CLAT Preparation: Legal Reasoning Questions – Part I

1. Principle- Punishment can only be prescribed to the cause in law

A intended to cause B’s death and therefore mixed poison in a glass of milk and offered it to B. However, the contents of the glass spilt. Thereafter, C who also wanted to kill B, mixed cyanide in the same glass not realizing that traces of the poison mixed by A still remained. C offered the glass to B and as a result, B died.

a. A is guilty of murder and C is guilty of murder

b. A is not guilty and C is guilty of murder

c. A is liable for culpable homicide and C is guilty of murder

d. A and B are both guilty of culpable homicide

2. Principle: A master shall be liable for the fraudulent acts committed by his servants in the course of employment.

Ms. Y was an old woman and she sought help of her cousin Mr. X ,who was a clerk in a Bank , in creating an account with the Bank. Ms. Y placed complete trust on Mr.X and regularly handed over money to be deposited in her account. She later learnt that Mr. X had misappropriated all the funds. Ms.Y sued the Bank.

a. Ms.Y’s action will succeed

b. Ms. Y will not succeed because she was negligent

c. Ms. Y will not succeed because Mr.X was acting in the capacity of her cousin

d. None of the above

3. Principle: Causing damage to another person is not actionable in law unless there is also caused an injury to the plaintiff.

ABC Coaching was a popular tuition center run by Mr.X. However, Mr.Y opened a new coaching center named PQR Coaching, right next to ABC Coaching. As a result, ABC coaching lost out a lot of its students. This also resulted in monetary losses and subsequently it had to be shut down. Mr X later filed a suit against Mr.Y for loss of earnings.

a. Mr.X will succeed because he has incurred monetary damage

b. Mr.X will not succeed because no legal right has been infringed

c. Mr. X will succeed because his legal right to livelihood has been curtailed

d. None of the above

4. Principle: Something done to prevent a greater harm can be used as a defence.

Mr. A was the captain of Olympus, which was carrying fifty people across the Atlantic. The ship was caught amidst a storm and was about to sink. Mr. A pushed out two passengers with their luggage, so that the ship could maintain balance. He made sure that they had their life-jackets with them. Despite that, they succumbed to their injuries and died. The rest of the passengers, however, got through unscathed.

a. Mr.A is liable for culpable homicide

b. Mr.A is liable for murder

c. Mr.A is not liable

d. Mr.A is guilty of negligence.

5. Principle: The occupier of a premise owes a duty of care to all his invitees and visitors.

P was the owner of a posh bungalow and had a ferocious dog. P had initially put up a board outside that read ‘Beware of Dogs’. However, the board got damaged due to bad weather. P had also put up a mail box outside his bungalow. The postman came in to deliver the letter and got bitten by the dog as a result of which, he suffered injuries.

a. P is liable since the postman entered his house in pursuance of his duty

b.P Is not liable since the postman was negligent

c. P is not liable since the postman was a trespasser

d. P is not liable since the postman was not an invitee.

6. Principle: An act of God is an operation of natural forces so unexpected that no human foresight or skill could reasonably be expected to anticipate it.

For the past week, there had been average to high rainfall in the Punchkula region. Mr.A was engaged in a dyeing company and had left some dyed cloth on his terrace for drying since it had not rained in the past two days. However, it rained that day and the cloth got washed away. The customers filed a suit against him, in response to which Mr. A claimed the defence of act of God.

a. Mr. A will not be liable since the intensity of rainfall could not be predicted

b. Mr. A will be liable since he did not take adequate precautions

c. Mr.A will not be liable since he had committed the act in good faith

d. None of the above

7. Principle: For a contract an offer has to be made that is accepted and there is consensus ad idem.

Mr. X  goes to a shop and asks the shopkeeper  to deliver rice to his residence. In their previous dealings of about 12 years, he had always ordered the Basmati variety of rice. The shopkeeper stores five varieties of rice. He delivers Krishnakali variety. Mr. X had wanted Basmati. Shopkeeper wants to enforce the contract.

a. There was offer. There was acceptance. Therefore, the contract is enforceable.

b. There was no consensus ad idem. Therefore, the contract is void.

c. A contract is based on other considerations under Section 26 of the Indian Contracts Act; one such consideration is previous dealings‖, according to which, previous dealings would form an implied understanding as to the subject.

d. Both parties understood rice to be the subject matter of the agreement. Therefore, there was consensus ad idem.

8. Principle: Mere knowledge of the risk does not imply consent to undergo harm.

A and B had entered into a fight. C intervened and got hit by A.C filed a suit against A. However, A said that C had consented to getting hit.

a. C only had knowledge, and did not consent to getting hit

b. C’s consent could be inferred from his intervention

c. C had acted in good faith and therefore, the defence cannot be taken

d. None of the above

9. Principle: Any person who has received any unjust benefit, he/she must return it to the rightful owner.

A and B had similar sounding names. The postman delivered a parcel meant for B at A’s residence, by mistake.

a. A can retain the parcel without informing B

b. A can retain the parcel since it was the postman’s fault

c. A cannot receive any unjust benefit and should return the parcel

d. A can inform B and not return it.

