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2023 UPSC Law Optional Mains Paper 1 & Paper 2

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Law Optional Paper 1 UPSC 2023


Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50

Q1.(a) “Preamble of the Indian Constitution is indicative of basic values that the political system is expected to pursue.” How far do you agree with the statement? Explain with the reference to values that have been enshrined the Preamble of the Constitution. (10m)

(b) “The office of the President under the Indian Constitution has been designed to be largely that of a “figurehead”. Explain, with reference to the cases decided on the subject. (10m)

(c) “There is an obvious slant in favour of the Centre, in distribution of powers between Centre and States.” Do you agree with the statement? Explain. (10m)

(d) “The principles of natural justice are not cast in stone and there is always a possibility of deviation from stated principles of law in view of overall demands of justice”. Explain citing decided cases on the subject. (10m)

(e) Explain and elucidate the grounds of judicial review or administrative action, by quoting decided cases on the subject (10m)

Q2. (a) “The Constitution of India has provided for a clear-cut distinction between civil and political rights on the one hand and economic and cultural rights on the other, with a distinct primacy given to civil and political rights.” Explain. (20m)

(b) “Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies have been accorded constitutional status.“ Explain the ambit and structure of the authority of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies under the Inian Constitution. (15m)

(c ) “The Constitution of Inia provides constitutional status and protection to civil servants.” What protections have been secured for civil servants in India? Explain. (15m)

Q3. (a) “Superintendence, direction and control of elections is vested in the office of the Election Commission and therefore, the appointment of Election Commissioner is of crucial importance in conducting free and fair elections.” Critically examine the above statement with reference to recent judicial decisions. (20m)

(b) “Legal-Aid” provides a basic tool for access to justice for poor and marginalized sections of society.” Discuss and elucidate the Constitutional provisions and the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. (20m)

(c ) “The Strength of the ‘eminent domain’ is inversely proportional to the strength of democratic structure of any system.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain. (15m)

Q4 (a) What do you understand by breakdown of constitutional machinery in a State? Critically examine the powers of the President in imposing President’s Rule under Article 356 of the Constitution, by citing decided cases on the point. (20m)

(b) Discuss the objectives of the establishment of Lokpal and Lok Ayukta, and their powers and functions under the Lokpal and Lok Ayuktas Act, 2013. Examine the effectiveness of the said Act. (15m)

(c ) If at any time, it appears to the President that a critical question of law and fact has arisen, the President can obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court. Discuss the role of the Supreme Court in this matter, by giving suitable examples. (15m)


Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50

(a) “Triumph of Positivism has reduced an individual to be an object of international law rather than a subject of international law.” Comment on the status of the individual under international law in the light of the above statement. (10m)

(b) What do you mean by ‘Contiguous Zone’ ? Explain with reference to Indian practices on the subject. (10m)

(c) Explain the impact of recognition on the powers and privileges of the States. (10m)

(d) Explain the principle of ‘Jus cogens’ with reference to ‘Venna Convention of La of Treaties, 1969’ (10m)

(e ) “International Criminal Court is more of a Eurocentric Organisation than an International Court.” Explain the jurisdiction of International Criminal Court in light of the above statement (10m)

Q6. (a) “La must be stable, yet it cannot stand still, as it needs to reconcile the conflicting needs of stability and change and in the fast-developing world, the stability appears to have become the casualty in international law.” Differentiate between traditional International Law and new International Law in the light of the above statement. (20m)

(b) “States show considerable flexibility in the procedures, whereby they give effect to the rules of the International Law, within their territory.” Explain the acceptability of norms of International Law in India, citing relevant cases on the subject. (15m)

(c ) How do you distinguish between ‘Continental Shelf’ and ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’? Explain giving examples. (20m)

Q7. (a) “Preamble of the U Charter is reprensentative of the aspirants o humanity in ensuring peace and security across the globe.” How far have these objectives been achieve by the UN? Explain and elucidate. (20m)

(b) “Reservation in multilateral treat excludes or modifies the legal effect of certain provisions of a treaty in its application to that State.” Explain the circumstances under which reservations in treaties are permissible under International Law. (15m)

(c ) Under what circumstances is resource to ‘force’ or ‘aggression’ permissible and justifiable under International Law? (15m)

Q8. (a) “WTO provides a platform for agreements amongst its members which form the legal foundation of global trade.” Critically evaluate the importance of WTO in the new international economic order. (20m)

(b) “Member States of the UN need to take appropriate action for protecting and improving human environment.” In light of the above statement, highlight the major steps of the UN for protecting human environment. (15m)

(c ) “International Humanitarian Law is a set of rules to limit the effects of armed conflict, whereas International Human Rights Law seeks to ensure a set of rights which are essential for survival of humans as Humans.” Distinguish between International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in terms of their contents and purposes. (15m)

Law Optional UPSC 2023 : Paper – II


Answer the following in about 150 words each. Support your answers with relevant legal provisions and judicial pronouncements. 10x5=50

