Test: Passage Based Legal Reasoning (Medium)


15 Questions MCQ Test Legal Reasoning for CLAT | Test: Passage Based Legal Reasoning (Medium)


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Attempt Test: Passage Based Legal Reasoning (Medium) | 15 questions in 15 minutes | Mock test for CLAT preparation | Free important questions MCQ to study Legal Reasoning for CLAT for CLAT Exam | Download free PDF with solutions
QUESTION: 1

Principle: The defendant is liable only for those consequences which are not too remote from his conduct. If the consequences of a wrongful act could have been foreseen by a reasonable man, they are not too remote.

Facts: X was bursting firecrackers on Diwali on a street near Y’s godown, which was full of expensive goods and other stock for Y’s daughter’s wedding ceremony. One of the rockets from X’s firecrackers somehow landed inside the godown and started a fire. As the godown was unattended because of Diwali, most of the goods were destroyed in the fire, and Y suffered huge losses. Because of the fire, two cylinders kept in the godown exploded and a passer-by Z who happened to be near the godown at that time received physical injuries. As a result of destruction of the wedding ceremony, Y’s daughter’s marriage had to be postponed, and the whole family suffered from emotional trauma. Y is claiming compensation for the goods destroyed as well as the emotional sufferings of himself and his family.

Solution:

The principle states that the defendant should have reasonably foreseen the injury suffered by the plaintiff. In the given factual situation, X could have reasonably foreseen that a fire might burst out because of his bursting crackers and destroying goods or injure persons. However, the emotional trauma caused to Y due to the postponement of marriage was too remote a consequence of fire for X to foresee. Hence (b) is the correct option.

QUESTION: 2

Principle:
I. Trespass to chattels (goods or personal property) is an intentional interference with the possession of personal property, possibly causing injury.
II. There are three elements to it:
(a) Lack of consent in the interference with the property
(b) The interference with the property must result in actual harm
(c) The interference must be intentional

Facts: Wilbur left his logbook on his desk in the office. His colleague, Wilson, saw it lying there and thought he would take it and cross-check the records, even though it belonged to Wilbur. While checking the records, Wilson accidentally spilt ink on the logbook, and it was damaged to a great extent. It was the only copy Wilbur had.

Solution:

Principles (i) and (ii) deal with the essential ingredients to constitute trespass and it may be seen that in the instant case, Wilson intentionally interfered with Wilbur’s logbook, without his consent and actual harm resulted from it. Thus, Wilbur may sue Wilson for trespass to chattel.

QUESTION: 3

Principle:
I. An ultrahazardous activity under the law of torts is one that is so inherently dangerous that a person engaged in such an activity can be held strictly liable for injuries caused to another person, even if the person engaged in the activity took every reasonable precaution to prevent others from being injured.
II. Keeping of domesticated animals that have a known propensity for dangerous behaviour comes under an ultrahazardous activity.
III. A person who is injured by one of these ultrahazardous activities while trespassing on the property of the person engaged in the activity is barred from suing under a strict liability theory.

Facts: Toshi was an agricultural scientist. He was experimenting with some radioactive substances to detect their effect on crop growth etc. He disposed of the plants he used for the tests in the dumpster in the park in the neighbourhood. Toshi was very particular about the security of his house. He had kept a dog. The dog had a tendency to attack and bite people and had bitten a couple of the neighbours’ children before. One day, some of the children from the neighbourhood were playing in the park and one of them accidentally knocked off the dumpster. The children began to cough as fumes from the plants Toshi had discarded, were inhaled by them. The neighbours were furious at this. The society welfare officer, Ramakant, went to speak with Toshi immediately. But, as he entered the house, Toshi’s pet dog bit him.

Choose the correct statement from the following:

Solution:

As per principle (i), an ultrahazardous activity under the law of torts is one that is so inherently dangerous that a person engaged in such an activity can be held strictly liable for injuries caused to another person, even if the person engaged in the activity took every reasonable precaution to prevent others from being injured. In the instant case, Toshi was not entitled to work with the radioactive substances in his house nor dispose of them in such a careless manner.

QUESTION: 4

Principle: Malicious prosecution is the malicious institution of unsuccessful criminal or bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings against another without reasonable or probable cause. The main ingredients for action for malicious prosecution are:

  • That he was prosecuted by the defendant.