10. Principle: Whoever uses force without any lawful justification commits battery.

A punched B without any reason and they entered into a fight. C intervened and got badly hit by A.

a. A committed battery against B only. He did not intend to hit C.

b. A did not commit battery against B and C.

c. A had a lawful justification to hit C and therefore is not guilty of battery.

d. A committed battery against B and C.

11. Principle: When any person dishonestly takes any movable property out of the possession of any other person without his/her consent, he/she is guilty of theft.

Ms.Y came to Ms.P’s house. When Ms.Y returned, she realized that Ms.P had left her pen in Ms.Y’s book.

a. Y commits theft because the pen has been taken without consent.

b. Y does not commit theft because she had not intended to take the pen.

c.Y commits theft because she has taken a pen which is a movable property.

d.Y commits theft because she has moved the pen from P‘s house.

12. Principle: An injurious statement of fact directed against a particular person and made public amounts to defamation.

The Intelligentsia Society of Kolkata invited Mr.Ray to deliver a lecture on good governance. In his lecture, Mr.Ray said that modern day politicians are all corrupt and should be put behind bars. Mr.Yadav was an MP from the Manikpur constituency and was the only politician in the audience. He filed a suit for defamation against Mr.Ray

a. Since Mr. Yadav was the only politician, the statement was directed towards him and Mr.Ray is liable.

b. Mr.Ray is not liable since the statement was not published.

c. Mr.Ray is liable since it was an injurious statement

d. Mr.Ray is not liable since his statement was not directed at Mr.Yadav

13. Principle: Nuisance is the unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of his land

Juniper is an avid bee-keeper. Within the limits of his house, he has installed facilities for bee-keeping and extracting honey. R takes up a house next to Juniper. R is a mechanic and conducts his minor repair jobs at home itself. Juniper filed a claim for nuisance against R saying the noise emanating from his repair works reduces the production of honey.

a. R is liable for creating noise and disturbing Juniper’s bees.

b. R is not liable and has the right to do as he pleases on his land

c. R is liable since he knew about Juniper’s bees.

d. R is not liable- Juniper can take legal action only after warning R about the consequences of noise.

14. Principle: Special damage is the loss of some material advantage, pecuniary or capable of being estimated in money which arises on account of special or unusual circumstances affecting the plaintiff.

R has been sending his Tourist cars for repairs, maintenance and service to ABC, who promptly attended to all the works during the past five years. However, when R sent a new Sumo van for servicing and minor repairs, he indicated to the manager of ABC that the vehicle must be delivered, duly serviced, by 10th August 2010 at 5 PM as three foreign tourists had booked the vehicle for a period of 3 months. The vehicle was not delivered as required, but was delivered only on 12th August 2010. R had lost the contract with the foreign tourist and a loss of revenue to the extent of Rs.30,000.

a. R can sue the ABC for damages including exemplary or special damages to the extent of Rs.30,000/-

b. R can sue ABC for ordinary damages for two days delay

c. R cannot sue ABC for any damages

d. R can sue the Manager of the ABC for damages.

15. Principle: Agreement by way of wager is void and no suit lies for recovering anything won by such wager.

Mr. X and Mrs. Y enter into a contract with R who is an expert in betting on horse racing. Both pay a sum of Rs.2,000/- to R to bet on a particular horse. R followed the instructions and he won a sum of Rs.20 lakhs.

a. R has to pay Rs.20 lakhs to Mr. X and Mrs. Y

b. R can divide Rs.20 lakhs into three parts and share it equality with Mr. X and Mrs. Y

c. R can keep Rs.15 lakhs and give 5 lakhs to Mr. X and Mrs. Y

d. R need not give anything to Mr. X and Mrs. Y as this agreement is not enforceable.

16. Principle: The damages payable to a person who has suffered injury due to someone else’s negligence will be reduced by the proportion of the plaintiff’s own contribution to his injury.

Mr. X was an internationally renowned wrestler. He decided to undertake a rare operation. However, he did not inform the doctor that he was suffering from a genetic anomaly. The doctor also, in his part, did not administer anesthesia properly. As a result, the operation failed and Mr.X became paralyzed.

a. Mr.X will be liable since he had the last opportunity to avoid the accident

b. Mr.X will be liable to the extent of not disclosing his anomaly

c. The doctor will be wholly liable for being negligent

d.None of the above

17. Principle: Every person has a right to defend his own person, property or possession against an immediate harm, and to that end, may use reasonable amount of force.

Mr. Gemini was passing by Mrs. Vadhera’s house. At that time, Mrs. Vadhera’s dog ran out and bit Mr. Gemini’s overcoat. Mr. Gemini turned around and shot at the dog however, the dog ran away. While the dog was far away from Mr. Gemini, Mr. Gemini shot the dog dead as he believed that the dog had bitten other persons in the locality. Mrs. Vadhera filed a suit for damages as the dog was of a rare breed and worth Rs.5000/-

a. Mrs. Vadhera will succeed because Mr. Gemini killed the dog, as his right of private defence has elapsed.

b. Mrs. Vadhera will not succeed because Mr. Gemini is justified in shooting the dog.

c. Mrs. Vadhera will not succeed because Mr. Gemini took the action to protect him as well as many other members of public in future.

d. Mrs. Vadhera will succeed because she lost her precious dog.

