Legal Reasoning for CLAT, Passage- Reservations in Jobs

Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before law and equal protection of laws to everyone. Similarly, Article 16(1) and 16(2) assure citizens equality of opportunity in employment or appointment to any government office. Article 15(1) generally prohibits any discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion, caste, sex or place of birth. Articles 15(4) and 16(4) state that these equality provisions do not prevent the government from making special provisions in matters of admission to educational institutions or jobs in favour of backward classes, particularly the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs). Article 16(4A) allows reservations to SCs and STs in promotions, as long as the government believes that they are not adequately represented in government services.
A five-judge apex court bench, as early as 1962 in the M.R. Balaji v. State of Mysore had ruled that Article 15(4) is an “enabling provision”, meaning that “it does not impose an obligation, but merely leaves it to the discretion of the appropriate government to take suitable action, if necessary”.

 

Five years later, in 1967, another five-judge bench in C.A. Rajendran v. Union of India reiterated this position, holding that the government is under no constitutional duty to provide reservations for SCs and STs, either at the initial stage of recruitment or at the stage of promotion. The apex court has now re-iterated that Articles 16(4) and 16(4A) do not confer any fundamental rights to claim reservations in promotion. It is for the state government to decide whether reservations are required for appointment and promotions to public posts, it said.

 

“It is settled law that the State Government cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the State is not bound to make reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotions,” it observed. However, if the state government does want to exercise this discretion and provide reservations, it would have to first collect quantifiable data showing inadequacy of representation of that class in public services.

 

It further ruled that since Article 16(4) and 16 (4A) do not provide a fundamental right, courts cannot issue a direction to the state government to provide reservations. It clarified that since the state government had decided not to provide reservations, it did not have to collect quantifiable data at all.

 

1. The recent SC ruling can be summarized as

(a) State governments have no responsibility to collect quantifiable data if they do not want to provide reservation in the first place.
(b) Decision to provide reservation in promotion is a subjective one and the courts cannot direct state governments to provide for the same.
(c) Both (a) and (b).
(d) Nether (a) nor (b).

 

2. For Constitutional Jurisprudence, what can be concluded from the above?

(a) Only the SC can harmoniously resolve conflicts between Fundamental Rights
(b) The state cannot violate fundamental rights of individuals.
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) None of the above

 

3. The Central Govt. wants to provide reservation in promotion to SC and ST across the country as a Fundamental Right. Advice.

(a) The Govt cannot do anything as SC has already decided the matter.
(b) The Govt needs to amend Article 14 and provide reservation as an exception to it.
(c) The Govt needs to amend Article 16 and change it from an enabling provision to a mandatory one.
(d) The Govt cannot do anything as it will violate article 14 and 15 of the constitution.

 

4. The Prayag Group Pvt. Ltd. is the biggest company of India. It is mainly represented by Gujarati upper caste Hindus. A petition is filed before the SC to direct the Reliance group to ensure reservation in promotion to the vulnerable sections of society. Decide.

(a) The petition will be allowed as it is paramount that members of Indian society should be represented in the biggest company of India.
(b) The petition will be rejected as Reliance Group is not a State and Fundamental rights will not apply to it.
(c) The petition will be rejected as Reservation is promotion is not a fundamental right.
(d) The petition will be allowed as Mr Ambani is a true patriot and will support assertive action.

 

5. State A wants to provide reservations to SC and ST in promotion. Counsel them based on the SC ruling.

(a) State A cannot provide reservation in promotion as it violates Article 14 and 15.
(b) State A need to first collect quantifiable data showing inadequacy of representation of that class in public services.
(c) State A need to first enact a legislation that is assented by the President of India to enable them to provide reservation in promotions.
(d) State A cannot provide as it needs the Central Govt. to make a constitutional amendment for that to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Ans. (c) Both (a) & (b) are correct as the SC held that reservation in promotion is not a fundamental right and also the state has no responsibility to collect quantifiable data to ascertain the need of it either.

