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Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024

Author : Tanya Kaushal

January 26, 2023

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SummaryLegal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 are principle and fact-based. You are provided with a legal proposition (principle) and a set of facts to which the proposition (principle) has to be applied. While solving legal aptitude questions, you should disregard all prior knowledge and strictly interpret the principle the way it is given. Most of you often panic about attempting this section since you don’t have any Legal Knowledge. However, cracking this section is easy if prepared well. Let's go through the post to learn essential questions under the legal aptitude section of the CLAT exam.

The legal Reasoning section in the CLAT exam evaluates your legal knowledge, problem-solving skills, and research ability.

This section does not require you to be well-versed in legal jargon. However, it will be beneficial to understand the current legal and a fair idea of its application. 

Legal Aptitude for CLAT has now become a comprehension-based aptitude test wherein the questions are indirect and inference-based. The Consortium prepares the question paper to challenge the students taking the exam logically.

We have curated the previous year's Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 to give you an idea of the questions asked under this section.

Type of Legal Aptitude Questions Asked in CLAT Exam

The Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 are designed to test your legal reasoning, research aptitude, and problem-solving ability. The Legal Aptitude section is divided into three sections:

  • Legal Reasoning: This section tests your legal aptitude skills, and you must apply legal principles to the factual situation. Your knowledge of the law, research aptitude, and problem-solving ability is judged through this section. Important topics in this section include the Indian Penal Code, Law of Torts, and Law of Contract.
  • Legal Facts: This section is based on knowledge of judgments and amendments. Some essential topics in this section are Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, Preamble, Important Amendments, Important Judgments, Recommendations & Chairpersons of law commissions.
  • Legal GK: This is wholly based on general awareness and current affairs. One of the best ways to prepare for Legal GK is to read newspapers regularly.

CLAT Legal Reasoning Questions With Answers

As per the new exam pattern of CLAT, here are the sample Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024.

Read the comprehension carefully and answer the questions based on it. Practising is the best way to crack Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 with a high score. 

Passage 1

It has to be noticed that the arguments that would want to disprove the essentiality of the situation can be constructed very easily, as the ground definition of the essential religious practices test puts its faith in practices that bear a very intense and proximate connection to the basic tenants of religion, or are rather integral to the religion, and any activity would be redundancy if it does not bear such a close connection with the religion (including practices which may be superstitious) and that may be deemed extraneous.

The limitation of the essential religious practices test- if the test is applied only on the grounds of the antiquity of customs, without any regard to the social consciousness of the people in present-day society, the courts would alienate themselves. Such arguments in favour of upheaval wouldn’t be considerate of the nuance of the conditions and situation of the society and be very far away from the ground reality of the situation that is existent in the present day. 

The Court’s applicability of the essential religious practices test, as seen in the initial stages of the Durgah Committee, is in need of major changes or amendments in terms of the doctrine's applicability. Suppose a practice is for commercial gain or a secular transaction but is still based on religious grounds. In that case, it can still be essential, in spite of its economic character that it has always had since times immemorial or has recently assumed, according to the Shirur Matt case. Still, the question to be analyzed is if just because a practice is a relatively modern discovery or not a direct off-shoot of prescribed religious rites in ancient texts and practices (on whatever commercial grounds it may have been implemented), can such a practice be disregarded due to the Court’s definition of perceived antiquity? 

A way forward, in the evolving context of jurisprudence, would be to have the essential religious practices test included within it or replace it with a community conscience/sensitivity test, which again would include the core principles of the essential practices test, but without its rigidity and a tiding of community perception, wherein any practice whatever it might be will be looked upon, not only from the perspective of redundancy to the ultimate aim of the religion but also how a certain practice has evolved into forming a reasonably important part.

It is also to be noted that the aforementioned change, if applied, would not mean that the Court is giving into the majoritarian argument, i.e. protecting the right to burst firecrackers only because it’s a well-established practice. Rather, such a change in the doctrine must be seen through the lens of non-interference with custom and practice, which has been established as an integral part of the society, irrespective of the time frame of its exigency and any economic impetus behind it. Whatever test is applied must be applied sparingly in adherence to the secularist principle of non-interference. Still, if any inherent bias in a practice is being claimed, as mentioned, the social/community conscience test, according to the article, is better in terms of application.

Follow expert-curated CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation Tips for smooth preparation. 

Q 1. Based strictly on the essential religious practices test, answer the following question. Due to a heavy shortage of wax, the state passed a regulation banning the production and sales of certain wax items, especially those intended to use illumination for a year. Thus, this law banned the production and sale of all wax candles. In light of the upcoming Diwali festival, Hindu Rashtra Sabha Yojana filed a written petition saying that this law violates their right to religion.

  • The law violates their right to religion as the burning of candles is an essential practice that has been followed since time immemorial for the celebration of Diwali. 
  • The law is not violative as it is a reasonable restriction that is only aimed at the commercial use of wax candles and is not intended to have a religious connotation to it. 
  • The law is not violative as it did not specifically impose a ban on wax candles but all wax material in general. 
  • None of the above. 

Q 2. Based on the community conscience test, answer the following question. Due to a heavy shortage of wax, the state passed a regulation banning the production and sales of certain wax items, especially those intended to use illumination for a year. Thus, this law banned the production and sale of all wax candles. These candles were cheap and were often used by the poor stratum of society. In light of the upcoming Diwali festival, Hindu Rashtra Sabha Yojana filed a written petition saying that this law violates their right to religion.

  • The law violates their right to religion as the burning of candles is a practice followed very commonly by households across the nation. The cheap nature of the wax contributes to the use of these candles for lighting up their houses during Diwali.
  • The law is not violative as it is a reasonable restriction that is only aimed at the commercial use of wax candles and is not intended to have a religious connotation to it. 
  • The law is not violative as it did not specifically impose a ban on wax candles but all wax material in general. Moreover, the community does not attach its conscience particularly to the ‘wax candles’ but rather to the idea of ‘lighting up’.
  • None of the above.

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Q 3. The state of Wakanda passed a regulation banning the production of Chinese fairy lights every alternate month of the year. Incidentally, the Hindu festival Diwali fell on one of the months of the ban. The Hindu Rashtra Yojana pleaded that it violates their right to celebrate their Diwali as Chinese fairy lights are inexpensive, used widely, and therefore unconstitutional. Based on the community conscience test.

  • The law is violative of their right to religion as the use of Chinese fairy lights is a practice followed very commonly by households across the nations. The cheap nature of the same contributes to using these candles to light up their houses during Diwali.
  • The law is not violative as it is a reasonable restriction that is only aimed at the commercial use of Chinese fairy lights and is not intended to have a religious connotation to it. 
  • The law is not violative as it did not specifically impose a ban on using fairy lights. Moreover, the community does not attach its conscience particularly to the ‘Chinese fairy lights’ but rather to the idea of ‘lighting up’.
  • None of the above.

