ ​​ 

Curiously, the marriages were all set to to be conducted in the thick of the lockdown. “But in rural areas, there was movement of people and vehicles between villages unlike in urban areas”, said Dayananda.​​ 

Vasudeva Sharma NB, nodal director of Child helpline 1098 and executive director, Child Rights Trust, said several marriages might have still taken place in April without them being reported anywhere. “Childline staffers have acted upon every complaint received. However, there could be cases that weren’t on our radar. Most child marriages occur within communities, relatives and villages. Lockdown may not have had an impact on such marriages,​​ he said.​​ 

The department has filed FIRs in seven of these cases so far. Two cases were registered in Tumakuru, one in Shivamogga and four in Mysuru.

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/118-child-marriages-prevented-in-the-thick-of-lockdown/articleshow/75835651.cms​​  by​​ Times of India,​​ May​​ 2020​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

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

(a) child marriage is a crime in India​​ 

(b)​​ child marriage is not a crime in India​​ 

(c)​​ child marriage is not a crime but considered to be morally wrong in India​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ All of the above

 

2.​​ Mr. A, living in village Kudhur in Rajasthan, gets to know that a child marriage is going to take place between son of Mr. B and daughter of Mr. C.​​ He may report the child marriage at-​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ child helpline number 1098​​ 

(b)​​ child helpline number 1090​​ 

(c)​​ Mr. A has no right to report the child marriage as he does not​​ have​​ any interest in what Mr. B and Mr. C are doing​​ ​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ ​​ 

 

3.​​ The passage indicates that implementation of the lockdown imposed in India after spread of the Covid-19 virus-​​ 

(a)​​ has been better in urban areas than rural areas of India​​ 

(b)​​ has been better in rural areas of India than its urban areas​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ has been almost the same in both rural and urban areas of India​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ None of the above​​ 

 

4. It can be reasonably inferred from the given passage that instances of child marriage are likely to be-​​ 

(a)​​ higher in case of children who do not go to school compared to children who go to school​​ ​​ 

(b)​​ higher in case of children who go to school compared to children who do not go to school​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ almost equal in case of children who go to school as well as children who do not go to school​​ 

(d) Can’t say​​ 

 

5.​​ The given passage indicates that child marriage is prevalent in India due to-​​ 

(a)​​ under-reporting of cases​​ ​​ 

(b) lack of awareness​​ ​​ 

(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​​ ​​ The​​ given passage indicates that courts have taken suo motu cognizance​​ of various issues​​ and also taken cognizance of cases filed in the form of PILs.​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ literal meaning of “pan-India” is having effect throughout India​​ which is also reflected in the line “The union government had moved the Top Court arguing that these orders could have a “pan-India repercussion”.​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

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

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

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The mention of fundamental rights in​​ the​​ last paragraph of the given passage indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation –​​ The line “the rulings of the Supreme Court are binding upon the High Courts....” indicates that option (a) is correct.​​  ​​​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

Passage II

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The passage states that FIRs are being lodged against cases of child marriage which is possible only if child marriage is a crime in India.​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ line “nodal director of Child helpline 1098....” indicates that option (a) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “But in rural areas, there was movement of people and vehicles between villages unlike in urban areas” indicates that option (a) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation –​​ The​​ given passage indicates that​​ child marriages take place more during summer holidays of schools​​ hence the instances are likely to be higher in cases of children who do not go to school at all.​​ 

 

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

Explanation -​​ The​​ passage indicates that child marriage is prevalent due to both under-reporting of cases as well as lack of awareness.​​ 

 

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