 

2. Ans. (c) The SC is the final adjudicating body of the country as per the constitution and therefore can deliberate upon the matters relating to Fundamental Rights. Additionally, the State cannot make laws that violate fundamental rights of the individuals. Thus both (a) & (b) are correct.

 

3. Ans. (c) As interpreted by the SC, the law for reservation in promotion is not a fundamental right. To make a provision for the same the government has to amend the constitution to provide for the same. Option (b) is not correct as reservations are already an exception to Article 14 which has been provided for under article 16 already. Option (c) is more specific as it deals with reservations under which reservation in promotion is already an enabling provision.

 

4. Ans. (b) The petition will be rejected as Fundamental Rights are only available against the State. Prayag group is a Private Limited company and fundamental rights cannot be guaranteed against private individuals or companies.

 

5. Ans. (b) As reservation in promotion is an enabling fundamental right, prior to enabling the same, a state has to collect and provide quantifiable data to establish the need for the same. Option (a) is opposite of what the passage is trying to say. Option (c) and option (d) are out of scope.

Legal Reasoning Practice Set-1

Under cover of darkness, and with the aid of police, two women in their 40s prayed at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala on Wednesday – avoiding thousands of protesters who have stopped others doing so. The day before, a chain of hundreds of thousands of women stretched 620km across the southern state, supporting the right to enter the shrine. Three months after the Indian supreme court’s landmark ruling lifted the bar on their entry, and years after the dispute began, this will not end the matter; violent protests erupted after the visit.

 

While many Hindu temples bar women who are menstruating, regarding them as unclean, Sabarimala has historically barred all women between 10 and 50 years old. Supporters of the ban argue that this respects the wishes of the deity enshrined there, Lord Ayyappa, who took an oath of celibacy. But it has been challenged repeatedly. Religious faith is deeply rooted. Many women have objected to granting women access. The only supreme court judge to dissent on the ruling (the sole woman) argued that a secular polity should not ordinarily interfere with religious practice, even if irrational.

 

But tradition and religion are not only a matter of beliefs shared by a community; they embody its power relations. Men are most often those who decree the acceptable boundaries of belief and practice, and are frequently swift to reject any challenge as the result of outside interference. The supreme court ruling – the latest of several bold and commendable judgments – makes it clear that it is precisely about the right of Hindus, in this case women, to practise their religion as they believe they should.

 

Women seeking to visit the shrine see not faith but misogyny as the obstacle. They understand that tradition and belief evolve. Temple entry campaigns have been a powerful part of broader social reform movements; these campaigners have bravely taken on patriarchal norms in a society that has often enforced them through violence and where political leaders have offered little leadership. The relatives of one visitor are reportedly in a safe house. Conflicting and deeply held beliefs are not quickly reconciled. Yet the supreme court gave politicians an opportunity to advance much-needed social reform.

 

1. Akhil was a professor of Gender and Rights in NLSIU. Since Sabrimala was much discussed those days, he decided to educate the future lawyers on the same. After reading the passage, what are the reasons which stopped women of menstruating age from entering temples?

(a) Women are quite fragile and may not be able to climb temples located on mountains like the Sabrimala Temple of Kerala.
(b) Women themselves never wanted to go to temple as during ancient and medieval times they were primarily responsible for household chores.
(c) Patriarchy and age-old beliefs which developed into culture and got enforced in Hindu society.
(d) There was a Central Law which prohibited any women from entering temple in India.

 

2. Akhil, after discussing the history of Gender rights moved on to the present case. He wanted to elucidate the legal aspect of the judgment. If you were Akhil, what could be most logically inferred, about the author’s views, on the Supreme Court ruling on Sabarimala Temple?

(a) The author is unhappy and wishes the Central government to undo the ruling by passing a legislation.
(b) The author is unhappy and wishes the State government to undo the ruling by passing a legislation.
(c) The author is confused and does not espouse any view.
(d) The author supports the Supreme Court’s ruling and sees it as a way of women emancipation.

