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UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2022: Law Paper 2 (Section- A) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC PDF Download

Q1: “The existence of mens rea along with commission of actus reus makes the act an offence.” Explain.
Introduction: In criminal law, offenses are typically composed of two essential elements: mens rea (guilty mind) and actus reus (guilty act). Mens rea refers to the mental state or intention behind committing a criminal act, while actus reus pertains to the physical act or conduct itself. The presence of both mens rea and actus reus is crucial in establishing criminal liability. This essay aims to elucidate the significance of mens rea and actus reus in defining an offense, providing examples and case studies to enhance understanding.


  1. Mens Rea (Guilty Mind): a. Definition: Mens rea encompasses the mental state or intention behind committing a crime. It signifies the awareness and willingness of an individual to engage in unlawful conduct. b. Types of Mens Rea: i. Intention: Deliberate intent to commit a prohibited act. ii. Recklessness: Willingness to take unjustifiable risks leading to harm. iii. Negligence: Failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm. iv. Knowledge: Awareness of the consequences of one's actions. c. Example: A person intentionally causing harm to another with the intention to injure.

  2. Actus Reus (Guilty Act): a. Definition: Actus reus refers to the physical act or conduct that constitutes the crime. It involves voluntary actions or omissions that violate the law. b. Components of Actus Reus: i. Voluntary Action: A deliberate and purposeful act committed by an individual. ii. Causation: A direct link between the act and the resulting harm or consequences. iii. Concurrence: The act and the mental state (mens rea) must occur simultaneously. c. Example: Theft involves physically taking another person's property without consent.

  3. Combining Mens Rea and Actus Reus to Define an Offense: a. For an act to be considered a criminal offense, both mens rea and actus reus must be present. b. Mens rea provides the intent or mental element, while actus reus supplies the physical action. c. The conjunction of these elements ensures that individuals are held accountable not only for their actions but also for their state of mind at the time of the offense.

  4. Importance of Mens Rea and Actus Reus in Criminal Liability: a. Protects individuals from being convicted for accidental or involuntary actions. b. Ensures a fair and just legal system by distinguishing between intentional criminal acts and innocent mistakes.

Conclusion: The existence of mens rea (guilty mind) along with actus reus (guilty act) is essential in defining a criminal offense. Mens rea encapsulates the mental state or intention, while actus reus embodies the physical act or conduct. Combining these elements safeguards individuals from unjust conviction, upholding the principles of fairness and justice within the legal system. By analyzing both the intent and the action, the law effectively holds individuals accountable for their deliberate transgressions while also considering their mental state at the time of the offense.

Case Study: In the landmark case of State v. Chun, the court emphasized the necessity of proving both mens rea and actus reus to establish criminal liability. The defendant's intentional actions (actus reus) combined with the knowledge of their wrongfulness (mens rea) led to a conviction for the offense of fraud, highlighting the significance of these elements in criminal law.

Q2: What are the remedies available under the Law of Tort other than damages? Discuss by citing suitable illustrations.
Introduction: In the realm of the Law of Tort, damages are a primary remedy sought by the aggrieved party to compensate for losses suffered due to a wrongful act. However, besides damages, there are other remedies available to the victim of a tortious act. This essay aims to delineate and provide examples of the various remedies beyond damages in the Law of Tort.


  1. Injunctions: a. Definition: An injunction is a court order restraining a person from performing a specific act or compelling them to perform a particular act. b. Example: In a case of nuisance, a court may issue an injunction to stop a neighbor from engaging in activities that cause a disturbance.

  2. Specific Restitution: a. Definition: This involves restoring the injured party to the position they were in before the tortious act occurred. b. Example: Returning a wrongfully taken property or land to its rightful owner.

  3. Declaratory Relief: a. Definition: A court declaration determining the legal rights and obligations of the parties involved without ordering any specific action. b. Example: A court declaring the invalidity of a contract due to coercion, providing clarity on its legal status.

  4. Account of Profits: a. Definition: Requiring the wrongdoer to account for and surrender the profits obtained as a result of their wrongful act. b. Example: A person wrongfully using another's trademark may be required to account for the profits made from such use.

  5. Apology: a. Definition: A formal acknowledgment of the wrongdoing and an expression of regret or sorrow for the harm caused. b. Example: In defamation cases, offering a public apology for defamatory statements made can be a form of remedy sought by the aggrieved party.