Q 4. After the swearing-in ceremony of the new CM, Mr Bhogi Ji, the state enacted legislation that imposed a blanket ban on the slaughter of milch animals (milk-producing animals). The Muslim Gadatantra Sabha filed a petition before the HC, claiming that it violates their right to religion as Eid is a practice involving the sacrifice of goats. Based on the essential religious practices, doctrine decides: 

  • This is in violation of their right to religion. 
  • This is not in violation of their right to religion as only slaughter is banned; they can still buy the chopped meat from stores.
  • This is not a violation of their right to religion. The slaughter of milch animals is not necessarily essential for them to celebrate their festival. 
  • None of the above

Read more: Short tricks to crack the CLAT exam on the first attempt

Q 5. After the swearing-in ceremony of the new CM MrBhogi Ji, the state enacted legislation that imposed a blanket ban on the commercial slaughter of animals. The Muslim Gadatantra Sabha filed a petition before the HC, claiming that it violates their right to religion as Eid is a practice involving the sacrifice of goats. Decide:

  • By following the essential religious practices doctrine, this legislation is unconstitutional. 
  • By following the community conscience doctrine, this practice is unconstitutional.
  • This practice is constitutional as it only bans the slaughter of animals as a commercial activity and not as a religious activity.
  • Both (a) and (b).

Passage 2

Mistakes may operate upon a contract in two ways. It may, firstly, defeat the consent altogether that the parties are supposed to have given; that is to say, the consent is unreal. Secondly, the mistake may mislead the parties about the purpose they contemplated.

Where both parties to an agreement are under a mistake as to a matter of fact essential to the agreement, the agreement is void. However, an erroneous opinion as to the value of the things which form the subject –matter of the agreement is not deemed a mistake as a matter of fact. An agreement upon the same thing in the same sense is known as true consent or consensus ad idem, and it is the root of every contract. Two or more people are told to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense. 

A contract is said to be void because of a mistake when:

  • Both the parties to an agreement are mistaken,
  • Their mistake is, as a matter of fact, and
  • The fact about which they are mistaken is essential to the agreement.

A contract is not void because it was caused by a mistake as to any law in force in India, but a mistake as to a law not in force in India has the same effect as a mistake of fact.

A mistake as to identity occurs when one of the parties represents himself to be some person other than he really is. There can be a mistake of identity only when a person bearing a particular identity exists within the plaintiff's knowledge and the plaintiff intends to deal with him only. If the name assumed by the accused is fictitious, there will be no mistake of identity.

Q 1. A, being entitled to an estate for the life of B, agrees to sell it to C. B was dead at the time of the agreement, but both parties were ignorant of the fact. Decide the validity of the contract.

  • The agreement is not void since B was alive when the contract was formed.
  • The agreement is not void since the essential condition of the agreement was an estate and not the presence of B.
  • The agreement is valid and enforceable.
  • The agreement is void since both parties were ignorant of the death of B, which was an essential fact of the contract.

Q 2. A person called Hillary, brother of Ron, represented himself as Ron and induced a Government agent to contract with him. The government agent intended to contract only with Ron and not with Hillary, and Ron knew this. The government’s offer was meant for Ron and Hillary posing as Ron accepted it. Decide whether the consent of the government’s agent is valid or not.

  • The consent is valid since the government agent could have easily figured out that it was Hillary and not Ron.
  • The consent given by the government’s agent is not valid since the brothers deceived him
  • This is a valid contract since the party to a contract is not an essential fact.
  • The contract is not void since the brother belongs to the same family, and contracting with either of the brothers does not affect the conditions of the contract.

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Q 3. Jethalal had taken over the business of one Brocklehurst. Heeralal used to deal with Brocklehurst and, not knowing of the change, sent him an order for certain goods. The order was received by Jethalal, who sent the goods. Heeralal came to know of the change only when he received an invoice, and by that time, he had already consumed the goods. Heeralal had a set-off against Brocklehurst and refused to pay the price. Jethalal sued him:

  • Heeralal is liable to pay since he consumed the goods and is hence bound to pay.
  • Heeralal is not liable to pay since he never contracted with Jethalal.
  • Heeralal is not liable since his consent is invalid because he never consented to a contract with Jethalal. 
  • Heeralal is liable to pay since the party to the contract is not an essential condition.

Q 4. A man called North entered Jeevan’s shop and selected some pearls and rings worth Rs. 3000. He produced a chequebook and wrote a cheque for the amount. In signing it he said: ‘You see who I am, I am Sir George Bullough’ and found in the reference to a dictionary that Sir George Bullough lived at the address mentioned, Jeevan, let him have a ring. But before the fraud was discovered, he pledged the ring to Shyam, who advanced money bona fide without notice. Jeevan sued Shyam for the ring or its value. Decide whether Shyam is liable or not.

  • Jeevan will neither get the ring nor its price since he sold it with the greedy intention of making an excessive profit.
  • North is liable to pay the price of the ring or return it to Jeevan since he committed the fraud.
  • Since North does not have a good title over the ring, he cannot sell it to Shyam, so Shyam is liable.
  • Shyam is not liable to return the ring or pay its equivalent price to Jeevan since he was innocent while purchasing it. 

Practice Questions from Other Subjects of CLAT

Logical Reasoning Questions Maths Questions

Q 1. Thomas received orders in writing from a fraudulent man called Blenkarn. The order paper had a printed heading: ‘Blenkarn& Co.”. There was a well know and a respectable firm named ‘Blenkiron& Co.” in the same street. Thomas believing that the orders had come from this firm, sent a large number of handkerchiefs. Blenkarn received the goods and disposed of them off to John, who acted in good faith and purchased them. Decide the right of Blenkarn over the goods:

  • Blenkarn has title over the goods even though Thomas never intended to deal with him.
  • Blenkarn has no title over the goods since Thomas never intended to deal with him, and hence there was no contract between them.
  • Blenkarn has title over the goods since he had paid for them.
  • There is a contract between the parties since the essential condition of the contract, i.e. delivery and payment of goods, is met.

Passage 3

The validity of a contract The first requirement of a valid contract is an agreement. Every promise and all sets of promises, forming the consideration for each other, is an agreement. When a person to whom the proposal is made defines his assent, the proposal is said to be accepted. A proposal, when accepted, becomes a promise. An agreement is valid when one party makes a proposal or offer to another party, which signifies his assent. The following are required for a valid agreement. (1) The agreement must be between two persons. It is required to be between an offeror and an offeree; whoever accepts the offer becomes an acceptor. Both these parties should be different persons, as one cannot enter into an agreement with himself. (2) Both the offeror and offeree, in the same sense and at the same time, should understand the agreement. Sometimes, there may be invitations to offer in case of advertisement of products. 

