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2021 UPSC Law Optional Paper 1 & Paper 2

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

UPSC Mains law optional 2021 | Paper 1 & 2


Paper- I


Section - A [Constitutional & Administrative Law]


1.A. "The Fundamental Rights may be said to constitutionalise social values of existing society." Explain and illustrate. [10 Marks]

1.B. "Public Interest Litigation in India is judge-led and even to some extent judge-induced." Explain with the help of relevant case law. [10 Marks]


1.C. "Right to Education is the base for the Fundamental Rights and Human Rights." Discuss the efforts made by the Government with regard to Right to Education of the children.[ 10 Marks]


1.D. Explain the relationship between the President and the Council of Ministers. Is the President bound to accept the advice of the Council of Ministers ? Discuss.[ 10 Marks]


1.E. Delegation of Legislative Powers' has neither been permitted nor prohibited under the Indian Constitution. Discuss the constitutionality of delegated legislation with the help of decided cases.[ 10 Marks]


2.A. "Pluralism is the keystone of Indian culture and religious tolerance is the bedrock of Indian Secularism. It is based on the belief that all religions are equally good and efficacious pathways to perfection of God-realisation. Thus, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of religion which is not absolute." Critically examine the above statement with the help of constitutional provisions and relevant case laws. [ 20 Marks]

2B. Discuss the procedure for the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and transfer of judges of the High Courts in the light of the decisions of the Supreme Court of India. Also refer to the constitutional provisions. [ 15 Marks]


2C. Discuss the purpose, function and use of Articles 256 and 257 of the Constitution of India. Should these provisions be restructured ? What are the consequences of State's defianee of the directives issued under these Articles by the Union ? [ 15 Marks]


3.A. "Free and fair election is the basic structure' of our Constitution and it is the heartbeat' of democracy." But widespread corruption and increasing criminalisation in the election process have made our democracy weak. Discuss the various efforts undertaken by the Election Commission to ensure free and fair election. [ 20 Marks]


3.B. "Article 356 of the Constitution contains provisions relating to the justification of imposition of President's Rule' in the State." Explain the consequences of proclamation of Emergency in a State. [ 15 Marks]


3.C. Explain the various principles of natural justice with the help of relevant decided cases. [ 15 Marks]


4.A. "The provisions of the Directive Principles of State Policy are not enforceable by any court, but they are fundamental in the governance of the country." Critically examine the role of the Government to fulfil the desired objectives enshrined in Part IV of the Constitution. [ 20 Marks]


4.B. Examine the role of State Legal Services Authority in promoting legal literacy and right of women and children in the State. [ 15 Marks]


4.C. What is meant by the Doctrine of Separation of Powers' ? Is strict adherence of the doctrine possible under a parliamentary form of government ? Discuss with the help of relevant case laws. [ 15 Marks]


Section -B [International Law]


5A. Discuss the various efforts made towards the codification of International Law during the 20th century. [10 Marks]


5B. Explain different theories on the relationship between International law and Municipal law. [10 Marks]


5C. Explain the principle of Double Criminality' and the Rule of Speciality under the international law of extradition. [10 Marks]


5D. Define Double Nationality' and 'Statelessness'. Evaluate the efforts taken to eliminate or reduce them. [10 Marks]


5E. What is Intervention' and on what grounds do the States justify intervention? Explain. [10 Marks]


6A. Distinguish whether Recognition of States' is an act of policy or of law. Also distinguish between Constitutive and Declaratory theories on the recognition of States. [20 Marks]


6B. What do you understand by 'State Succession'? Discuss various theories of State succession and explain the rights and obligations arising out of State succession. [ 15 Marks]


6C. Explain the main features of Law of the Sea. What is the difference between the jurisdiction over Territorial Sea' and Exclusive Economic Zone'? [ 15 Marks]


7A. Discuss the powers of the Security Council for the maintenance of world peace and security. Has the Veto Power' proved a hindrance in discharge of its duties by the Security Council ? Explain. [ 20 Marks]


7B. Discuss the United Nations Declaration on the establishment of a New International Economic Order along with the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States. [15 Marks]


7C. "Humanity is in peril in the present world due to terrorism." Suggest the ways to protect it in the context of human rights. [ 15 Marks]