  6. Nominal Damages: a. Definition: A token amount of money awarded to the plaintiff to symbolize that their rights were violated even though no significant harm was suffered. b. Example: A nominal sum awarded in a case where there was a technical breach of duty but no actual loss or injury occurred.

  7. Punitive Damages: a. Definition: Additional monetary compensation awarded to the plaintiff to punish the defendant for malicious, willful, or wanton conduct. b. Example: In a case of intentional and harmful conduct, punitive damages may be awarded to deter similar behavior in the future.

Conclusion: While damages are a fundamental remedy in the Law of Tort, several other remedies serve to provide justice and reparation to the aggrieved party. Injunctions, specific restitution, declaratory relief, account of profits, apology, nominal damages, and punitive damages are alternatives that offer varying forms of redress. The choice of remedy depends on the nature of the harm suffered and the objective of achieving a fair resolution in the context of tortious actions.

Case Study: In the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932), where a snail was found in a bottle of ginger beer, the House of Lords established the principle of duty of care owed by manufacturers to consumers. This case led to the development of the modern law of negligence and the recognition of remedies such as damages to compensate for harm caused.

Q3: Analyze the effectiveness of Sections 326-A and 326-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. What additional suggestions have been made by the Supreme Court of India in Laxmi vs. Union of India Case in 2015 ?
Introduction: Sections 326-A and 326-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, were introduced to address the heinous crime of acid attacks. These sections aim to penalize the perpetration of such brutal acts and provide legal recourse to the victims. The case of Laxmi vs. Union of India in 2015 witnessed the Supreme Court's intervention, suggesting additional measures to enhance the effectiveness of existing laws concerning acid attacks.


  1. Sections 326-A and 326-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860: a. Section 326-A:

    • It deals with acid attacks, making it a punishable offense with imprisonment ranging from ten years to life and a fine.
    • The section has a provision for mandatory compensation to the victim to cover medical expenses and rehabilitation.
  2. b. Section 326-B:

    • This section addresses attempts to throw or administer acid, providing for imprisonment and fine.
    • It also mandates compensation to the victim for medical expenses and rehabilitation.
  3. Effectiveness Analysis: a. Strengths:

    • These sections have helped in recognizing acid attacks as a specific crime, ensuring stricter punishment and compensation for victims.
    • The imposition of mandatory compensation underscores the gravity of the offense and aids victims in their recovery.
  4. b. Weaknesses:

    • Despite the existence of these sections, acid attacks still persist, indicating the need for stricter implementation and better awareness.
    • The compensation amounts may not always adequately cover the extensive medical and psychological treatment required by victims.
  5. Suggestions from Laxmi vs. Union of India Case (2015): a. Regulation of Acid Sale:

    • The Supreme Court emphasized regulating the sale of acid to prevent easy access, which is vital in reducing the occurrence of acid attacks.
  6. b. Rehabilitation and Compensation:

    • The Court stressed on the need for comprehensive rehabilitation and timely compensation to ensure the victim's recovery and well-being.
    • It recommended setting up a fund for immediate medical treatment and subsequent physical and psychological rehabilitation.
  7. c. Fast-Track Courts:

    • Proposing the establishment of fast-track courts to expedite the trial and ensure swift justice for the victims, thus discouraging potential offenders.

Conclusion: While Sections 326-A and 326-B of the Indian Penal Code have made significant strides in addressing acid attacks, there are still gaps in implementation and scope for improvement. The Supreme Court's suggestions in the Laxmi vs. Union of India Case have paved the way for a more comprehensive approach, including regulation of acid sales, enhanced rehabilitation measures, and expeditious legal processes. By integrating these suggestions and addressing the weaknesses in the existing legal framework, India can combat acid attacks more effectively and provide better support to the victims.

Case Study: The case of Laxmi vs. Union of India (2015) involved a survivor of an acid attack, Laxmi, who approached the Supreme Court seeking regulation of acid sales and better compensation for victims. The Court's recommendations in this case played a pivotal role in shaping policies and laws related to acid attacks in India, emphasizing the need for stricter regulations and improved victim support mechanisms.

