Solved Legal Reasoning Practice Paper for CLAT 2020

Solved Legal Reasoning Practice Paper ​​ for CLAT 2020

 

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

Passage I

Under our Constitutional scheme, as it originally stood, there was not even a mention of tribunals. Initially, the primary reason attributed to the creation of tribunals was overcoming the crisis of delays and backlogs in the administration of justice as highlighted in the 14th Report of the Law Commission of India. However, the report also cautioned against “executive-adjudication”, and discussed the supplementary role that tribunals should take and not supplanting traditional courts.​​ 

 

Another reason that is often attributed to the creation of tribunals is the rise of specialised socioeconomic legislations. The expertise and knowledge​​ required​​ in specialised areas of law​​ was felt to be insufficiently demonstrated by judges of traditional courts. It was during the “Emergency era”, when various amendments to the Constitution vide the 42nd Amendment were brought into force. The Swaran Singh Committee recommended the exclusion of jurisdiction of all courts in relation to tribunals, except that of the Supreme Court under Article 136 and limiting the High Court’s writ jurisdiction.

 

Through Article 323A, the power to adjudicate service disputes was taken away from the civil courts, and vested in administrative tribunals instead. Article 323B provided for the constitution of tribunals for other matters, illustrated under Article 323B(2). The jurisdiction of all courts was excluded, including the exercise of writ jurisdiction, and only the SC’s power to grant leave to appeal was allowed. Therefore, though the official rationale for the insertion of these provisions spoke of pendency in courts and the need for speedy disposal, the real purpose was to strengthen government control at the expense of the judiciary.​​ The jurisdiction of courts in several areas was starting to get whittled down and being transferred to statutorily created tribunals, under the aegis of the Executive and Legislative arms of the State.​​ 

 

The Constitution Bench in Union of India v. R. Gandhi [(2010) 11 SCC 1] generated a set of minimal standards which any tribunal had to satisfy in areas of appointment, selection, tenure, pay, service conditions, etc. It is important to note that despite​​ such​​ landmark decisions, the Executive has repeatedly fallen foul of these directions and has always attempted to steal a march over the independence of the weakest and the least dangerous department of power i.e. judiciary. It would be too much to expect a government official who has represented the Executive machinery and who has been​​ committed to give effect to the policies framed by his political masters throughout his career, to suddenly be asked to discharge judicial functions​​ which often requires a decision to be taken against the government.

 

It remains imperative that jurisdiction of Constitutional courts is not taken away under the guise of tribunalisation. Alexander Hamilton’s famous Federalist Paper No.78 gave a clarion call by stating that “there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.… as liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments.” The abovementioned cry for independence gets reflected in our own Constitution in the form of Article 50. Time has come to overhaul the tribunalisation system by reminding ourselves of this important part of the Constitution so that the judicial function is not diluted by repeated inroads made by the Executive.​​ 

Extracted with edits from:​​ ​​ https://thedailyguardian.com/tribunals-and-the-increasing-inroads-by-the-executive/​​  by​​ The Daily Guardian,​​ June​​ 2020​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ The​​ reasons given to justify creation of tribunals were-​​ 

(a)​​ delay in disposal of cases by the judiciary​​ 

(b)​​ huge backlog of cases before courts

(c)​​ requirement of expertise in specialised areas of law

(d) All​​ of the above​​ 

 

2.​​ The​​ addition​​ of​​ Article​​ 323B​​ to the Constitution​​ did not restrict- ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ jurisdiction of courts other than High Court and Supreme Court​​ 

(b)​​ writ jurisdiction​​ ​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ the jurisdiction of Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution to grant leave to appeal

(d)​​ None of the above​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

3.​​ The given passage relates to-​​ ​​ ​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

(a)​​ the doctrine of separation of powers

(b)​​ the principle of rule of law

(c)​​ the principles of natural justice​​ ​​ 

(d) the doctrine of​​ lis pendens​​ 

 

4.​​ From the given passage, it can be inferred that, in a true sense, the executive is not​​ actually​​ bound by the directions given by the Supreme Court in its judgments.​​ This inference is-

(a)​​ Correct

(b)​​ Wrong​​ ​​ 

(c)​​ Highly wrong​​ 

(d)​​ Can’t say​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

5.​​ Alexander Hamilton supported the-

(a)​​ separation of judiciary from the legislature

(b)​​ separation of judiciary from the executive

(c)​​ separation of legislature from the executive​​ 

(d)​​ Both (a) and (b)​​ 

 

 

 

Passage II​​ 

A Will can be prepared by a person at any stage of his life and the only requirements are that: firstly, he is a major i.e. over the age of 18; and secondly, he is of sound mind. Even a feeble or debilitated person can make a Will as long as he is capable of exercising proper judgement as to the mode of disposing of his property. The Will takes effect after the death of the person making it (“Testator”). The Testator making the Will must, in doing so, act of his own free volition—a Will induced by coercion or caused by fraud is void.