  • That the proceeding complained was terminated in favour of the present plaintiff

  • That the prosecution was instituted against without any just or reasonable cause.

  • That the prosecution was instituted with a malicious intention, that is, not with the mere intention of getting the law into effect, but with an intention, which was wrongful in fact.

  • That he suffered damage to his reputation or to the safety of person, or to security of his property.

Facts: Tenali used to work as a butler at Dharmodas’s house. Dharmodas’s relative Kaalia came to visit him for a few weeks. He never liked Tenali much. One day he lost his wallet in the market. Seeing an opportunity to trap Tenali, he went and complained to Dharmodas, saying that Tenali stole his wallet. Tenali was arrested on suspicion but was finally acquitted in the case. Dharmodas refused to employ Tenali again. Word about the case had spread, and no one was willing to employ Tenali due to the stigma of his having been arrested.

Solution: The principle clearly states the definition and essential ingredients of malicious prosecution. In the instant case, the defendant (Kaalia) had prosecuted the plaintiff now (Tenali). The proceedings had been decided in favour of Tenali but had been instituted without a reasonable/justifiable cause and with malice, such that Tenali had suffered damage to his reputation as a result. Thus, there was malicious prosecution in this case.
QUESTION: 5

Principle:
I. An ultra-hazardous activity under tort law is one that is so inherently dangerous that a person engaged in such an activity can be held strictly liable for injuries to another person, even if the person engaged in the activity took every reasonable precaution to prevent others from being injured.
II. The following factors help determine whether it is an ultrahazardous activity: the relative possibility of harm; the level of seriousness of potential harm; the level of activity; if the possibility of harm is decreased with the utmost care; whether the risk of the activity outweighs its social value; inappropriateness of the activity in the area it is commenced.
III. A person who is injured by one of these ultra-hazardous activities while trespassing on the property of the person engaged in the activity is barred from suing under the strict liability theory. Instead, they must prove that the property owner was negligent.

Facts: Ian was a renowned scientist. He used to conduct experiments using radioactive substances. While he used to use adequate precautions and wore a protective suit and mask at all times, he had also cordoned off the area to others, and there were signs everywhere saying “TRESPASSERS BEWARE”. One evening, Tiku, a thief, ran inside to hide, ignoring all the safety warnings.

Will Ian be strictly liable in this case?

Solution:

Principle (iii) clearly states that a person who is injured by one of these ultra-hazardous activities while trespassing on the property of the person engaged in the activity is barred from suing under the strict liability theory. Instead, they must prove that the property owner was negligent. This will follow in the instant case as well.

QUESTION: 6

Principle:

I. Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.

II. Libel is any defamation that can be seen, such as a writing, printing, effigy, movie, or statue.

III. Slander is any defamation that is spoken and heard.

Facts: Meeta is a news anchor on television. She reads out the news headlines and anchors a debate show at primetime on News Live. One day she reads out a news piece about how a minister, Gopi, had been caught red-handed while accepting a bribe and had been put behind bars under the Prevention of Corruption Act. A rival candidate, Manilal from Jan Party, grabbed the opportunity and distributed flyers with caricatures stating how the whole of Gopi’s party, Apna Dal was corrupt, even though he had no substantial material to support his claims.

Gopi accused Meeta of libel.

Solution: As per principle (i), defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation. In the instant case, Meeta and News Live were simply broadcasting news about Gopi, which was a court decision and not false or frivolous statements.
QUESTION: 7

Principle:

I. Under the law of torts, negligence is a failure to exercise care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.

II. A threefold test regarding the duty of care has been laid down by the English court as:

III. Harm must be reasonably foreseeable

IV. There must be relationship of proximity between the plaintiff and defendant V. It must be ‘fair, just and reasonable’ to impose the liability

Facts: Joy was an expert with games and was the creator of many famous video games. His latest game Warlocks was a fast-paced action game, involving blood and gore. The game was advertised as being 16+, and even the cover of the game box had a warning about the content of the game, including the age restriction and the fact that it was not for people who were faint-hearted or sensitive to violent visuals and sounds. Gary, a 16-year-old boy, bought the game despite having had seizures whenever he used to see violence in films or heard too much noise etc. When Gary played Warlocks, he had a terrible seizure which caused him to stay unconscious for a whole week, due to which he missed out on a major examination in school.