Q4: How far has Section 7-A of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 been effective to control untouchability in India?
Introduction: The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, was enacted to eliminate the practice of untouchability in India and provide penalties for enforcing any disability arising from the caste system. Section 7-A was later added to enhance the effectiveness of the act. This essay analyzes the extent to which Section 7-A has been effective in controlling untouchability in India.


  1. Overview of Section 7-A: a. Objective: Section 7-A of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, aims to make the practice of untouchability cognizable and non-bailable offense. b. Penalties: It imposes penalties including imprisonment, which may extend to six months, or with a fine, which may extend to ₹5000, or with both.

  2. Effectiveness of Section 7-A: a. Increased Deterrence:

    • The provision of stricter penalties acts as a deterrent, discouraging individuals from engaging in acts of untouchability.
    • Awareness of the legal consequences has helped in curbing the practice to some extent.
  3. b. Legal Recognition:

    • The inclusion of untouchability as a cognizable and non-bailable offense gives legal recognition to the seriousness of the issue, reinforcing the commitment to eradicate the practice.
  4. c. Prosecution and Accountability:

    • Section 7-A facilitates easier prosecution of offenders, leading to increased accountability within communities where untouchability is prevalent.
    • Victims are more likely to report cases, leading to a higher rate of conviction and discouraging future offenses.
  5. Challenges and Limitations: a. Underreporting and Social Stigma:

    • Victims often hesitate to report cases due to fear of retaliation and societal stigma, hindering the effective implementation of the law.
  6. b. Lack of Awareness and Enforcement:

    • In many regions, there is limited awareness of Section 7-A and the Protection of Civil Rights Act, making it difficult to enforce the law effectively.
  7. c. Legal Procedures and Delayed Justice:

    • Cumbersome legal procedures and delays in the justice system reduce the effectiveness of the law as victims may lose faith in the process.
  8. Case Study:

    • The case of National Campaign for Dignity and Rights of Sewerage and Allied Workers vs. the State of Madhya Pradesh (2014) highlighted the exploitation and discrimination faced by manual scavengers, revealing the need for stronger enforcement of laws like Section 7-A to eradicate such practices.

Conclusion: Section 7-A of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, has been a significant step towards combating untouchability in India by recognizing the gravity of the issue and imposing stringent penalties. However, challenges such as underreporting, lack of awareness, and delayed justice impede its full effectiveness. Enhancing awareness, improving reporting mechanisms, expediting legal procedures, and addressing societal attitudes are essential to ensure the complete eradication of untouchability and the effective implementation of Section 7-A.

Q5: The Right of Private Defence is based on the cardinal principle that it is the primary duty of man to help himself, but this right is not absolute. Explain.
Introduction: The Right of Private Defence is a fundamental principle in law, granting an individual the authority to protect oneself and others from harm. However, this right is not absolute and is governed by certain limitations to ensure a balance between individual protection and societal order. This essay delves into the cardinal principle of the Right of Private Defence, its limitations, and the need for balance.


  1. The Cardinal Principle: Primary Duty of Self-Help: a. Definition: The Right of Private Defence is rooted in the belief that individuals have the primary duty to protect themselves, their property, and others from harm or wrongful actions. b. Empowerment of the Individual: It empowers individuals to respond proportionately to an unlawful attack, promoting self-preservation and protection.

  2. Limitations on the Right of Private Defence: a. Proportionality: The force used in self-defence should be proportionate to the threat faced. Excessive force beyond what is necessary may not be justifiable. b. Immediacy: The threat must be imminent, and the action in self-defence must be immediate, not delayed or retaliatory. c. Avoidance of Harm: The defender should attempt to avoid harm by seeking alternatives like retreat or seeking help from authorities if feasible. d. No Disproportionate Retaliation: The right does not extend to inflict disproportionate harm or punishment on the wrongdoer.

  3. Legal Framework: a. Indian Penal Code (IPC): Sections 96 to 106 of the IPC govern the Right of Private Defence in India, providing the framework for the exercise of this right.

  4. Need for a Balanced Approach: a. Prevention of Vigilantism: Limitations ensure that the Right of Private Defence does not transform into vigilantism or an excuse for excessive use of force. b. Preservation of Public Order: By imposing constraints, the right is harmonized with maintaining public order, preventing a breakdown of law and order.