An agreement to mature into a contract must create a legal obligation as per the provision of contract laws that is a duty enforceable by law. Any agreement which does not create any enforceability, i.e. where the parties do not have a right to approach the court of law to avail legal remedy for breach of contract, will not be a contract. This is displayed through the intention to enter into a legally binding contract which is different from a mere promise. Parties must know that if any one of them fails to fulfil his/her part of the promise, he/she will be liable for the failure of the contract. Consideration is described as something in return. It is also vital for the validity of the contract. A promise to do something or to provide something without anything in return will not be enforceable at law and, therefore, will not be valid. Consideration need not be in kind or cash. A contract without consideration is a wagering contract or betting. Besides, the consideration must also be lawful. There is no requirement for these principles to be only applicable to natural persons; they are equally applicable to corporations that qualify as legal persons. 

Q 1. "A" Wishes to buy 10KGs of rice from B. He writes a letter to B stating the same. B states that he would charge Rs. 100 per KG of rice and would be able to supply the same. A agrees to buy rice from B.

  • A is the offeror, and B is the offeree. B’s acceptance of A’s offer constitutes an agreement
  • B is the offeror, and A is the offeree. A’s acceptance of B’s offer constitutes an agreement.
  • A is the offeror, and B is the offer. Since acceptance was not conveyed the first time, no agreement is constituted
  • B is the offeror, and A is the offeree. Since acceptance was not conveyed the first time, no agreement is constituted

Q 2. Please refer to the facts above. When B wrote a letter to A stating the contract's price, A did not write back to B. B, however, sent 10 KGs of rice to A’s home and now demands money.

  • A’s initial offer signifies his interest in making an offer, and a contract is formed.
  • B’s letter to A is an acceptance of A’s offer, and thus a contract is formed
  • A should not have ordered such huge quantities of rice in the first place
  • A did not respond to B’s letter and hence never accepted the offer

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Q 3. A saw outside B’s shop an advertisement that stated that rice is being sold for 20 Rs a KG. He rushed inside and loaded 10 KGs of rice in a bag. When he reached the counter, he was refused the sale of rice at such a low price. Decide

  • A should be given the rice at the said price as B was bound by a contract
  • A should not be given the rice as no contract had been formed 
  • A should be given the rice as A accepted the offer that was put for public display by going to the shop
  • A should not be given the rice as the advertisement was not an offer but only an invitation to offer.

Q 4. A owns a group of industries across various sectors in the market. His steel corporation is running short of money and requires immediate financial assistance to support its expansion plans. As there was no time, the banking corporation owned by A gave credit to the steel corporation.  

  • This is a valid contract as there are two legal persons involved
  • The same owner controls both corporations. There are no two persons involved, and the contract is invalid
  • The contract is valid for the offer, and acceptance was given
  • None of the above

Q 5. "A" wishes to buy B’s white coloured truck. When he went to speak to B, however, he stated that he wanted to buy B’s truck. He did not know that B had two white and one blue trucks. B thought that A was talking about his blue coloured truck. B agreed to sell, and A agreed to buy. Decide

  • This is a valid contract as the parties had the same thing in mind, i.e. truck
  • This is an invalid contract as the parties did not have the same thing in mind while contracting.
  • This is a valid contract, for the colour of the truck is immaterial
  • Law should not take note of trifles

Q 6. A’s father tells him over dinner, “If you score 100 marks in your exam tomorrow, I’ll buy you a motorcycle”. A scores 100 marks, but the father later refuses. A sues his father

  • This is a valid contract as there was an intention to enter into a legally binding contract
  • This is an invalid contract, as there was no intention to enter into a legally binding contract 
  • This is an enforceable contract, as there was an intention to enter into a legally binding contract
  • This is an unenforceable contract, as there was no intention to enter into a legally binding contract

Read more: GK study plan for CLAT exam

Passage 4

The Indian Penal Code, which was in force in many states at the time when the Constitution was made, contained more than one offence punishable by the death penalty. The Constitution makers formulated some articles with reference to the death penalty. Article 72 allowed President and Governor to show clemency to convicts sentenced to the death penalty.  Article 134 provided for appeal to Supreme Court if High Court awarded a convict the death penalty after reversing a trial court judgement. But we shall not overlook the reality that the constitution makers could not be expected to go into the various aspects of each punishment provided in the penal statutes which were then in force.  When they shaped Article 13 of the Constitution, it declared that any law in force at the time when the Constitution came into effect which was violative of any of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution was void. 

During the first five years after the Constitution was made, the death penalty remained the normal punishment for murder. If a session’s judge was to depart from it, he was bound to set out reasons for not awarding it to a convict for murder. Cr. P.C. was amended in 1973 by which Parliament directed that special reasons shall be shown if the Sessions Judge imposed the death penalty on the convicted person.  This change was made evident to give the message that the normal punishment for murder was life and the death penalty was only an exception. 

The situation was again changed subsequently.  This time it was not because of any legislative exercise but because of the pronouncement of the majority judgment by the Supreme Court of India in the Bachan Singh case in 1979. There a majority of judges declared that the death penalty could be imposed only in the “rarest of rare cases in which the alternative sentence of life is unquestionably foreclosed”.  Thereafter, that became the law as binding on all courts in India because of Article 141.  However, this drastic curtailment of power to impose capital punishment remained only on paper.  The Supreme Court itself began to dilute the rigour of the condition imposed in the Bachan Singh case.  What is meant by the words “rarest of rare etc. etc.”   The judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court used to employ semantics whenever and wherever they wanted to impose the death penalty.  All that they were required to do was to use some superlative degree words such as “brutal, atrocious, etc.” and then say that “I/we hold that this is one of the rarest of rare cases”.  It became a matter of luck for an accused, depending vastly on the mindset or philosophy of the individual judges. 

[Extracted from Justice KT Thomas on “Why Bachan Singh needs to be revisited”]

Read more: Static legal knowledge questions for CLAT

Q 1. Advocate Wills Matthew has recently challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty before the Supreme Court of India. Mr Harshil Mehta, Solicitor General of India, argues before a 5-judge bench that the death penalty is constitutional, for the constitution itself makes reference to the form of punishment. You are the judge.

  • I would accept the argument that the intention of the makers of the constitution is well reflected in the references to the death penalty in the constitution itself.
  • I would not accept the argument that the constitutionality of the death penalty has to be tested only for violation of fundamental rights under Article 13. 
  • I would accept the argument that the death penalty must be constitutional, for it serves justice to the perpetrators of brutal crimes.
  • I would not accept the argument that the death penalty is against public policy. 