Solution: The principles clearly outline cases where liability as a result of negligence may be imposed on the defendant. In the instant case, Joy exercised all the precautions as a game creator and could not have reasonably foreseen the harm Gary suffered. Thus, Gary cannot sue Joy for negligence.
QUESTION: 8

Principle: Nothing is an offence which is done by accident or misfortune, as long as it is without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means, with proper care and caution.

Facts: Dhiru was working as a painter at a house. His coworker, Amit, was standing on a stool, painting the ceiling while Dhiru was painting the wall, standing beside Amit. They used to do this all the time and took all precautions necessary. However, that day, all of a sudden, the stool gave way, and Amit fell on Dhiru, injuring him.

Facts: Hari was a building contractor who was infamous for using illegal means to complete projects, but since he used to pay well, he had a thriving business and good workforce. Hari started using bad quality cement in the construction of his new project buildings, even though he knew that an accident could occur and put the labourers in jeopardy. One day, on site, a newly constructed roof collapsed, and 2 workers died while 5 were gravely injured.

Which of the following statements is correct?

Solution: The principle clearly states that nothing is an offence which is an accident or misfortune as long as there was no criminal intention or knowledge involved and proper care and caution had been taken. Hari knew that the labourers were at risk and did not take proper care and precaution due to which the mishap occurred. Thus, his act is an offence.
QUESTION: 9

Principle:

I. Under contract law, in order to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must be absolute and unqualified.

II. Any departure from the terms of the offer or any qualification vitiates the acceptance unless it is agreed to by the person from whom the offer comes. In other words, an acceptance with a variation is no acceptance, and it is simply a counter-proposal.

III. A counter-offer puts an end to the original offer, and it cannot be revived by subsequent acceptance.

Facts: Gareth bought expensive new studs for $120 for his soccer match in school. The shopkeeper told him that they were the best available in the market. However, he later found that he had, in fact, bought an older model and better ones were available online. He decided to sell the shoes online and buy better ones. He put up an advertisement with a picture of the shoes, stating, “Brand new pair of football shoes on sale for $100. Please contact me if interested.” Thomas mails Gareth offering to buy the shoes provided he reduces the price further.

Which of the following statements is correct?

Solution: As per principle (i), in order to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must be absolute and unqualified while in the instant case, Thomas did not accept the proposal unconditionally and absolutely to convert it into a promise. Thus, no one who contacts Gareth first is bound by contract to buy them, nor does Thomas’ mail convert the proposal into a promise.
QUESTION: 10

Principle: When, at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any other person has done or abstained from doing or does or abstains from doing, or promises to do or to abstain from doing, something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise.

Facts: Amit was caught urinating in public for the third time and according to the strict new laws applicable in that area, was presented before the magistrate. The magistrate ordered him to contribute to the community by getting a new public toilet built in the area at his own expense. He purchased a small piece of land and got the toilet constructed. The maintenance of the toilet was awarded to the Cleansweeps agency. Amit met the people at Cleansweeps and told them that he had got the toilet constructed and Cleansweeps should pay him a monthly commission on the usage fee collected. They agree at the time but later refuse to pay. Can Amit successfully sue for breach of contract?

Solution: In light of the principle, it is clear that the act done, in this case, the building of the toilet must have been done at the desire of the promisor, in this case, Cleansweeps. However, no such situation exists in this case since the toilet was built on judicial orders. Thus, the definition of consideration is not fulfilled.
QUESTION: 11

Principle:
I. Where there is a contract for the sale of specific goods, the contract is void if the goods without the knowledge of the seller have, at the time when the contract was made, perished or become so damaged as no longer to answer to their description contract
II. Where there is an agreement to sell specific goods, and subsequently the goods without any fault of the seller or buyer become so damaged as no longer to answer to their description in the agreement before the risk passes to the buyer, the agreement is thereby avoided

Facts: Suman left her house in the morning. She contracted to sell her antique table to Kiran for Rs. 2 lakhs when she met her for lunch at 2 pm. Meanwhile, a burglar broke into her house at around 12 noon and broke the table as well. Suman discovered this when she reached home in the evening.