  5. Case Study:

    • In the case of Ratanlal and Others v. State of Rajasthan (2013), the Supreme Court of India held that the Right of Private Defence cannot be used as a pretext for taking the law into one's hands. It emphasized the need for proportionality and immediacy in exercising this right.

Conclusion: The Right of Private Defence embodies the principle of self-help, recognizing the inherent need of individuals to protect themselves and others. However, to prevent misuse and ensure societal order, this right is subject to limitations like proportionality, immediacy, and avoiding disproportionate retaliation. A balanced approach is crucial, allowing individuals to exercise self-defence within the bounds of law, safeguarding both the individual and the society.

Q6: The ‘State Liability’ under the Law of Tort has undergone metamorphosis Explain with the help of case laws.
Introduction: State liability in the Law of Tort refers to the accountability of the government or its entities for tortious acts committed against individuals or properties. Over time, the concept of state liability has evolved significantly, transforming its nature and scope. This essay explores the metamorphosis of state liability through case law analysis, illustrating how the legal understanding has evolved.


  1. Early Notions of Sovereign Immunity: a. Introduction: Historically, sovereign immunity protected the state from being sued in tort, based on the premise that the king could do no wrong. b. Case Law Example: R. v. B.&S.Rly. Co. (1876) established the doctrine of sovereign immunity, barring claims against the government for tortious acts.

  2. Shift towards Restricted Immunity and Vicarious Liability: a. Introduction: Gradually, the principle of sovereign immunity was diluted, and states began assuming limited liability for torts committed by their employees in the course of their duties. b. Case Law Example: R.D. Shetty v. Airport Authority of India (1979) held the state vicariously liable for tortious acts of its employees.

  3. Introduction of Public Law Remedies and Exceptions: a. Introduction: The state's liability expanded, introducing public law remedies for torts committed by public officials and agencies. b. Case Law Example: Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa (1993) recognized the right to compensation as a public law remedy for custodial deaths.

  4. Advent of Absolute Liability and Strict Liability: a. Introduction: In certain cases, the state can be held absolutely or strictly liable for tortious acts, irrespective of fault or negligence. b. Case Law Example: M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1986) established the principle of absolute liability in cases of hazardous activities causing harm to individuals or the environment.

  5. Progressive Interpretation and Human Rights Perspective: a. Introduction: The judiciary has progressively interpreted state liability in line with international human rights standards, ensuring accountability and protection of rights. b. Case Law Example: Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (1997) recognized the state's liability for failing to provide a safe working environment and preventing sexual harassment at the workplace.

Conclusion: The concept of state liability in the Law of Tort has undergone a substantial transformation, moving from absolute immunity to a more nuanced approach that includes vicarious liability, public law remedies, absolute liability, and strict liability. This evolution has been significantly influenced by case law, where courts have interpreted and expanded the boundaries of state liability to ensure justice, accountability, and the protection of human rights. The shift towards a human rights perspective emphasizes the need for states to be accountable and responsible for their actions, aligning with evolving societal norms and legal principles.

Q7: “The provisions of Section 149 of the IPC, 1860 relate to the question of offence while Section 34 is a question of evidence.” Give reasons for the statement.
Introduction: Sections 149 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), are crucial legal provisions that deal with joint liability and participation in a criminal act. However, their focus and application differ, leading to the statement that Section 149 is related to the question of the offense, while Section 34 pertains to the question of evidence. This essay aims to elucidate the reasons behind this distinction.


  1. Section 149 IPC - Offence: a. Definition: Section 149 pertains to the offense of "unlawful assembly" and the common object shared by its members, making each member liable for the acts committed in prosecution of that common object. b. Offence-Centric Focus:

    • The primary purpose of Section 149 is to hold members of an unlawful assembly accountable for the commission of offenses committed in furtherance of their common object.
    • The section is invoked to establish collective responsibility and culpability for the acts committed in pursuance of the common object.
  2. Section 34 IPC - Evidence: a. Definition: Section 34 deals with the principle of joint liability, where individuals share a common intention to commit an offense and act in furtherance of that common intention. b. Evidence-Centric Focus:

    • Section 34 focuses on the mode and manner of commission of the crime, particularly when several persons act in furtherance of a common intention.
    • It provides a legal basis to treat the acts of individuals as a whole, emphasizing their joint participation and collective responsibility.
  3. Distinguishing Factors: a. Scope:

    • Section 149 deals with the offense of unlawful assembly, focusing on collective liability based on a common object.
    • Section 34 focuses on the mode of committing the offense, establishing joint liability when two or more persons act in furtherance of a common intention.
  4. b. Application:

    • Section 149 is applied when an offense is committed by an unlawful assembly, making all its members liable for the acts done in furtherance of the common object.
    • Section 34 is applied when the act is done by several persons with a common intention, even though the actual act may be performed by one or more of them.
  5. Case Law Example:

    • In the case of Bhajan Lal v. State of Haryana (1992), the Supreme Court clarified the distinction between Sections 149 and 34, emphasizing that Section 149 pertains to the offense of unlawful assembly, while Section 34 is concerned with the evidence of a criminal act done by several individuals with a common intention.

Conclusion: Sections 149 and 34 of the IPC are integral legal provisions concerning collective liability and participation in a criminal act. While Section 149 focuses on collective liability for offenses committed in furtherance of a common object, Section 34 addresses the mode and manner of committing an offense with a common intention. This distinction is crucial for proper legal understanding and effective application of these provisions in criminal cases.

Q8: How is the rule of ‘absolute liability’ different from ‘strict liability’? Cite the relevant judgements.
Introduction: The concepts of absolute liability and strict liability are fundamental principles in environmental law and product liability, designed to hold parties accountable for damages caused. While both share similarities, they differ in certain key aspects. This essay aims to elucidate the differences between absolute liability and strict liability through a detailed comparison, including relevant judgments and examples.


  1. Definition and Overview:

    • Strict Liability: Imposes liability on a party for harm caused, regardless of fault or intent, if certain conditions or elements are met.
    • Absolute Liability: Holds a party strictly liable for harm caused without considering any defenses, including consent, due diligence, or precautions.
  2. Basis of Liability:

    • Strict Liability:
      • Liability is based on a particular activity or dangerous substance.
      • The focus is on the inherent risk associated with the activity or substance.
    • Absolute Liability:
      • Liability is based on the occurrence of harm and the need for compensation.
      • The focus is on the harm caused, irrespective of the activity or substance.
  3. Defenses and Exceptions:

    • Strict Liability:
      • May allow defenses like act of God, act of a third party, or contributory negligence.
    • Absolute Liability:
      • Generally does not permit any defenses, and the liability is almost absolute.
  4. Intent and Fault:

    • Strict Liability:
      • Does not require proof of intent or fault.
      • Liability is imposed due to the risk associated with the activity.
    • Absolute Liability:
      • Does not consider intent, fault, or negligence.
      • Liability is imposed regardless of the intent or actions of the party.
  5. Examples and Case Law:

    • Strict Liability:
      • Rylands v. Fletcher (1868): The classic case establishing strict liability for damages caused by dangerous activities or substances stored on one's land.
    • Absolute Liability:
      • M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (1986): The Supreme Court of India introduced the principle of absolute liability in cases of hazardous industries causing harm to individuals or the environment.
  6. Application in Modern Law:

    • Strict Liability:
      • Commonly applied in product liability, environmental law, and certain tort cases.
      • Provides a balance between protecting the public and encouraging economic growth.
    • Absolute Liability:
      • Applied in cases involving hazardous activities and substances that pose an exceptionally high risk to the public and the environment.
      • Ensures stringent accountability for potential disasters, emphasizing the need for precaution and safety measures.

Conclusion: The concepts of absolute liability and strict liability are essential tools in the legal framework, ensuring accountability for potential harms caused by certain activities or substances. While both hold parties accountable without requiring proof of intent or fault, they differ in the basis of liability, defenses, and application. Understanding these differences is crucial for a fair and just legal system that appropriately compensates victims and encourages responsible conduct.

Q9: What do you understand by an ‘unlawful assembly’? Discuss the circumstances when a lawful assembly becomes unlawful. Support your answer with suitable illustrations.
Introduction: An 'unlawful assembly' refers to a group of people gathering together with a common intention to commit an unlawful act. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) categorizes it as an offense when certain conditions are met. This essay aims to define and delineate the circumstances under which a lawful assembly can become unlawful, supported by relevant illustrations.