Q 2. It is the year 1951, and Arjun Reddy has been convicted of the murder of Kabir Singh, a farmer who had his agricultural land adjacent to Reddy’s. It is found that Reddy and the deceased got into a dispute regarding the deceased farmer’s encroachment of Reddy’s land. A disagreement turned into a quarrel and enraged Reddy hit Singh on his head with an iron rod. Reddy’s lawyer pleaded provocation and prayed before the judge to reduce Reddy’s sentence. 

  • The judge should sentence Reddy to life imprisonment which is the ordinarily given punishment for murder. 
  • The judge should sentence Reddy to death which is the ordinarily awarded punishment for murder.
  • The judge should consider provocation as a special reason not to award Reddy the death sentence. 
  • The judge should consider provocation as a special reason and sentence Reddy to death.

Q 3. Please refer to the facts abovementioned. In 1977, Kabir Singh’s son Mussaddilal in order to take revenge for his father’s death, killed Arjun Reddy’s son Prabhas. There are no circumstances that may warrant special reasons to be assigned by the judge.  

  • The judge should award the death penalty to Mussaddilal. There is no requirement to assign special reasons for the same. 
  • The judge should award a life sentence to Mussaddilal. There is no requirement to assign special reasons for the same. 
  • The judge should award the death penalty to Mussaddilal. He should not have carried out such cold-blooded murder. 
  • The judge should award a life sentence to Mussaddilal, for he was enraged by his father’s murder.

Q 4. Ashfaq jumped to hit Mushtaq on his head with an iron rod; the nimble Mushtaq (who happened to be a Naruto fan and always wanted to train to be a ninja) dodged and threw a sickle that he was carrying, and Ashfaq died. Mushtaq is now convicted of murder. His counsel pleads that Mushtaq acted in self-defence which the judge accepts as a special reason to reduce his sentence. 

  • Mushtaq should be sentenced to death which is the ordinarily given punishment.
  • Mushtaq should be given a reduced sentence of 7 years for he acted in the right of self-defense.
  • Mushtaq should be sentenced to death on account of the existence of special reasons.
  • None of the above. 

Practice Questions from Other Subjects of CLAT

GK & Current Affairs Questions English Questions

Q 5. Which of the following best describes the evolution of the law on the death penalty?

  • The law on the death penalty has evolved gradually, avoiding arbitrary application.
  • The law on the death penalty has evolved gradually, inclining towards making the death penalty the rule. 
  • The law on the death penalty has evolved gradually, inclining towards making the death penalty the exception. 
  • None of the above

Q 6. It is the year 1984, and Indira Gandhi, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India has been killed by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh by shooting bullets in her abdomen. Which of the following is the strongest defence against awarding the death penalty to convicts?

  • The convicts were enraged at the Prime Minister for having carried out Operation Blue Star and firing at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
  • There are no special reasons for the convicts to be given the death penalty, for this is an ordinary murder, and the profile of the deceased does not matter. 
  • This case is not the rarest of the rare cases, and the sentence of life imprisonment is not unquestionably foreclosed. 
  • None of the above

Previous Year CLAT Legal Reasoning Questions and Answers

Here are a few legal reasoning questions for CLAT exam preparation. These questions are picked from the Previous Year's CLAT Question Papers.

Try answering these questions to test your legal reasoning ability and preparation levels. 

Passage 1

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the entire world hostage in less than four months, and the global economy has been hit the hardest with governments across the globe implementing stringent policies, including lockdowns, to control the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic today presents unprecedented challenges and impediments to businesses in conducting their normal operations. The lockdown across the world has caused delays in the performance of contracts and transactions. Now, the question that arises is whether the current situation can enable parties to a contract to alter their obligations with non-compliance of terms neither being regarded as a "default committed by any party" nor a "breach of contract"? There are certain well-accepted practices for dealing with such extraordinary situations in commercial transactions by the inclusion of force majeure & material adverse effect (MAE) clauses. Determination of the types of circumstances so covered by the force majeure clause contained in a contract is essential.

Provisions of force majeure often cover natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes as "acts of God." Other covered events may include war, terrorism, civil disorder, fire, disease, medical epidemics or by reasons of applicable laws or regulations. Broadly, the Courts have interpreted the term "Force Majeure" as an event that can neither be anticipated nor controlled by either of the contracting parties. A force majeure clause applies in the context of ongoing contractual arrangements, whereas an MAE or material adverse change (MAC) clause applies to the allocation of risk in transactions before their closure or completion. A pandemic and related consequences, such as government action, is a type of event covered by a force majeure clause. However, its impact on the affected party's ability to perform its contractual obligations may vary depending upon contractual terms. It is common for force majeure clauses to specify the impact that the event or circumstances in question must have in order for the clause to be triggered. References may be made, for example, to the event or circumstances having "prevented", "hindered", or "delayed" performance. These terms require different levels of impact on performance before a party can claim recourse to these clauses. In other words, the force majeure and MAC clauses act as an exception to what would otherwise be treated as a breach of contract.

Certain contracts may state that if a force majeure clause is applied, the contract may automatically be terminated. On the other hand, some contracts may even state that the duty to fulfil the contractual obligation may be suspended for a certain period of time and if the force majeure event is not curbed or treated even after such time, then eventually, the contract may be terminated. Though there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution to this question, and it depends upon how the force majeure clause is worded in a specific contract, and in the absence of the same, applicable laws related to the same will be required to be taken into consideration.

[Excerpt from Business Today, by Ranjana Roy Gawai, April 17, 2020]

Q 1. Based on the Author‘s argument in the passage above, which of the following is correct?

  • Force Majeure Clauses generally have a uniform impact on the performance of Contracts in all cases.
  • The Impact on the performance of Contracts by the usage of Force Majeure Clauses is dependent upon the way such clauses have been constructed in a particular Contract.
  • Both Force Majeure and Material Adverse Change Clauses have similar impacts on the performance of Contracts.
  • All of the above.

Q 2.  Imagine there is a domestic commercial Contract for the supply of certain goods for a certain price between A and B. However, in pursuance of the same, both A and B forget to negotiate and agree on the terms of a Force Majeure event, and the Contractual document does not contain the Force Majeure clause. In such a situation, what would be the fate of the Contract in an event like that of COVID-19?

  • As the parties did not negotiate on the Force Majeure Clause, neither of them can take an exception to the Breach of Contract.
  • The parties can invoke the Material Adverse Change Clause.
  • In absence of such clauses in the Contract, the Courts may resort to the applicable law, i.e., the Indian Contract Act of 1872, to give relief to the parties.
  • None of the above.

Q 3. In the same fact situation as mentioned above with a modification that there is a Force Majeure Clause in the Contract between A and B, let us suppose that B, who was to supply goods to A on a certain date and time, faced issues in relation to the procurement of goods due to mill strike and also because of rise in prices of goods. In this case, can B claim the suspension of performance of the Contract on the basis of the Force Majeure Clause?