Q1. (a) Discuss the doctrine of ‘Transferred Malice ’as applied to law relating to culpable homicide under the Indian penal code,1860. (10m)

(b) Discuss the nature and scope of right of Private defence of property along with limitations if any, on the exercise of such right. (10m)

(c) Illustrate the doctrine of ‘constructive-criminality’ with reference to law on Abetment. (10m)

(d) “He who acts through another, does the act himself.” Discuss the tortious liability entailed in the above statement. (10m)

(e) Explain the various kinds of damages that a plaintiff can claim after a tort has been committed against him. (10m)

Q2.(a) A twenty-year-old girl ‘G’ was coming back to home after attending college. A man ‘M’ held her, shut her mouth and dragged her to a nearby bush, where he slit the girl’s throat thereby killing her. Thereafter he raped her. Decide what offence(s). If any, ‘M’ has committed in the above case. Explain the relevant statutory provisions in detail. (20m)

(b) “In Negligence, the chain of causation must remain intact.” Describe the essentials of ‘negligence’ by referring case-laws. (15m)

(c) Define ‘Atrocity’. Also discuss the acts that amount to ‘atrocity’ under the provisions of The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. (15m)

Q3. (a) Discuss the law relating to ‘Assault of Criminal force’ to woman with intent to ‘Outrage her Modesty’ and ‘Sexual Harassment’ as defined under Indian Penal Code, 1860. Is there any difference between the two? Explain. (20m)

(b) Elaborate the reasons for including ‘e-commerce’ in Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Also discuss the consequences for not complying with the provisions of the Act by the e-commerce entities. (15m)

(c) Elucidate the essentials of ‘Private Nuisance’. Also discuss the remedies available to a plaintiff in a suit for private nuisance’. (15m)

Q4. (a) “Dishonest Intention is the gist of the offence of Theft”. Examine the above statement with the help of relevant illustrations. Also discuss how ‘theft’ is different from ‘dishonest misappropriation o property.’ (20m)

(b) Examine the term ‘Undue-Advantage’ as difined under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Also discuss the persons authorised and the procedure required to be followed while investigating cases that are registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 188. (15m)

(c ) Critically analyse with the help of decided cases, the essentials to be proved by a plaintiff in a suit for damages for ‘Malicious Prosecution’. (15m)


Answer the following in about 150 words each. Support your answers with relevant legal provisions and judicial pronouncements. 10x5=50

Q5.(a) “The law of contract is not the whole law of agreements, nor is it the whole law of obligations. It is the law of those agreements which create obligations, and those obligations which have their source in agreement” – Salmond. Critically examine this statement. (10m)

(b) “At the suit of a partner, the court may dissolve a firm on certain grounds specified in the Indian Partnership Act 1932. The right of a partner to ask for dissolution on any of the grounds mentioned in the Act cannot be excluded by any agreement to the country.” Explain. (10m)

(c) “The parties cannot appeal against an arbitral award as to its merits. But, this does not mean that there is no check on the Arbitrator’s conduct. Awards may also be challenged.” Critically examine the above statement. (10m)

(d) “In India, there are different types of Intellectual Property rights, which are protected under different laws.” Explain. (10m)

(e) What kind of cases are heard by the ‘National-Green Tribunal’? How is it different from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)? (10m)

Q6.(a) “The Constitutional courts through their judicial activism have made substantial contribution in protecting women against exploitation, using Public Interest Litigation as a tool for securing their Constitutional rights.” Explain with leading case laws. (15m)

(b) “A minor’s contract being void, ordinarily it should be wholly devoid of all effects. If there is no contract, there should, indeed, be no contractual obligation on either side.” Explain with case laws.

(c ) “ A ‘bearer instrument’ is transferable by simple delivery. An ‘instrumental payable to order’ can be transferred by endorsement and delivery.” Explain. (20m)

Q7.(a) “’Standard-contracts’ contain a large number of terms an conditions in ‘fine print’ which restrict or often exclude liability under the contracts. The individuals can hardly bargain with the massive organisation.” Explain the modes of protection which have been evolved by the courts. (20m)

(b) Describe the constitutional roots of ‘Right to Information’ in India. Refer to decided case laws. (15m)

(c) “The doctrine of ‘Undisclosed Principal” comes into play when the agent neither disclosed the existence of his principal nor his representative character.” In such cases discuss the rights and liabilities of the Principals, the agent and the third parties. (15m)

Q8. (a) Under what circumstances, can an intermediary be held liable for third-party content hosted by them? Explain the liability of intermediaries in the light of the relevant legal provisions in IT Act an other contemporary developments. (20m)

(b) ‘Media trials entail the possibility of subverting administration of justice.’ In the light of this statement, analyse the report of Law Commission of India on Media Trial. (15m)

(c ) “Though risk and property generally go together, the two are not inseparable. Sometimes risk may be in one party and property in another.” Discuss the law relating to ‘passing off risk’ under the Sale of Goods Act, 1930. (15m)

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


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