The contract will be:

Solution:

Principle (i) provides that where there is a contract for the sale of specific goods, the contract is void if the goods without the knowledge of the seller have, at the time when the contract was made, perished or become so damaged as no longer to answer to their description contract. In the instant case also the good, “the table” perished before the making of the contract and hence, it is void.

QUESTION: 12

Principle:

I. Every agreement by which any party thereto is restricted absolutely from enforcing his rights under or in respect of any contract, by the usual legal proceedings in the ordinary tribunals, or which limits the time within which he may thus enforce his rights is void to that extent.

II. Every agreement which extinguishes the rights of any party thereto, or discharges any party thereto from any liability, under or in respect of any contract on the expiry of a specified period so as to restrict any party from enforcing his rights, is void to that extent.

III. A contract will not be rendered illegal by virtue of the fact that it involves 2 or more persons who agree that any dispute which may arise between them will be referred to arbitration, and only the amount awarded in such arbitration will be recoverable in respect of the dispute referred.

IV. A contract will also not be rendered illegal if it is with respect to the reference of matter/questions already arisen, for arbitration.

Facts: Tom enters into an agreement with Imran for the sale of Tom’s old VCD collection. Tom includes in the agreement the condition that Imran would not be able to sue him for any defect in the VCDs or if he discovers any fraud etc., effective immediately after taking possession of the VCDs after the payment had been made. In case any dispute arises, it would be referred to arbitration, with Tom and Imran appointing one arbitrator each and who, in turn, would appoint the third arbitrator. Imran buys the VCDs and takes them home. However, he discovers that several of them have scratches and do not run on the VCD player, while there are some empty CD cases as well. When he discovers this fraud, he drags Tom to court for having fooled him.

Is there any defect in the agreement with reference to the principles given?

Solution: Based on principle (i), every agreement by which any party thereto is restricted absolutely from enforcing his rights under or in respect of any contract, by the usual legal proceedings in the ordinary tribunals, or which limits the time within which he may thus enforce his rights is void to that extent. Principle (iii) further states that a contract will not be rendered illegal by virtue of the fact that it involves 2 or more persons who agree that any dispute which may arise between them will be referred to arbitration, and only the amount awarded in such arbitration will be recoverable in respect of the dispute referred. In the instant case, the agreement provided for dispute resolution by arbitration and did not bar the rights of Imran absolutely. Thus, there was no defect in the agreement.
QUESTION: 13

Principle:
I. In case of sale by auction, where goods are put up for sale in lots, each lot is prima facie deemed to be the subject of a separate contract of sale.
II. The sale is complete when the auctioneer announces its completion by the fall of the hammer or in another customary manner, and until such announcement is made, any bidder may retract his bid.
III. A right to bid may be reserved expressly by or on behalf of the seller and, where such right is expressly so reserved, but not otherwise, the seller or anyone person on his behalf may, subject to the provisions contained in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, bid at the auction.
IV. Where the sale is not notified to be subject to a right to bid on behalf of the seller, it will not be lawful for the seller to bid himself or to employ any person to bid at such sale, or for the auctioneer knowingly to take any bid from the seller or any such person, and any sale contravening this rule may be treated as fraudulent by the buyer.
V. The sale may be notified to be subject to a reserved or upset price.
VI. If the seller makes use of pretended bidding to raise the price, the sale is voidable at the option of the buyer.

Facts: Hemlata was an art aficionado. She had collected several popular, rare and expensive works of art over a period of time. Over a period of time, however, she accumulated a large amount of debt. In order to put together funds to pay off the loan, she decided to auction fifteen paintings that she had bought over the past few years. Most of the paintings attracted several buyers at the auction. However, there were hardly any buyers for ‘The Vase with Flowers’ that she had painted herself. She told her friends to bid for the painting just so people would bid a greater amount for it. When the bidding for the painting began, Dharam bid Rs. 50,000 for the painting, but when he saw Hemlata’s friends bidding for the painting as well, he bid `1 lakh to buy it. The painting was sold to Dharam for Rs.1 lakh. Separately, Kyla, another bidder, bid on a painting ‘The White Birds’ but midway in the process of bidding, she set her heart on another painting that she wanted to buy and decided to withdraw from the bid for ‘The White Birds’. When she raised her hand to withdraw the bid, Hemlata whispered in her ear that she could not retract the bid since she had already entered into competition to bid for that painting.