  • Yes, B can, depending upon the way the Force Majeure Clause is worded.
  • Such a situation cannot be covered under Force Majeure as it is just a case of disappointed expectations, and hence B cannot invoke the clause. It is merely a case of commercial hardship.
  • B can invoke the Force Majeure clause as the clause is too broad to cover such situations. 
  • None of the above.

Q 4. Typically, the MAE (Material Adverse Change) provision in an agreement contemplates events which, if they occur, or are likely to occur, would have a ―materially adverse change or effect on the assets, business, property, liabilities, financial condition, results, operations of the target‖ or that ―affects the ability of the transacting parties to consummate the transaction‖ or the ―validity or enforceability of the transacting parties to its rights and remedies under the transaction documents‖. Which of the following sample clauses in a contract resembles an MAE clause?

  • "In the event, either party is unable to perform its obligations under the terms of this agreement because of an Act of God, strikes, equipment of transmission failure or damage reasonably beyond its control, such party shall not be liable for damages to the other for any damages resulting from such failure to perform."
  • "Except with respect to payment obligations under this agreement, no party shall be liable for, nor such party shall be considered in breach of this agreement due to, any failure to perform its obligations under this agreement as a result of a cause beyond its control, including any earthquake, labour problem, unavailability of supplies"
  • Both of the above.
  • None of the above

Passage 2

The issue of Obscenity has vexed the Courts in India and abroad for a long time now. The intriguing question has always been the same, i.e., what should be the standards to qualify something as obscene in the eyes of law? In the United Kingdom, way back in 1868, the Court laid down the Hicklin test in Regina v. Hicklin (1868 L.R. 2 Q.B. 360) and held that: ―The test of Obscenity is whether the tendency of the matter charged as Obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands a publication of this sort may fall.‖ Hicklin test postulated that a publication has to be judged for obscenity based on isolated passages of a work considered out of context and judged by their apparent influence on most susceptible readers, such as children or weakminded adults. However, this test was later rejected by most jurisdictions. There were many judgments where it was stipulated by the Indian Courts that, Obscenity has to be judged in the context of contemporary social mores, the current socio-moral attitude of the community and the prevalent norms of acceptability/ susceptibility of the community in relation to matters in issue. [For example, in Ranjit D. Udeshi v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1965 SC 881; Chandrakant Kalyandas Kakodar v. State of Maharashtra 1969 (2) SCC 687 etc.] These judgements indicated that the concept of Obscenity would change with the passage of time and what might have been ―obscene‖ at one point of time would not be considered as obscene at a later period. This came to be known as ―Community Standards Test‖. In Bobby Art International & Ors. v. Om Pal Singh Hoon (1996) 4 SCC 1, the Court, upholding the Community standards test, held that the complete message and context of the objectionable scene/firm/picture etc., need to be examined in order to find out whether the alleged material is obscene or not.

Q 1. A daily local newspaper called ‗Ramanand Bazar Patrika‘ has a wide circulation in Anandnagar; published, on 1st July 2019, an article with a picture of Boris Becker, a world-renowned Tennis player, posing nude with his dark-skinned fiance by name Barbara Feltus. This film actress was photographed by none other than her father. The article states that, in an interview, both Boris Becker and Barbara Feltus spoke freely about their engagement, their lives and future plans, and the message they wanted to convey to the people at large for posing for such a photograph. The article picturizes Boris Becker as a strident protester against the pernicious practice of ―Apartheid‖. Further, it was stated that the purpose of the photograph was also to signify that love champions hatred. Will the alleged picture classify as Obscene Material in India?

  • No, according to the Hicklin Test, it will not classify as Obscene.
  • Yes, according to the Community Standards Test, the picture will classify as Obscene.
  • No, according to the Community Standards Test, the picture will not classify as Obscene
  • Both (a) and (c).

Q 2. The difference between Hicklin Test and Community Standards Test is:

  • The former focuses on the susceptibility of the minds of individuals to get corrupted, while the latter hinges upon the context, intended meaning and contemporaneous sociocultural environment of the society
  • As per Hicklin Test, a nude picture of a woman per se can be obscene, while as per the latter, the picture should be suggestive of depraved mind and designed to excite sexual passion in persons who are likely to see it.
  • The former considers Obscenity as a changing concept with changing times, while the latter does not
  • All of the above.

Q 3. The issue of ‗Obscenity‘ is fundamentally related to which of the following?

  • Freedom of Religion of an individual
  • Freedom of Speech and Expression of an individual.
  • Right to Privacy of an individual.
  • All of the above.

Q 4. Consider the following situations. Choose the correct option as per Hicklin‘s Test. 1. A Movie scene where rows of naked Jewish men and women are shown frontally and led into the Gas Chambers of the Nazi Concentration Camp. Not only are they about to die, but they have been stripped of their basic dignity in the last moments of their life. 2. The controversial movie scene of Phoolan Devi, the Bandit queen, where she is paraded naked and made to draw water from the well within the circle of a hundred men. 

  • 1 is Obscene, but 2 is not.
  • 2 is Obscene, but 1 is not.
  • Both 1 and 2 are Obscene
  • Neither 1 nor 2 are Obscene.

Q 5. An activist, while being semi-nude, allowed her body to be used as a canvas to paint on by her two minor children, who were properly clothed. She uploaded this video of hers on an online platform with a message that she intended to normalize the female form for her children and not allow distorted ideas about sexuality to pervade their minds. An advocate who sees the video registers a case of Obscenity against her. Is it a case of Obscenity as per the Community Standards Test?

  • This is a pure case of Obscenity, and she is spreading it
  • This is a pure case of Obscenity as well as Child Pornography, as her children were exposed to her nudity.
  • This is not a case of Obscenity because, as per the Community Standards Test, the video must not be seen in isolation but in the contextual setup of the message that the activist has put on the normalization of a female‘s sexuality
  • This is a case of Obscenity as per the Community Standards Test, as the video was blatantly obscene.

How to Solve Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024?

As per experts' advice, understand the concepts well in advance before proceeding with solving critical reasoning questions CLAT.

Following the CLAT Preparation Tips will help you know to solve questions quickly in the upcoming exam.

  • Make sure to read the question carefully to understand better what is being asked
  • Break the passage into various parts if you are having difficulty understanding the passage
  • Try to understand the question carefully before choosing the answer
  • Use your own words to simplify the language used in the question

Frequently Asked Questions

In CLAT legal Aptitude Section, around 35-29 questions are asked. 

Some of the general preparation tips to crack Legal Aptitude are: Read the passage carefully to answer the questions correctly. Pay attention to all the small details and identify the principles and roles in the passage. Ensure to refer to the best books for preparation.