8A. Is it a legal duty of States under international law to settle their disputes by peaceful means ? Can failure of peaceful means entitle States to use force to settle their disputes ? Discuss. [20 Marks]


8B. Is the threat or the use of Nuclear Weapons' in any circumstances permitted under International law? Answer the question in the light of the advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). [15 Marks]


8C. Discuss the role of United Nations in protection and improvement of human environment. [ 15 Marks]



Paper - II

Section - A[Law of Crimes and Law of Torts]


1A. What amounts to 'Legal Insanity' that would entitle an accused for exemption from Criminal Liability? [10 Marks]


1B. Discuss 'Grave and Sudden Provocation' as a defence to charge of murder under IPC, 1860 ?[10 Marks]


1C. Explain the concept of Plea-bargaining under the Cr.P.C. 1973. In what cases Plea-bargaining is not available ?[10 Marks]


1D. Discuss the ambit & scope of *consumer' as defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.[10 Marks]


1E. What constitutes Malicious Prosecution' ? How it is different from 'False Imprisonment'?[10 Marks]


2A. Has 'Attempt' been defined anywhere in the IPC, 1860? What are the various tests for determining, whether an act amounts to preparation or attempt to commit an offence ? Explain with the help of relevant case laws.[20 Marks]


2B. Differentiate between the following :[15 Marks]

[i]. 'Kidnapping' and *Abduction'

[ii] 'Riot' and *Affray'

[iii] "Criminal Breach of Trust' and 'Dishonest Misappropriation of property".


2C. Who are the various kinds of damages that a plaintiff can avail as a remedy under the laws of Torts? Under what circumstances can prospective damages be awarded?[15 Marks]


3A. From 'mathura' to 'Nirbhaya' and beyond, discuss the development of rape laws in India?[20 Marks]


3B. Explain the liability of 'Joint Tort Feasors' for a wrongful Act. How is it different from the liability of 'Independent Tortfeasors'' ? [15 Marks]


3C. In an action for negligence, What does the plaintiff need to establish in order to affix civil liability of defendant. ? What does it take for the maxim 'res ipsa loquitor' to apply?[15 Marks]


4A. Discuss the evolution and development of rule relating to ' No fault liability' in India with help of decided cases.[20 Marks]


4B. What are the defences available to an accused in a civil suit for defamation' ? Explain.[15 Marks]


4C. Recently there have been changes in Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Enumerate.[15 Marks]


Section - B [Law of Contracts & Contemporary Legal Developments]


5A. Minor's contract is "void ab initio". Comment. [10 Marks]


5B. Discuss the constitutionality of Right to Information Act, 2019 in the light of recent judgment by the Supreme Court of India. [10 Marks]


5C. In legal phraseology "every person who acts for another is not an agent": Comment. [10 Marks]


5D. India's 40 year old Air Act: 1981 languishes in the present circumstances of Air pollution emergency in Delhi -"National Capital Region, Comment on the effectiveness of law in the light of a judicial and administrative mechanism. [10 Marks]


5E. With the globalisation of trade, brand names and trade marks have attained an immense value and therefore it requires an effective trade mark law. Discuss. [10 Marks]


6A. What are the various modes in which a contract may be discharged ? Explain in the light of decided cases.[20 Marks]


6B. Dwell on the legality and constitutionality of Section 66A, Information Technology Act, 2000.[15 Marks]


6C. Write short notes on the following :[15 Marks]

[i]. Caveat Emptor

[ii]. Uberrima fides

[iii] Nemo dat quod non habet



7A. Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 denotes a provision which limits judicial intervention in the process of arbitration? Elucidate the statement with support of case law development on the point.[20 Marks]


7B. No customer in a thousand ever read the conditions. If he had stopped to do so, he would have missed the boat'. Critically examine the contractually of a standard form of contract in view of the above statement.[15 Marks]


7C. Discuss the symbiotic relationship between Media Trial and Fair Trial with reference to judicial approach.[15 Marks]


8A. Discuss, the concept and classification of 'Quasi contracts' under Indian Contract Act, 1872.[20 Marks]


8B. "Limited Liability Partnership is an alternative corporate form that gives the benefit of limited liability of a company and flexibility of a partnership". In the light of the above discuss the chief characteristics of Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.[15 Marks]


8C. How does any factor vitiating 'free consent', affect a contract ? Explain.[15 Marks]

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

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