 

3. After the Supreme Court ruling, Radha, a young female child of 5 years, is going to the Sabrimala Temple along with her mother who is 35 years old. Will they be allowed to go inside?

(a) No, both can be legally stopped from entering the temple.
(b) Yes, both cannot be legally stopped from entering the temple.
(c) Only Radha will be allowed as she is below the menstruating age.
(d) Yes, as Radha is too young to go alone and hence needs an additional accompanying person.

 

4. Subsequent to the Supreme Court ruling on Sabarimala Temple, suppose the Indian Parliament makes a law which allows women of all ages to go to the Sabarimala Temple. What legal consequence would such a law have?

(a) In practice there would be no difference as the Supreme Court has already allowed women entry to the temple.
(b) The law would provide additional protection to women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala Temple.
(c) The law is unconstitutional as Parliament is not empowered to make laws on matters which have been settled by the Supreme Court.
(d) The law will impinge upon the judiciary’s powers under the constitution.

 

5. Daya is an NRI. She is living in Nepal. There is a temple in Nepal where women of menstruating age are not allowed. Can she visit the temple following the Indian Supreme Court ruling?
(a) No, as she is of menstruating age.
(b) No, as the Supreme Court’s ruling applies only in Indian territory.
(c) Yes, as it is discrimination based on gender alone.
(d) Yes, as Indian judicial decisions have a persuasive value in Nepalese constitution.

 

1. Ans. (c) Patriarchy and age-old beliefs which developed into culture and got enforced in Hindu society. The author clearly mentions that rules were made by men during olden days. Moreover, in the second paragraph he points out that deities’ wishes were also a reason as in the case of Lord Ayyappa. Option (a) is out of passage. Option (b) cannot be inferred from passage. Option (d) is self-contradictory.

 

2. Ans. (d) The author supports the Supreme Court’s ruling and sees it as a way of women emancipation. All through the passage the author is impliedly appreciating the Supreme Court ruling. Towards the end of the passage he clearly mentions that it is a much-needed social reform. Hence, option (c) is not correct. Since the author is happy with the Supreme Court decision, he does not support any law to undo it whether by Central or State governments. So, options (a) and (b) are respectively incorrect.

 

3. Ans. (b) Yes, both cannot be legally stopped from entering the temple. The Supreme Court ruling clearly allowed women to enter the Sabrimala Temple irrespective of their age. So, option (a) and (c) are incorrect. Option (d) is not patently incorrect but option (b) is more appropriate compared to option (d).

 

4. Ans. (a) In practice there would be no difference as the Supreme Court has already allowed women entry to the temple. Judgement given by the Supreme Court acts as law throughout the country. Hence, a legislation would legally make no difference. Hence, option (b) is incorrect. Option (c) and (d) are incorrect as Parliament has power to legislate on judicially decided matters and this does not mean impinging of judicial powers.

 

5. Ans. (b) No, as the Supreme Court’s ruling applies only in Indian territory. None of the remaining options are correct as option (b) is correct. So, whether Daya is of menstruating age or there is discrimination based on gender alone is irreverent. Option (d) is not correct as persuasive value may be accepted or rejected.