Some of the best books for the CLAT Legal Aptitude section are Legal Aptitude for CLAT and other Law Exams: Workbook by A. P Bhardwaj, Our Judiciary (National Book Trust) by National Book Trust, Legal Aptitude (CLAT) by R. K Gupta and Samiksha Gupta.

In Legal Aptitude, aspirants must be well-versed in all Legal fundamentals and terms. Some of the important topics to be prepared for are:

Research aptitude, Problem-solving ability, Questions based on hypothetical situations, Law of Torts, Indian Contract Act, Indian Constitution, and Important court decisions.

With proper preparation methods and following experts' tips, you can answer any type of question easily. Ensure to study all the topics from the highly recommended books by experts.
As per the new pattern, the questions are asked in comprehension-based passages. You need to read through the passage carefully and answer the questions. 
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Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024

Author : Tanya Kaushal

Updated On : January 26, 2023

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SummaryLegal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 are principle and fact-based. You are provided with a legal proposition (principle) and a set of facts to which the proposition (principle) has to be applied. While solving legal aptitude questions, you should disregard all prior knowledge and strictly interpret the principle the way it is given. Most of you often panic about attempting this section since you don’t have any Legal Knowledge. However, cracking this section is easy if prepared well. Let's go through the post to learn essential questions under the legal aptitude section of the CLAT exam.

The legal Reasoning section in the CLAT exam evaluates your legal knowledge, problem-solving skills, and research ability.

This section does not require you to be well-versed in legal jargon. However, it will be beneficial to understand the current legal and a fair idea of its application. 

Legal Aptitude for CLAT has now become a comprehension-based aptitude test wherein the questions are indirect and inference-based. The Consortium prepares the question paper to challenge the students taking the exam logically.

We have curated the previous year's Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 to give you an idea of the questions asked under this section.

Type of Legal Aptitude Questions Asked in CLAT Exam

The Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 are designed to test your legal reasoning, research aptitude, and problem-solving ability. The Legal Aptitude section is divided into three sections:

  • Legal Reasoning: This section tests your legal aptitude skills, and you must apply legal principles to the factual situation. Your knowledge of the law, research aptitude, and problem-solving ability is judged through this section. Important topics in this section include the Indian Penal Code, Law of Torts, and Law of Contract.
  • Legal Facts: This section is based on knowledge of judgments and amendments. Some essential topics in this section are Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, Preamble, Important Amendments, Important Judgments, Recommendations & Chairpersons of law commissions.
  • Legal GK: This is wholly based on general awareness and current affairs. One of the best ways to prepare for Legal GK is to read newspapers regularly.

CLAT Legal Reasoning Questions With Answers

As per the new exam pattern of CLAT, here are the sample Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024.

Read the comprehension carefully and answer the questions based on it. Practising is the best way to crack Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024 with a high score. 

Passage 1

It has to be noticed that the arguments that would want to disprove the essentiality of the situation can be constructed very easily, as the ground definition of the essential religious practices test puts its faith in practices that bear a very intense and proximate connection to the basic tenants of religion, or are rather integral to the religion, and any activity would be redundancy if it does not bear such a close connection with the religion (including practices which may be superstitious) and that may be deemed extraneous.

The limitation of the essential religious practices test- if the test is applied only on the grounds of the antiquity of customs, without any regard to the social consciousness of the people in present-day society, the courts would alienate themselves. Such arguments in favour of upheaval wouldn’t be considerate of the nuance of the conditions and situation of the society and be very far away from the ground reality of the situation that is existent in the present day. 

The Court’s applicability of the essential religious practices test, as seen in the initial stages of the Durgah Committee, is in need of major changes or amendments in terms of the doctrine's applicability. Suppose a practice is for commercial gain or a secular transaction but is still based on religious grounds. In that case, it can still be essential, in spite of its economic character that it has always had since times immemorial or has recently assumed, according to the Shirur Matt case. Still, the question to be analyzed is if just because a practice is a relatively modern discovery or not a direct off-shoot of prescribed religious rites in ancient texts and practices (on whatever commercial grounds it may have been implemented), can such a practice be disregarded due to the Court’s definition of perceived antiquity? 

A way forward, in the evolving context of jurisprudence, would be to have the essential religious practices test included within it or replace it with a community conscience/sensitivity test, which again would include the core principles of the essential practices test, but without its rigidity and a tiding of community perception, wherein any practice whatever it might be will be looked upon, not only from the perspective of redundancy to the ultimate aim of the religion but also how a certain practice has evolved into forming a reasonably important part.

It is also to be noted that the aforementioned change, if applied, would not mean that the Court is giving into the majoritarian argument, i.e. protecting the right to burst firecrackers only because it’s a well-established practice. Rather, such a change in the doctrine must be seen through the lens of non-interference with custom and practice, which has been established as an integral part of the society, irrespective of the time frame of its exigency and any economic impetus behind it. Whatever test is applied must be applied sparingly in adherence to the secularist principle of non-interference. Still, if any inherent bias in a practice is being claimed, as mentioned, the social/community conscience test, according to the article, is better in terms of application.

Follow expert-curated CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation Tips for smooth preparation. 

Q 1. Based strictly on the essential religious practices test, answer the following question. Due to a heavy shortage of wax, the state passed a regulation banning the production and sales of certain wax items, especially those intended to use illumination for a year. Thus, this law banned the production and sale of all wax candles. In light of the upcoming Diwali festival, Hindu Rashtra Sabha Yojana filed a written petition saying that this law violates their right to religion.

  • The law violates their right to religion as the burning of candles is an essential practice that has been followed since time immemorial for the celebration of Diwali. 
  • The law is not violative as it is a reasonable restriction that is only aimed at the commercial use of wax candles and is not intended to have a religious connotation to it. 
  • The law is not violative as it did not specifically impose a ban on wax candles but all wax material in general. 
  • None of the above. 

Q 2. Based on the community conscience test, answer the following question. Due to a heavy shortage of wax, the state passed a regulation banning the production and sales of certain wax items, especially those intended to use illumination for a year. Thus, this law banned the production and sale of all wax candles. These candles were cheap and were often used by the poor stratum of society. In light of the upcoming Diwali festival, Hindu Rashtra Sabha Yojana filed a written petition saying that this law violates their right to religion.

  • The law violates their right to religion as the burning of candles is a practice followed very commonly by households across the nation. The cheap nature of the wax contributes to the use of these candles for lighting up their houses during Diwali.
  • The law is not violative as it is a reasonable restriction that is only aimed at the commercial use of wax candles and is not intended to have a religious connotation to it. 
  • The law is not violative as it did not specifically impose a ban on wax candles but all wax material in general. Moreover, the community does not attach its conscience particularly to the ‘wax candles’ but rather to the idea of ‘lighting up’.
  • None of the above.