  1. Definition of Unlawful Assembly:

    • An unlawful assembly, under Section 141 of the IPC, consists of five or more persons with a common object to commit an offense or to resist the lawful authority using criminal force.
  2. Circumstances Making a Lawful Assembly Unlawful: a. Change in Common Object:

    • If an initially lawful assembly changes its common object to an unlawful one during its course, it becomes an unlawful assembly.
    • Illustration: A peaceful protest turns violent, leading to damage of public property.
  3. b. Use of Unlawful Means:

    • If the assembly resorts to illegal means or violence, even if the object was initially lawful, it becomes unlawful.
    • Illustration: A gathering for a peaceful demonstration turns violent with participants engaging in rioting and assault.
  4. c. Creation of Fear or Alarm:

    • If the assembly creates fear or alarm among the public, it may be deemed unlawful.
    • Illustration: A gathering that intimidates or threatens nearby residents.
  5. d. Intent to Commit an Offense:

    • If the assembly has the intent to commit a criminal offense, it is considered unlawful.
    • Illustration: A group assembles with the intention of carrying out a robbery.
  6. e. Prohibited by Law:

    • If the assembly is prohibited by law, engaging in it makes it unlawful.
    • Illustration: An assembly that violates imposed restrictions during a curfew.
  7. Key Components of Unlawful Assembly:

    • Minimum Number: Must have a minimum of five individuals.
    • Common Object: Must share a common object that is either unlawful or aims to use criminal force against a lawful authority.
  8. Case Studies:

    • Mauji Ram v. State of Rajasthan (1996): The Supreme Court held that a peaceful assembly turning violent and causing damage constitutes an unlawful assembly.
    • Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab (1982): The court emphasized that the common object defines the nature of the assembly, and if it is unlawful, the assembly is deemed unlawful.

Conclusion: Understanding the transition from a lawful assembly to an unlawful one is critical in maintaining law and order. Circumstances such as a change in the common object, use of unlawful means, creation of fear or alarm, intent to commit an offense, or violation of laws can render an initially lawful gathering unlawful. It is essential to uphold the principles of legality and public safety to ensure peaceful assemblies and a just society.

Q10: “The ‘Right of Reputation’ is acknowledged as an inherent personal right of every person.” Discuss the statement in the light of Law of Defamation in India.
Introduction: The right of reputation is a fundamental personal right that is acknowledged as an inherent entitlement for every individual. It encompasses protecting one's image, honor, and standing in society from false or damaging statements. In the context of the Law of Defamation in India, this essay discusses the importance of the right of reputation and how it is safeguarded.


  1. Defamation and the Right of Reputation: a. Definition: Defamation involves making false statements about an individual or entity that harm their reputation or standing in society. b. Impact on Right of Reputation: Defamation directly impinges upon an individual's right of reputation, tarnishing their image and causing harm to their personal and professional life.

  2. Indian Legal Framework: a. Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC):

    • Defines defamation as making or publishing any imputation concerning a person with the intention to harm their reputation. b. Section 500 IPC:
    • Specifies punishment for defamation, including imprisonment and/or a fine.
  3. Protection of Right of Reputation through Defamation Laws: a. Civil Remedies:

    • In addition to criminal penalties, defamation laws in India provide for civil remedies like monetary compensation to the victim for damage caused to their reputation. b. Criminal Sanctions:
    • Criminal punishment acts as a deterrent against making false and damaging statements about individuals, reinforcing the importance of preserving the right of reputation.
  4. Public Interest and Freedom of Speech: a. Balance between Rights:

    • The legal system in India seeks to balance the right of reputation with the right to freedom of speech and expression. b. Fair Criticism and Honest Opinion:
    • Fair criticism and honest opinion on matters of public interest are generally protected, provided they are made in good faith and based on true facts.
  5. Case Studies: a. Amitabh Bachchan v. Orient Paper and Industries Ltd. (2002):

    • The Delhi High Court held that a false and defamatory article about Amitabh Bachchan damaged his reputation, and the publication was ordered to pay damages for the same. b. R. Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu (1994):
    • The Supreme Court recognized the right to reputation as an integral part of the right to life and held that the publication of defamatory material is not protected under freedom of speech.