Legal Reasoning for CLAT, Passage- Right to Internet Access

Right to Information and Right to Know are important aspects of freedom of speech and expression and the internet is at present the greatest supplier of information, if not of knowledge. It facilitates Right to Information; hence it has been equated with fundamental rights. The telephone and the internet are means of expression because a person talking on the phone or communicating through the internet exercises his right to freedom of speech and expression. The Supreme Court did not examine whether access to the internet is a fundamental right as this issue was not raised by the petitioners. However, it was held that “Freedom of Speech and Expression through the medium of internet is an integral part of Article 19 (1)(a)” and the Supreme Court has thus formalised access to the internet as a part of fundamental rights and has held that the government cannot deprive citizens of any fundamental right, except under certain conditions. This ruling came during a hearing of a plea in connection with the internet blockade in J&K since August 5, 2019, after the revocation of Article 370. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right for all citizens under Article 19(1)(a). The latest expansion of this right makes this constitutional provision keep pace with innovation of technology in as much as the internet has become the primary source of information for millions of citizens. The State can make laws for imposing restrictions on the right to freedom of speech in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to offence. Section 144 of the CrPC authorises executive magistrates to take preventive steps for the prevention of breach of peace. These include ban on assembly of more than four persons, ban on processions, use of water cannon and even curfew and shoot-at-sight orders. It has to be seen whether such orders affect freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has said that prohibitory orders issued under Section 144, CrPC, cannot be used indefinitely to suppress freedom of speech and expression. The freedom of the press, as part of freedom of speech and expression, is a valuable and sacred right, hence magistrates, while passing prohibitory orders under Section 144, CrPC, should apply their mind and follow the doctrine of proportionality. Such orders cannot be used to quell dissent, and repetitive clamping of such orders may amount to abuse of powers. Such orders should be revoked if no longer required, in accordance with the preventive spirit of the law.

 

1. The government imposed an emergency in the state of Panjir due to compelling circumstances of militancy, anti-state and subversive activities and horrid instances of communal violence. A particular community X was being targeted. There were instances where the militants would track down the GPS location of members of X and go on a rampage attacking the community. Inflammatory messages were being circulated on WhatsApp against the community. One such message read that people belonging to X, should be shot at sight. The communal clashes worsened. Soon, the internet was completely suspended and Section 144 of CrPC was invoked to keep a check on such activities. The ban on the internet created a situation of misery among the heavily web-dependent population. People were not able to communicate to their family members residing outside the state. The media in such a state of suspension of the internet could not report live from the state. A public-spirited person filed a petition under Article 32 alleging that the internet ban was unreasonable and a violation of his fundamental right to expression.

(a) The internet ban is unconstitutional.
(b) The internet ban is justified as the government has imposed an emergency.
(c) The internet ban is justified in the wake of the compelling situation of the state.
(d) The ban should be lifted.

 

2. The government imposed an emergency in the state of Panjir due to compelling circumstances of militancy, anti-state and subversive activities and horrid instances of communal violence. A particular community was being targeted. Inflammatory messages were being circulated on WhatsApp against the community. The communal clashes worsened. Soon, the internet was completely suspended and Section 144 of CrPC was invoked to keep a check on such activities. The ban on the internet created a situation of misery among the heavily web-dependent population. People were not able to communicate to their family members residing outside the state. The media in such a state of suspension of the internet could not report live from the state. However, the emergency lasted for 6 months and normalcy was soon restored. The situation became peaceful. However, the state fearing that violence may flare up again continued the internet ban. A public-spirited person filed a petition under Article 32 alleging that the internet ban was unreasonable and a violation of his fundamental right to expression.

(a) The ban is no longer justified as normalcy has been restored.
(b) The ban is justified as there is a reasonable apprehension of relapse of violence in the state.
(c) The ban should be lifted as the emergency has been lifted.
(d) Both (a) and (c)
3. The Mandira Bedi government imposed an emergency in the country as a subterfuge to postpone the impending elections. They also invoked Section 144 of CrPC throughout the country. However, the Supreme Court exercising the power of judicial review suspended the order and lifted the emergency. Section 144 of CrPC was consequently revoked. However, some of the states continued the invocation of Section 144 because of the persistent tension in those state. Choose the best outcome:
(a) The decision of the state is unjustified as the Supreme Court has declared the emergency to be unconstitutional.
(b) The decision of the states to continue Section144 is justified due to the circumstances of prevailing in the states.
(c) The invocation should not be indefinite and should be lifted once the tensions ease.
(d) Both (b) and (c)