18. Principle: If a party’s consent has been obtained by misrepresentation, the party to whom the misrepresentation has been made may reject the contract.

J is in need of a house for immediate occupation and hence approaches S, the owner of a house. The house is in a visibly precarious condition and requires a few repairs in order to make it habitable. However, S tells J that the house is good for lodging and Jsigns the lease agreement with S. Jthen finds out the actual state of the house and seeks to reject the contract

a. J will not succeed because it is his lookout to ensure that he is not entering into a contract that is disadvantageous for him

b. J will succeed because S, knowing that the house was required for immediate occupation, ought to have informed J as the state of the house

c. J will succeed because J would never have signed the lease if S had mentioned that the house was inhabitable

d. None of the above

19.Principle: When one party to the contract is in such relation with the other party as to be able to dominate his/her will, and uses this superior position to obtain the other party’s consent to a contract, s/he is said to have exercise undue influence.

Ajit’sgrandfather has 3 sons’ one of them being Ajit’s father. Ajit’s grandfather gifts his best properties to Ajit. Ajit’s two uncles sue their father, i.eAjit’sgrandfather, stating that his consent to the gift has been obtained through the exercise of undue influence.

a.The gift is invalid because the grandson is in a position to exercise his domination based on the natural love and affection with his grandfather regards him

b. The gift is valid because no such relation, domination or undue influence can be shown in the facts

c. The gift is invalid because the grandfather is obliged to distribute all his properties equally between all offspring

d. The gift valid because the grandfather has the freedom to do as he pleases with  his properties

20.Principle: Mere promise without a proper follow-up does not create binding legal obligation

Thapa plans to make a prayer hall for all of his villagers. A rich villager, Chapa, promises to give him Rs. 1,00,000/- towards building the prayer hall. Thapa begins work on the prayer hall and then Chapa refuses to pay him.

a. Thapa can initiate legal action against Chapa for breach of promise and succeed

b. Thapa cannot succeed since there was a mere promise

c. Thapa cannot succeed since he did not complete building the hall

d. Thapa can succeed because when Chapa made the promise he impliedly accepted it.

21. Principle- Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person in order that such person may be murdered or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being murdered shall be punished.

A kidnaps K intending and knowing the fact to be likely that K may be sacrificed to an idol so that his wife will be cursed from the three months long fever. Police arrested A. A defends himself that his intention is not to murder K. Decide.

a. A is not liable because he has not kidnapped for murder.

b. A is not liable for intention to murder rather than liable for kidnapping

c. A is liable for kidnapping and abduction

d. A is liable for both kidnapping, and abducting in order to murder.

22. Principle: Imposition of total restraint on the liberty of a person without lawful justification constitutes false imprisonment

R wished to enter a swimming pool but did not have passes for the same. The policeman at one gate did not allow him to enter. R claimed false imprisonment.

a. The policeman is liable for restraining R

b. Policeman is not liable since there was lawful justification

c. Policeman is not liable since other gates could still be accessed and there was not total restraint

d. None of the above

23. Principle: If a person acts with malice without reasonable cause, and institutes proceedings against another innocent person. Then the first person has committed the tort of malicious prosecution

S and C are childhood enemies and even as adults continue to be so.Now, they run rival cinema halls.One day there is a break-in at S’s cinema hall and the day’s collection is stolen. S seizes the opportunity and complains to the police. She institutes proceedings against C. The prosecution takes its course and the Court holds C guilty. C sues S for malicious prosecution.

a. S is guilty because she instituted proceedings against S.

b. S is guilty because her actions were backed by malice.

c. S is not guilty because there was no malicious prosecution since C was convicted

d. None of the above.

24. Principle: Everybody is under a legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid act or omission which he can foresee would injure his neighbor. The neighbor for this purpose is any person whom he should have in his mind as likely to be affected by his act.

K, while driving his car at a high speed in a crowded road, knocked down a cyclist. The cyclist died on the spot with a lot of blood spilling around. L, a pregnant woman passing by, suffered from a nervous shock, leading to an abortion. L filed a suit against K claiming damages.

a. K will be liable, because he owed a duty of reasonable care to everyone on the road including L.

b. K will not be liable because he could not have foreseen L suffering from a nervous shock which eventually led to an abortion from his act.

c. K will be liable to L because he failed to drive carefully.

d. None of the above.

25. Principle: Interference with someone’s possession or enjoyment of land constitutes the tort of trespass

V, a class 10 student, is riding his bicycle back home at night after tuitions. Since he is getting late for dinner, he decides to take a shortcut and thinking that he is passing through his father’s property , ends up passing through S’s property. S sees him and sues him for trespass.

a. S’s action will not succeed because V is a minor.

b. V is not liable because he entered S’s property mistakenly , thinking it to be his father’s.

c. V Is liable because he should have verified whose property he was passing through.

d. V is liable because irrespective of his belief, he has violated S’s rights by trespassing into his property.



























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