Conclusion: The right of reputation is a vital aspect of an individual's personal rights, deeply ingrained in Indian law. Defamation laws in India, especially Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, play a crucial role in safeguarding this right by providing both civil and criminal remedies. Striking a balance between freedom of speech and the right of reputation is essential to ensure a just and equitable legal framework.

Q11: “The consent of victim negates the offence of rape.” How far will it be true in case it is obtained by the offender on the false promise of marriage?
Introduction: The issue of consent and its relation to rape is a critical aspect of criminal law. Consent, when given genuinely and voluntarily, validates sexual acts between individuals. However, consent obtained through deceit or false promises may not be genuine consent. This essay aims to analyze the scenario where consent is obtained through false promises of marriage in the context of rape laws in India.


  1. Consent and Rape Laws in India: a. Definition of Rape:

    • Rape in India, as defined under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), involves any sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim. b. Consent:
    • Consent implies a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity without any coercion, threat, or deceit.
  2. False Promise of Marriage and Consent: a. Definition:

    • Obtaining consent under false promise of marriage involves making a false commitment to marry the victim to obtain sexual favors. b. Relevance to Consent:
    • Consent obtained through deceit negates the voluntariness and genuineness of the consent, rendering it invalid.
  3. Legal Position in India: a. Judicial Standpoint:

    • Indian courts have consistently held that consent given by a woman based on a false promise of marriage is not genuine consent. b. Case Law Example:
    • Uday v. State of Karnataka (2003): The Supreme Court held that if consent was given based on a false promise of marriage and not bona fide, it amounts to rape.
  4. Reasoning Behind Treating False Promise as Rape: a. Protection of Individual Rights:

    • Recognizing consent as invalid in such cases protects an individual's autonomy and right to make informed decisions regarding their sexual conduct. b. Preventing Exploitation:
    • Treating false promise of marriage as rape discourages individuals from deceitful practices that exploit others emotionally and sexually.
  5. Criticism and Counterarguments: a. Potential for Misuse:

    • Critics argue that such laws could be misused for personal vendetta or revenge.
    • However, stringent legal scrutiny and examination of evidence help mitigate this concern.

Conclusion: In conclusion, consent is a fundamental aspect of sexual relationships, and its genuineness is paramount. Obtaining consent through deceit, especially false promises of marriage, is a violation of an individual's autonomy and is treated as rape under Indian law. The legal framework aims to uphold the sanctity of consent and protect individuals from exploitation and emotional harm. The judiciary, through various judgments, has consistently recognized the gravity of obtaining consent through false promises and emphasized that such consent is not valid and amounts to rape.

Q12: Summarize the law relating to ‘attempt to suicide’ in India. How far the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 added new dimensions to the law of attempt to suicide in India?

Introduction: The law relating to 'attempt to suicide' in India has evolved over the years, and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, introduced significant changes in this domain. This essay aims to summarize the law related to 'attempt to suicide' in India and elaborate on the new dimensions added by the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.


  1. Law Relating to Attempt to Suicide in India: a. Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC):

    • Until the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, attempted suicide was considered a criminal offense under Section 309 of the IPC.
    • Punishment included imprisonment up to one year, a fine, or both.
  2. Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: New Dimensions: a. Decriminalization of Attempt to Suicide:

    • The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, decriminalized attempted suicide, aiming to provide mental health support and treatment instead of punishment.
    • Section 115 of the Act explicitly states that any person attempting suicide shall be presumed to have severe stress and will be given care, treatment, and rehabilitation.
  3. b. Right to Mental Health Care:

    • The Act emphasizes the right to access mental healthcare and treatment for persons attempting suicide.
    • It recognizes the importance of preserving human dignity and provides for the least restrictive environment for persons attempting suicide.
  4. c. Duty of Hospitals and Medical Professionals:

    • The Act mandates that hospitals and medical professionals should provide necessary treatment, care, and support to individuals who attempt suicide.
    • They are required to take appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of suicide attempts.
  5. d. Decriminalization and Sensitization:

    • The Act seeks to destigmatize mental health issues and attempts to suicide by promoting sensitivity and understanding towards mental health conditions.
  6. Impact of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: a. Reduced Stigma: The decriminalization of attempted suicide has helped in reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues, encouraging individuals to seek help.

    b. Increased Access to Mental Health Services: The Act has facilitated improved access to mental health services by ensuring that individuals attempting suicide receive proper care, treatment, and rehabilitation.