Hemlata’s friend went and congratulated Dharam for winning the bid on ‘The Vase with Flowers’. However, in the conversation, she let slip the fact that the painting would not have been sold for more than Rs. 25,000 if they had not helped Hemlata by bidding in competition. The sale to Dirham is:

Solution:

As per principle (vi), if the seller makes use of pretended bidding to raise the price, the sale is voidable at the option of the buyer. In the instant case, the seller, Hemlata made use of pretended bidding in order to raise the price of her painting and thus, the sale is voidable at the option of Dharam, the buyer.

QUESTION: 14

Principle: I. The word “minority” is not defined in the Constitution, but literally, it means ’a non-dominant’ group. It is a relative term and is referred to, to represent the smaller of two numbers, sections or groups called ‘majority’. In that sense, there may be political minorities, religious minorities, linguistic minorities, etc.

II. Backward classes are not minorities within Article 30 of the Constitution which provides the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions

III. Maladministration would defeat the very purpose of Article 30, which is to promote excellence of minority institutions in the field of education

Facts: Assume that the State of Pavitra Pradesh in India has a population of 2,00,000. A community called Pals speak mainly khadi boli (being the only community who promote the language in India) and are around 50,000 in number. The rest are mainly Sauls.

Which of the following is correct?

I. The Pals are a majority

II. The Sauls are a majority

III. The Sauls are a minority

IV. The Pals are a linguistic minority

Solution: As per principle (i), the word “minority” is not defined in the Constitution but literally it means ’a non-dominant’ group. It is a relative term and is referred to, to represent the smaller of two numbers, sections or groups called ‘majority’. In that sense, there may be political minorities, religious minorities, linguistic minorities, etc. In the instant case, an analysis of the facts will show that the Pals are a linguistic minority while the Sauls are a majority (since they form the main part of the remaining 1,50,000 of the population).
QUESTION: 15

Principle:

I. Wherever the causing of a certain effect, or an attempt to cause that effect, by an act or by an omission, is an offence, it is to be understood that the causing of that effect partly by an act and partly by an omission is the same offence.

II. Where several persons are engaged or concerned in the commission of a criminal act, they may be guilty of different offences by means of that act.

III. When an offence is committed by means of several acts, whoever intentionally co-operates in the commission of that offence by doing any one of those acts, either singly or jointly with any other person, commits that offence.

Facts: Zubair was an orphan who had been put under the care of his uncle, Hussain, ever since his parents died in a car accident. Zubair’s parents had left their son the entire estate and only upon his death could anyone else get the property. He stuck out like a sore thumb in the eyes of his relatives, particularly Hussain. Hussain weaved an elaborate plan to kill Zubair. He knew that Zubair was lactose intolerant. As part of his criminal design, he told his wife, Rubaiya, to give Zubair milk products every now and then. Rubaiya did not know of her husband’s evil intentions. She, in fact, assumed that giving such foods to Zubair would be good for his health. She gave Zubair a milk cake for dessert after every meal and a glass of milk at night. A couple of days later, Zubair fell severely ill, experiencing acute pain in his stomach and vomiting. His treatment went on for days, but Hussain told the doctor to not tell anyone else about the cause for Zubair’s condition. Hussain deliberately skipped giving doses of the medicines prescribed to Zubair to further deteriorate his condition. Zubair ultimately succumbed to his condition. The family lawyer, Mohammad Uzman, filed a case against Hussain, Rubaiya and the doctor for having been responsible for Zubair’s untimely demise.

Which of the following statements is correct?

Solution: None of the 3 statements given is correct. It is to be noted that Rubaiya gave Zubair the milk products, thinking that they would be nutritious and good for his health. She had no idea about his condition. Both under principles (ii) and (iii), there ought to be participation in a criminal act and an element of knowledge. In the instant case, Rubaiya cannot be held guilty for she did not know about the consequences of her act.
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