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2012 UPSC Law Optional Paper 1 & Paper 2

Law Optional PAPER 1 | UPSC 2012

1. Answer the following (each answer should be in about 150 words): 12 × 5 = 60

(a) “The entries in the legislative lists are not the source of powers for the legislative constituents, but they merely demarcate the fields of legislation. It is now well settled law that these entries are to be construed liberally and widely so as to attain the purpose for which they have been enacted. Narrow interpretation of the entries is likely to defeat their object as it is not always possible to write these entries with such precision that they cover all possible topics and without any overlapping.” Critically evaluate the above statement with reference to interpretation of legislative entries contained in Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.

(b) Are personal laws ‘law’ for the purpose for Part III of the Constitution? Discuss with reference to leading case law.

(c) What is meant by ‘individual responsibility and ‘collective responsibility’ of the Council of Ministers? What would be the consequence of ‘individual responsibility’ in case a Minister of the Government is found guilty of tort of misfeasance by the Supreme Court of India? Comment.

(d) What is the justification behind the Pardoning power of the President of India Article 72 of the Constitution? Discuss with reference to Supreme Court case the extent to which the exercise of this power can be subjected to judicial review.

(e) Do you agree with the statement that ‘re-looking of the process of delegated legislation is necessary particularly in extent to substantial amount of public participation?’ Comment critically.

2. (a) What do you understand by the term ‘Constitutional Conventions’? Are they are relevant in a country like India having a lengthy written constitution with preamble?

(b) “Concept of Court is a power inherent to a court of record.” In this regard discuss the sweep of power of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish their contempt. Also examine the defences of ‘fair criticism’ and ’truth’ in the light of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

(c) In what circumstances and for violation of which right can monetary compensation be awarded to the victims? What is your view for adopting such an approach by judiciary? Analyse critically.

3. (a) With special reference to the landmark judjements of the Supreme Court of India, discuss the effect of relegation of the right to property from being a fundamental right to a constitutional right. Also suggest the change required to the made in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. 20

(b) In the presence of institution like Competition Commission of India, where polity making and adjudicatory functions are fused, comment on the significance of the doctrine of separation of powers in the contemporary Indian scenario. 20

(c) In there any difference between ‘Right to information’ and ‘Right to be informed’? Do we have any provision in the Constitution in this regard? Discuss with reference to case law.20

4. Write critical notes on the following: 20 × 3 = 60

(a) Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation

(b) Institution of Local Self Government

(c) Modern progressive approach of the principles of natural justice

5. Answer the following (each answer should be in about. 150 words) 12 × 5 = 60

(a) It is often said that customary international law is earlier to apply than to define. What are the inherent problems in defining ‘custom’ and how can a custom be considered as a source of international law?

(b) With reference to the relationship between international law and municipal law, discuss the ‘transformation’ and ‘specific adoption’ theories. How can these two theories be harmonized with reference to States’ obligations under relevant international law.

(c) Identify and comment on the three major grounds for a State party to avoid its treaty obligations.

(d) “The rules of the humanitarian law of war have clearly acquired the status of ‘just cogens’, for they are the fundamental rules of a humanitarian character, from which no derogation is possible without negating the basic consideration of humanity which they are intended to protect.” Evaluate the above statement and also point out the major distinction between humanitarian law and law relating to human rights.

(e) Do you agree with the statement that ‘United Nations is a World Government? Give reasons for your answer.

6. (a) What is a meant by right of national self determination of peoples and what is its role in the creation of a new State? Critically examine how minority right can be protected while balancing the territorial integrity of State at the same time. 30

(b) ‘Legal restraint on the use of force’ is the fundamental postulate on which the conception of enforcement of peace is based upon in modern international law. Enumerate and elucidate various international legal instruments with the help of which this concept is actually practiced.

7. (a) “With the exception of disputes of an exclusively legal character which are usually submitted to arbitration of judicial settlement, it is purely a matter of policy or expediency which of the different methods is to be adopted for composing a particular difference between States.” Explain the different methods of peaceful dispute settlement envisaged by the United Nations Charter and examine the appropriateness of each in different situations.

(b) In the light recent European crisis, critically assess the success of regional organizations of countries for cooperation in matters of trade and commerce. How far do geo-political proximities further economic cooperation?

8. (a) Having regard to the United Nations Convention on Law of Sea (UNCLOS-III), which came into force in 1994, and its tow predecessor UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, analyse how far these conventions have been able to effectively codify customary international law of sea.

(b) Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 providing an enforcement mechanism for individual in the international sphere is a watershed moment for the enthusiasts of second generation rights. Discuss the proposed mechanism, its significance and viability.

Law Optional PAPER 2 | UPSC 2012

1. Answer the following. (Answer to each part must not exceed 150 words.) Support your answer with the help of legal provisions and decided cases: 12 × 5 = 60

(a) “Culpable homicide is the genus and murder is species, and that all murders are culpable homicide but not vice versa.” Discuss in the light of legal provisions and some decided cases.

(b) “The recent Criminal Law (Amendment Bill, 2011 seeks to replace ‘rape’ by the term ‘sexual assault’ in the IPC and intends to made rape a gender-neutral offence in the country.” Examine whether this is appropriate.

(c) “The expression ‘good faith’ has a definite identity in the Indian Penal Code.” Discuss.