 

4. The Central Legislation passed a controversial bill on transgender rights. In the wake of the Transgender Act 2020, all transgenders united and issued strong condemnation for the same on social media. One such NGO, Taaz Foundation issues a statement on its social media page, calling upon all citizens to express their discontent in the form of a candlelight march on 25th February 2020 at India Gate. Fearing state wide protest, the govt invoked Section 144 in the National Capital. A petition was filed before the High Court of the state:
(a) The invocation Section 144 is justified as there can be reasonable apprehension of disruption of public order.
(b) The invocation of Section 144 is disproportional to the state of affairs.
(c) The invocation of Section144 can be removed after 25th February.
(d) None of the above.

 

5. The state of Modiana restricted certain websites stating them to be obscene and unpalatable to the taste of the modest public of the State. Consequently, such websites would be suspended and could only be accessed within a specific time slot. The state decision is:
(a) Arbitrary as it falls outside the scope of reasonable restrictions
(b) Justified on the grounds of reasonable restrictions
(c) Banning porn website is good for the taste of the modest Indians
(d) Violative of freedom of expression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLAT Gurukul
1. Ans. (b) Option (b) is not the correct answer because the internet cannot be banned merely on the condition of a state-imposed emergency. This emergency very well could be arbitrary. However, the ban has to stand the test of proportionality as given in the passage. The ban is justified because the situation is compelling. The internet was being used as a mode of committing violence.

 

2. Ans. (a) The passage states that prohibitory measures shall not last indefinitely. It does not say that as soon as the emergency gets over the prohibitory measures can be lifted. One has to take note of the circumstances. In the present situation, peace was restored therefore the ban is no longer justified.

 

3. Ans. (d) Refer to the lines, “Section 144 of the CrPC authorises executive magistrates to take preventive steps for the prevention of breach of peace. … The Supreme Court has said that prohibitory orders issued under Section 144, CrPC, cannot be used indefinitely to suppress freedom of speech and expression.”

 

4. Ans. (b) Here, the Taaz Foundation is only asking for a solidarity statement and support. It can’t be reasonably held that such protests will have an effect on state security. Thus, option (b) is the right answer.

 

5. Ans. (b) The government has only regulated the website and prescribed a certain time slot. Moreover, according to the passage, the State can make laws for imposing restrictions on the grounds of decency or morality

Legal Reasoning for CLAT, Passage- The Right to Information Act, 2005

CLAT Gurukul

In modern constitutional democracies, it is axiomatic that citizens have a right to know about the affairs of the Government which, having been elected by them, seeks to formulate sound policies of governance aimed at their welfare. Democracy, therefore, expects openness and openness is a concomitant of a free society. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. But it is equally important to be alive to the dangers that lie ahead. It is important to realise that undue popular pressure brought to bear on decision-makers is Government can have frightening side-effects.
In a government of responsibility like ours, where all the agents of the public must be responsible for their conduct, there can be few secrets. The people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything, that is done in a public way, by their public functionaries. They are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. The right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security.

 

The Right to Information (RTI) Act has been a powerful instrument in the hands of people to ensure transparency in the decision-making process. There are a number of cases where this right has been used by the people to get better civic facilities, cut down red-tape and delay in decision making and punish the corrupt. State governments have taken steps to come out with a public service charter that fixes time limits to the government departments for providing services to the people. This is expected to address a number of grievances of people arising from delayed delivery of public services which often lies at the root of corruption and inefficiency.

 

1. Which among the following is the most logical inference to the above passage?

(a) Inculcating participatory decision-making and citizen centric administration in an organisation will allow for better delivery of services.
(b) Each government organ is susceptible to corruption and to avoid this there must be complete transparency in all governmental processes.
(c) The availability and quality of civic services is the keystone of good governance and this is not possible unless the civil servants are held accountable through well written laws.
(d) Delayed delivery of services and corruption are only possible because of the flexibility and opaqueness of laws which allow the lawmakers to function with impunity.