 

What are the requisites of a valid Will? While a Will does not have any fixed format, it should be carefully drafted to avoid future disputes. While it is not necessary that technical words or terms be used, the wording must make known the intentions of the Testator.​​ While making a Will, care must be taken to ensure the following: The Will should contain a declaration that it is the last Will and Testament of the Testator and that the Testator is a major and of sound mind and has made the Will of his own free volition.​​ 

 

The​​ other requirements of a​​ Will​​ are- (1) The Will should contain an accurate description of the assets being bequeathed, (2) The Will should list the details of the beneficiaries. It is suggested that if a person who would have naturally been a beneficiary had the Testator died intestate (without making a Will) is being excluded, the reason for the exclusion of such person should be clearly stated, (3) The Will should specify if any person has been authorised to act as an Executor (i.e. the person who will ensure that assets are disbursed in accordance with the Will), (4) The Testator must sign or affix his mark to the Will (or it can be signed by another person in his presence and under his direction). This signature or mark should be placed so that it is clear that it is intended to give effect to the writing as a Will. The Testator should sign/affix the mark below the last sentence, as any writing below the same will not be considered a part of the Will. The place of execution of the Will should also be mentioned and (5)​​ The Will must be attested by two or more witnesses each of whom has seen the Testator sign or affix his mark to the Will.​​ Each witness must sign the Will in the presence of the Testator, but it is not necessary that more than one witness be present at the same time, and no particular form of attestation is necessary. The language of the Will should be unambiguous and no blank spaces should be left which may allow additions.​​ 

A Joint Will is a single document which is jointly executed by two or more persons containing their testamentary dispositions. Testators may also execute Mutual Wills whereby they may confer reciprocal benefits to each other or bequeath their properties to mutually agreed beneficiaries e.g. this is often done by a husband and wife. Does a Will need to be registered? While registration of a Will is not compulsory it is always advisable as it provides strong evidence of the Will’s validity, which is crucial as the initial burden of proof is on the person who propounds the Will.​​ 

Can a Will be revoked? A Testator can revoke or alter his Will at any time when he is competent to dispose of his property by a Will. A Codicil made in relation to a Will, may explain, alter, or add to its dispositions, and is deemed to form a part of the Will.

A Will or Codicil may be revoked by (a) another Will or Codicil (b) some writing declaring an intention to revoke which must be executed in the same manner that a Will is executed or (c) burning, tearing or destruction by the Testator or under his direction. To avoid a dispute, it is advisable that a subsequent Will expressly state that all previous Wills and Codicils stand revoked.

Extracted with edits from:​​ https://thedailyguardian.com/how-to-make-a-will-a-quick-checklist/​​ ​​  by​​ The Daily Guardian,​​ June 2020​​ ​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

1.​​ For being competent to execute a Will, a person must be-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ above the age of majority prescribed by law​​ 

(b)​​ of a sound mind​​ 

(c)​​ perfectly healthy​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ both (a) and (b) but not (c)​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

2.​​ The​​ person executing a Will after the death of its maker is called-​​ ​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ Testator

(b)​​ Executor​​ 

(c)​​ Beneficiary​​ ​​ 

(d) Witness​​ ​​ 

 

3.​​ A Codicil is a-​​ 

(a) new Will which revokes the earlier Will​​ 

(b)​​ new Will which does not revoke the earlier Will

(c)​​ an earlier Will which gets revoked by a subsequent Will​​ 

(d)​​ amendment to an existing Will

 

4.​​ A Will need not-​​ ​​ 

(a)​​ be signed by the Testator​​ 

(b)​​ be​​ signed by the Witnesses​​ 

(c)​​ make the intentions of the Testator absolutely clear​​ 

(d)​​ contain technical jargon​​ 

 

5.​​ A and B, who are witnesses to a Will executed by C, signed the Will in presence of C but did not sign it in the presence of each other.​​ B was not present when A signed the Will and A was not present when B signed the Will.​​ Whether the Will is valid?​​ 

(a) Yes

(b)​​ No​​ 

(c)​​ Partly valid​​ ​​ ​​ 

(d)​​ Can’t say​​ ​​ 

 

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

Passage I

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

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

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “and only the SC’s power to grant leave to appeal was allowed” indicates that option (c) is correct.​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The passage talks of separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive hence option (a) is correct.​​ ​​  ​​​​  ​​​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “despite such landmark decisions, the Executive has repeatedly fallen foul of these directions and has always attempted to steal a march over the independence....” indicates that option (a) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation –​​ The​​ line “if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers...” indicates that option (d) is correct.​​ 

 

Passage II

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The​​ requirements stated under first paragraph of the given passage indicate that option (d) is correct.​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “Executor (i.e. the person who will ensure that assets are disbursed in accordance with the Will)​​ indicates that option (b) is correct.​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The line “A Codicil made in relation to a Will, may explain, alter, or add to its dispositions, and is deemed to form a part of the Will” indicates that option (d) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation –​​ The line “While it is not necessary that technical words or terms be used” indicates that option (d) is correct.​​ 

 

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

Explanation​​ ​​ The passage states that​​ “Each witness must sign the Will in the presence of the Testator, but it is not necessary that more than one witness be present at the same time” hence option (a) is correct.​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

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

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