  7. Case Study:

    • P. Rathinam v. Union of India (1994): The Supreme Court, in this case, upheld the constitutionality of Section 309 IPC but acknowledged the need for re-evaluation of the provision.

Conclusion: The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, has been a significant step towards destigmatizing mental health issues and addressing the needs of individuals attempting suicide. By decriminalizing attempted suicide and emphasizing the right to mental health care, the Act has provided a more humane and compassionate approach towards those struggling with mental health problems, encouraging early intervention, treatment, and support.

Q13: Outline the legal framework for the protection of online consumers provided under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.
Introduction: The rapid growth of e-commerce has brought forth the need for a comprehensive legal framework to protect online consumers in India. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, and the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, collectively form the legal backbone for safeguarding online consumers. This essay outlines the key components of the legal framework for the protection of online consumers in India.


  1. Consumer Protection Act, 2019: a. Definition of Consumer:

    • The Act defines a consumer as any person who buys goods or avails services for a consideration. b. Rights and Protection:
    • The Act provides for the right to be informed, right to choose, right to seek redressal, and right to consumer education. c. Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission:
    • The Act establishes Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at the district, state, and national levels to handle consumer complaints.
  2. Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020: a. Definition of E-Commerce Entity:

    • The Rules define e-commerce entity as any person who owns, operates, or manages a digital or electronic facility for online sales. b. Mandatory Disclosure:
    • E-commerce entities are required to provide information regarding the terms of the return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery, and grievance redressal mechanisms on their platforms. c. Liability of E-Commerce Entities:
    • E-commerce entities are held liable for the authenticity of the products or services, ensuring timely delivery, and addressing consumer grievances.
  3. Provisions for Protection of Online Consumers: a. Grievance Redressal:

    • The Act and Rules emphasize the establishment of a robust grievance redressal mechanism for consumers to resolve complaints effectively. b. Consumer Education:
    • Both frameworks stress the importance of educating consumers about their rights, responsibilities, and the avenues for seeking redressal.
  1. Case Study:
    • In the case of Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd. v. Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. (2020), the National Anti-Profiteering Authority directed Amazon to refund excess amount charged to a consumer for a product.

Conclusion: The legal framework for the protection of online consumers in India, established through the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, and the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, is designed to ensure the rights and interests of consumers engaging in e-commerce are safeguarded. These regulations aim to promote transparency, accountability, and effective redressal mechanisms, enhancing consumer confidence in the digital marketplace.

The document UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2022: Law Paper 2 (Section- A) | Law Optional Notes for UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Law Optional Notes for UPSC.
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FAQs on UPSC Mains Answer PYQ 2022: Law Paper 2 (Section- A) - Law Optional Notes for UPSC

1. What is the syllabus for Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains?
Ans. The syllabus for Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains includes various topics such as Constitution, Administrative Law, Family Law, Law of Torts, Law of Crimes, and Law of Contracts. It also covers subjects like International Law, Environmental Law, and Human Rights Law.
2. How many questions are asked in Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains?
Ans. In Law Paper 2 of UPSC Mains, there are a total of 8 questions divided into two sections - Section A and Section B. Section A consists of 4 compulsory questions, while Section B offers a choice between two questions, out of which only one needs to be answered.
3. Can I choose not to attempt any question in Section B of Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains?
Ans. No, it is mandatory to attempt at least one question from Section B of Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains. If a candidate fails to do so, they will not be awarded any marks for that section, resulting in a significant loss of marks.
4. Are there any specific reference books recommended for Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains?
Ans. While there are no specific reference books recommended by UPSC for Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains, candidates can refer to standard law textbooks and study materials from renowned authors and publishers. It is advisable to choose books that cover the entire syllabus comprehensively.
5. How can I improve my answer writing skills for Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains?
Ans. To improve answer writing skills for Law Paper 2 in UPSC Mains, candidates should practice writing answers within the given time frame. They should focus on developing a clear and concise writing style, incorporating relevant case laws and examples. It is also essential to analyze previous years' question papers and evaluate the quality of answers to identify areas of improvement. Seeking guidance from mentors or joining a test series can also be beneficial in enhancing answer writing skills.
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