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Q 3. The state of Wakanda passed a regulation banning the production of Chinese fairy lights every alternate month of the year. Incidentally, the Hindu festival Diwali fell on one of the months of the ban. The Hindu Rashtra Yojana pleaded that it violates their right to celebrate their Diwali as Chinese fairy lights are inexpensive, used widely, and therefore unconstitutional. Based on the community conscience test.

  • The law is violative of their right to religion as the use of Chinese fairy lights is a practice followed very commonly by households across the nations. The cheap nature of the same contributes to using these candles to light up their houses during Diwali.
  • The law is not violative as it is a reasonable restriction that is only aimed at the commercial use of Chinese fairy lights and is not intended to have a religious connotation to it. 
  • The law is not violative as it did not specifically impose a ban on using fairy lights. Moreover, the community does not attach its conscience particularly to the ‘Chinese fairy lights’ but rather to the idea of ‘lighting up’.
  • None of the above.

Q 4. After the swearing-in ceremony of the new CM, Mr Bhogi Ji, the state enacted legislation that imposed a blanket ban on the slaughter of milch animals (milk-producing animals). The Muslim Gadatantra Sabha filed a petition before the HC, claiming that it violates their right to religion as Eid is a practice involving the sacrifice of goats. Based on the essential religious practices, doctrine decides: 

  • This is in violation of their right to religion. 
  • This is not in violation of their right to religion as only slaughter is banned; they can still buy the chopped meat from stores.
  • This is not a violation of their right to religion. The slaughter of milch animals is not necessarily essential for them to celebrate their festival. 
  • None of the above

Read more: Short tricks to crack the CLAT exam on the first attempt

Q 5. After the swearing-in ceremony of the new CM MrBhogi Ji, the state enacted legislation that imposed a blanket ban on the commercial slaughter of animals. The Muslim Gadatantra Sabha filed a petition before the HC, claiming that it violates their right to religion as Eid is a practice involving the sacrifice of goats. Decide:

  • By following the essential religious practices doctrine, this legislation is unconstitutional. 
  • By following the community conscience doctrine, this practice is unconstitutional.
  • This practice is constitutional as it only bans the slaughter of animals as a commercial activity and not as a religious activity.
  • Both (a) and (b).

Passage 2

Mistakes may operate upon a contract in two ways. It may, firstly, defeat the consent altogether that the parties are supposed to have given; that is to say, the consent is unreal. Secondly, the mistake may mislead the parties about the purpose they contemplated.

Where both parties to an agreement are under a mistake as to a matter of fact essential to the agreement, the agreement is void. However, an erroneous opinion as to the value of the things which form the subject –matter of the agreement is not deemed a mistake as a matter of fact. An agreement upon the same thing in the same sense is known as true consent or consensus ad idem, and it is the root of every contract. Two or more people are told to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense. 

A contract is said to be void because of a mistake when:

  • Both the parties to an agreement are mistaken,
  • Their mistake is, as a matter of fact, and
  • The fact about which they are mistaken is essential to the agreement.

A contract is not void because it was caused by a mistake as to any law in force in India, but a mistake as to a law not in force in India has the same effect as a mistake of fact.

A mistake as to identity occurs when one of the parties represents himself to be some person other than he really is. There can be a mistake of identity only when a person bearing a particular identity exists within the plaintiff's knowledge and the plaintiff intends to deal with him only. If the name assumed by the accused is fictitious, there will be no mistake of identity.

Q 1. A, being entitled to an estate for the life of B, agrees to sell it to C. B was dead at the time of the agreement, but both parties were ignorant of the fact. Decide the validity of the contract.

  • The agreement is not void since B was alive when the contract was formed.
  • The agreement is not void since the essential condition of the agreement was an estate and not the presence of B.
  • The agreement is valid and enforceable.
  • The agreement is void since both parties were ignorant of the death of B, which was an essential fact of the contract.

Q 2. A person called Hillary, brother of Ron, represented himself as Ron and induced a Government agent to contract with him. The government agent intended to contract only with Ron and not with Hillary, and Ron knew this. The government’s offer was meant for Ron and Hillary posing as Ron accepted it. Decide whether the consent of the government’s agent is valid or not.

  • The consent is valid since the government agent could have easily figured out that it was Hillary and not Ron.
  • The consent given by the government’s agent is not valid since the brothers deceived him
  • This is a valid contract since the party to a contract is not an essential fact.
  • The contract is not void since the brother belongs to the same family, and contracting with either of the brothers does not affect the conditions of the contract.

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Q 3. Jethalal had taken over the business of one Brocklehurst. Heeralal used to deal with Brocklehurst and, not knowing of the change, sent him an order for certain goods. The order was received by Jethalal, who sent the goods. Heeralal came to know of the change only when he received an invoice, and by that time, he had already consumed the goods. Heeralal had a set-off against Brocklehurst and refused to pay the price. Jethalal sued him:

  • Heeralal is liable to pay since he consumed the goods and is hence bound to pay.
  • Heeralal is not liable to pay since he never contracted with Jethalal.
  • Heeralal is not liable since his consent is invalid because he never consented to a contract with Jethalal. 
  • Heeralal is liable to pay since the party to the contract is not an essential condition.

Q 4. A man called North entered Jeevan’s shop and selected some pearls and rings worth Rs. 3000. He produced a chequebook and wrote a cheque for the amount. In signing it he said: ‘You see who I am, I am Sir George Bullough’ and found in the reference to a dictionary that Sir George Bullough lived at the address mentioned, Jeevan, let him have a ring. But before the fraud was discovered, he pledged the ring to Shyam, who advanced money bona fide without notice. Jeevan sued Shyam for the ring or its value. Decide whether Shyam is liable or not.

  • Jeevan will neither get the ring nor its price since he sold it with the greedy intention of making an excessive profit.
  • North is liable to pay the price of the ring or return it to Jeevan since he committed the fraud.
  • Since North does not have a good title over the ring, he cannot sell it to Shyam, so Shyam is liable.
  • Shyam is not liable to return the ring or pay its equivalent price to Jeevan since he was innocent while purchasing it. 

Practice Questions from Other Subjects of CLAT

Logical Reasoning Questions Maths Questions

Q 1. Thomas received orders in writing from a fraudulent man called Blenkarn. The order paper had a printed heading: ‘Blenkarn& Co.”. There was a well know and a respectable firm named ‘Blenkiron& Co.” in the same street. Thomas believing that the orders had come from this firm, sent a large number of handkerchiefs. Blenkarn received the goods and disposed of them off to John, who acted in good faith and purchased them. Decide the right of Blenkarn over the goods:

  • Blenkarn has title over the goods even though Thomas never intended to deal with him.
  • Blenkarn has no title over the goods since Thomas never intended to deal with him, and hence there was no contract between them.
  • Blenkarn has title over the goods since he had paid for them.
  • There is a contract between the parties since the essential condition of the contract, i.e. delivery and payment of goods, is met.