2. Keshav appeared for the Board Examination. When he got the mark sheet, he was disappointed with his marks. He thought that he had done well in the examination but his answer-books were not properly valued and that improper valuation had resulted in low marks. Therefore, he made an application for inspection and re-evaluation of his answer-books. Board rejected the said request. If this is true, then, based on the author’s reasoning in the passage above:

(a) Request deserves to be rejected. Board ensures complete fairness and uniformity to eliminate the chances of subjectivity.
(b) If the request is accepted then it will create confusion and chaos, subjecting its elaborate system of examinations to delay and disarray.
(c) Opening the copies to public scrutiny would interfere with its effective and efficient functioning.
(d) Copies should undergo proper inspection and re-evaluation. The right to information is a cherished right. Releasing the copy for scrutiny will bring in transparency and accountability.

 

3. It is witnessed neither the Central Government nor the State Government are filling the vacancies for the appointment of Commissioners in a timely manner. As a result, the functioning of RTI Act is stifled. It is leading to huge backlogs of appeals and complaints in many Commissions across the country. What, according to the author, would be the effect of not filling the vacancies:

(a) Vacancies will not have any impact on the effectiveness of the RTI.
(b) Vacancies can have a debilitating impact on the proper implementation of the RTI.
(c) Vacancies can be set off by managing the dockets of RTI cases. Management of the cases is the key.
(d) Vacancies need to be maintained otherwise speedy resolution of cases can have frightening side-effects on the Government.

 

4. Parliament has passed The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill which seeks to give the government powers to fix salaries, tenures and other terms and conditions of employment of information commissioners. Based on the inference drawn, what should be the author’s stand on the amending Act:

(a) Amending Act will be supported because it is aimed at streamlining functioning.
(b) Amending Act will not be supported because the right to know is an integral part of the Right to life.
(c) Amending Act will be supported provided the government formulates the rule expeditiously.
(d) Amending Act will not be supported because it may undermine the law and the government can hire and fire independent information commissioners.

 

5. The Official Secrets Act and National Security Act is sought to be repealed. Both the Acts contain the provisions relating to official secrets. These statutes are time tested legislations securing India’s sovereignty and Integrity. If this is true, then, based on the author’s reasoning in the passage above:

(a) Repealing Acts will be opposed because both the Acts are significant instruments in maintaining the external and internal security.
(b) Repealing Acts will be supported because the right to know and information will become an absolute right thus advancing the democratic goals.
(c) Repealing Acts will be supported because the RTI Act is paramount with respect to any security legislation.
(d) Repealing Acts will be opposed because it may undermine the security of the Nation and RTI is not an absolute and unhindered right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLAT Gurukul

1. Ans. (a) Option (a) is the correct choice. Option (b) is incorrect as there is no implication that all governmental actions require absolute transparency in the passage. Option (c) is incorrect because of the phrase ‘this is not possible’ as there may be other ways to achieve the same. Option (d) incorrectly singles out flexibility and opaqueness of laws but there could be other institutional reasons for delays as well.

 

2. Ans. (d) Given answer encompasses the substance of the Right to information. Paragraph 4th mentions “The Right to Information (RTI) Act has been a powerful instrument in the hands of people to ensure transparency in the decision-making process.” Going by the reading of this line the only appropriate option is choice (d).

 

3. Ans. (b) Central idea of the passage is that the steps are to be taken to strengthen the RTI. It is axiomatic that vacancies in any institution lead to arrears and backlog. Therefore, only sound choice is option (b).
4. Ans. (d) Central idea of the passage is that the steps are to be taken to strengthen the RTI. It is given that through the Amending Act there is conferred huge power in the government. Government may abuse the same. Therefore, only sound choice is option (d).

 

5. Ans. (d) Option (d) is the correct choice. Option (d) correctly identifies the idea from the line mentioning that “The right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security.”