(d) The defendant had been carrying cargo in a lorry for the plaintiff: On the way there was heavy rainfall. The cargo was damaged by seepage due to rainwater rising from below, while it had been securely protected by the defendant by tarpaulin from above. The flash flood on the highway had stranded hundreds of lorries including that of the defendant, and the water level on the highway rose above tyres and up to the level of the platform which resulted in the see page.

However, the plaintiff claimed heavy damages from the defendant on the ground of negligence or want of due care. Discuss whether the defendant can have any defence in this case.

(e) “The principle of ‘res ipsa loquitur’ is an exception to the rule that it is for the plaintiff to prove negligence of the defendant. Discuss with reference to some cases.

2. (a) Explain the essentials of malicious prosecution. What are the grounds on which plaintiff can claim damages?

(b) Mr. X himself was driving a car and when he was hit by a mail train. The car was smashed and Mr. X was seriously injured, and died in hospital. In an action by the window against the Union of India, as owner of the Railway, it was contended that the level crossing was unmanned and the gates were open. This constituted negligence on the part of the railway. Further it was contended that there was no contributory negligence on the part of Mr. X, the deceased, as he could not have a look at the railway line from a distance as his view was obstructed by some trees, etc., nor could he hear the sound of the coming mail train while he was in the car with the engine running and the windscreen closed. Decide the case giving your reasons.

3. (a) “It is possible to support an action for nuisance as well as of negligence on the same set of facts, however, there are certain points of distinction between the two.” Discuss.

(b) The accused (appellant) was separated from his wife. She was living with her father. The accused was keeping their youngest child with someone else. During the noon of a day, his wife took away the child from that someone. The accused, on hearing this, reached his father-in-law’s place and quarreled. Later in the evening of the same day, the accused stabbed his father-in-law and he died. Discuss in the light of legal provisions whether the accused would have any lawful defence in this case.

(c) The plaintiff was insured with the defendant against loss by theft. The plaintiff advertised a watch and a ring for sale and in response, he received a telephone call from someone who expressed interest. He called, agreed to pay the asked price and made payment by a building society cheque and took delivery of the times. The cheque was dishonoured. For the articles so last, a claim was presented to the insurer under the theft policy. The insurer refused to pay anything. Explain the rights, if any, available to the plaintiff under the circumstances.

4. (a) “There may be an element of abetment in a conspiracy but conspiracy is something more than an abetment.” Discuss with illustrations.

(b) The accused, one of the two joint owners of a shop, put her lock on the shop which was let out by another joint owner without the consent. The tenant charged the accused with the offence of wrongful restraint in that he was prevented by the lock from entering into the shop. Discuss in the light of legal provisions whether the accused has committed the offence of wrongful restraint.

(c) A contractor was given comment for construction work by the Minor Irrigation Department of a Stake Government under a specific agreement that he would return unused cement but instead of doing so, he sold the cement to outsiders. Mentioning relevant legal provision, discuss what offence, it any, is committed by the contractor.

5. Answer the following. (Answer to each part must not exceed 150 words.) Support your answer with legal provisions and decided cases. 12 × 5 = 60

(a) “Undue influence is said to be a subtle species of fraud whereby mastery is obtained over the mind of the victim by insidious approaches and seductive artifices.” Explain.

(b) “Quasi-contract consists of the contractual obligation which is entered upon not because the parties have consented to it, but because law does not allow a person to have unjustified benefit at the cost of other party.” Explain the real basis of quasi-contracts with legal provisions and illustrations.

(c) Explain with illustration when may a principal unilaterally cancel and agency relation without incurring liability for breach of contract.

(d) Discuss the law regarding dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the account.

(e) What are the advantages and disadvantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution System?

6. (a) “An irrational distrust of all standard form contract would be as dangerous as a facile acceptance and enforcement of these contracts.” Discuss.

(b) Briefly explain the meaning, scope and applicability of the doctrine of frustration under the law of contract.

7. (a) Under what circumstance ‘breach of condition’ may be treaded as ‘breach of warranty’ under the Sale of Goods Act? Discuss.

(b) “Public interest litigation s not in the nature of adversary litigation but it is a challenge and its officers to make basic human rights meaningful to the deprived and vulnerable sections of community to assure them social and economic justice which is the signature tune of our Constitution.” Discuss

8. (a) “During high publicity court cases, the media are often accused of provoking an atmosphere of public hysteria akin to a lynch mob which not only makes a fair trial nearly impossible but means that regardless of the result of the trial the accused will not be able to live the rest of his life without intense public scrutiny.” How would you reconcile the ‘freedom of the press’ and the “individual’s right to privacy and right to a fair trial”? Do you think that trial by media amounts to “contempt of court” and needs to be punished?

(b) A television was displayed on a Web site owned by XYZ Distributors for sale at a price of Rs. 79.99. Hundreds of customers ordered the television but the retailer refused to fill the orders on the ground that they had been incorrectly priced by mistake. The correct price was Rs. 7,999. Explain the liability, if any, arising out of the above-mentioned communications. Give reasons.

(c) In a correct between A and B, security deposit was taken by A from B to ensure due performance of the contract. B committed default in performance though no actual loss had arisen. A forfeited the deposit for fault of B. B claimed that forfeiture of deposit is not valid in law. How would you decide? Give reasons.

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Where can I get answers for all the questions? Especially, the questions under 5th question.


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UPSC Law Optional Mains course - preferr
UPSC Law Optional Mains course - preferr


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