Passage 3

The validity of a contract The first requirement of a valid contract is an agreement. Every promise and all sets of promises, forming the consideration for each other, is an agreement. When a person to whom the proposal is made defines his assent, the proposal is said to be accepted. A proposal, when accepted, becomes a promise. An agreement is valid when one party makes a proposal or offer to another party, which signifies his assent. The following are required for a valid agreement. (1) The agreement must be between two persons. It is required to be between an offeror and an offeree; whoever accepts the offer becomes an acceptor. Both these parties should be different persons, as one cannot enter into an agreement with himself. (2) Both the offeror and offeree, in the same sense and at the same time, should understand the agreement. Sometimes, there may be invitations to offer in case of advertisement of products. 

An agreement to mature into a contract must create a legal obligation as per the provision of contract laws that is a duty enforceable by law. Any agreement which does not create any enforceability, i.e. where the parties do not have a right to approach the court of law to avail legal remedy for breach of contract, will not be a contract. This is displayed through the intention to enter into a legally binding contract which is different from a mere promise. Parties must know that if any one of them fails to fulfil his/her part of the promise, he/she will be liable for the failure of the contract. Consideration is described as something in return. It is also vital for the validity of the contract. A promise to do something or to provide something without anything in return will not be enforceable at law and, therefore, will not be valid. Consideration need not be in kind or cash. A contract without consideration is a wagering contract or betting. Besides, the consideration must also be lawful. There is no requirement for these principles to be only applicable to natural persons; they are equally applicable to corporations that qualify as legal persons. 

Q 1. "A" Wishes to buy 10KGs of rice from B. He writes a letter to B stating the same. B states that he would charge Rs. 100 per KG of rice and would be able to supply the same. A agrees to buy rice from B.

  • A is the offeror, and B is the offeree. B’s acceptance of A’s offer constitutes an agreement
  • B is the offeror, and A is the offeree. A’s acceptance of B’s offer constitutes an agreement.
  • A is the offeror, and B is the offer. Since acceptance was not conveyed the first time, no agreement is constituted
  • B is the offeror, and A is the offeree. Since acceptance was not conveyed the first time, no agreement is constituted

Q 2. Please refer to the facts above. When B wrote a letter to A stating the contract's price, A did not write back to B. B, however, sent 10 KGs of rice to A’s home and now demands money.

  • A’s initial offer signifies his interest in making an offer, and a contract is formed.
  • B’s letter to A is an acceptance of A’s offer, and thus a contract is formed
  • A should not have ordered such huge quantities of rice in the first place
  • A did not respond to B’s letter and hence never accepted the offer

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Q 3. A saw outside B’s shop an advertisement that stated that rice is being sold for 20 Rs a KG. He rushed inside and loaded 10 KGs of rice in a bag. When he reached the counter, he was refused the sale of rice at such a low price. Decide

  • A should be given the rice at the said price as B was bound by a contract
  • A should not be given the rice as no contract had been formed 
  • A should be given the rice as A accepted the offer that was put for public display by going to the shop
  • A should not be given the rice as the advertisement was not an offer but only an invitation to offer.

Q 4. A owns a group of industries across various sectors in the market. His steel corporation is running short of money and requires immediate financial assistance to support its expansion plans. As there was no time, the banking corporation owned by A gave credit to the steel corporation.  

  • This is a valid contract as there are two legal persons involved
  • The same owner controls both corporations. There are no two persons involved, and the contract is invalid
  • The contract is valid for the offer, and acceptance was given
  • None of the above

Q 5. "A" wishes to buy B’s white coloured truck. When he went to speak to B, however, he stated that he wanted to buy B’s truck. He did not know that B had two white and one blue trucks. B thought that A was talking about his blue coloured truck. B agreed to sell, and A agreed to buy. Decide

  • This is a valid contract as the parties had the same thing in mind, i.e. truck
  • This is an invalid contract as the parties did not have the same thing in mind while contracting.
  • This is a valid contract, for the colour of the truck is immaterial
  • Law should not take note of trifles

Q 6. A’s father tells him over dinner, “If you score 100 marks in your exam tomorrow, I’ll buy you a motorcycle”. A scores 100 marks, but the father later refuses. A sues his father

  • This is a valid contract as there was an intention to enter into a legally binding contract
  • This is an invalid contract, as there was no intention to enter into a legally binding contract 
  • This is an enforceable contract, as there was an intention to enter into a legally binding contract
  • This is an unenforceable contract, as there was no intention to enter into a legally binding contract

Read more: GK study plan for CLAT exam

Passage 4

The Indian Penal Code, which was in force in many states at the time when the Constitution was made, contained more than one offence punishable by the death penalty. The Constitution makers formulated some articles with reference to the death penalty. Article 72 allowed President and Governor to show clemency to convicts sentenced to the death penalty.  Article 134 provided for appeal to Supreme Court if High Court awarded a convict the death penalty after reversing a trial court judgement. But we shall not overlook the reality that the constitution makers could not be expected to go into the various aspects of each punishment provided in the penal statutes which were then in force.  When they shaped Article 13 of the Constitution, it declared that any law in force at the time when the Constitution came into effect which was violative of any of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution was void. 

During the first five years after the Constitution was made, the death penalty remained the normal punishment for murder. If a session’s judge was to depart from it, he was bound to set out reasons for not awarding it to a convict for murder. Cr. P.C. was amended in 1973 by which Parliament directed that special reasons shall be shown if the Sessions Judge imposed the death penalty on the convicted person.  This change was made evident to give the message that the normal punishment for murder was life and the death penalty was only an exception. 

The situation was again changed subsequently.  This time it was not because of any legislative exercise but because of the pronouncement of the majority judgment by the Supreme Court of India in the Bachan Singh case in 1979. There a majority of judges declared that the death penalty could be imposed only in the “rarest of rare cases in which the alternative sentence of life is unquestionably foreclosed”.  Thereafter, that became the law as binding on all courts in India because of Article 141.  However, this drastic curtailment of power to impose capital punishment remained only on paper.  The Supreme Court itself began to dilute the rigour of the condition imposed in the Bachan Singh case.  What is meant by the words “rarest of rare etc. etc.”   The judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court used to employ semantics whenever and wherever they wanted to impose the death penalty.  All that they were required to do was to use some superlative degree words such as “brutal, atrocious, etc.” and then say that “I/we hold that this is one of the rarest of rare cases”.  It became a matter of luck for an accused, depending vastly on the mindset or philosophy of the individual judges. 

[Extracted from Justice KT Thomas on “Why Bachan Singh needs to be revisited”]

Read more: Static legal knowledge questions for CLAT

Q 1. Advocate Wills Matthew has recently challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty before the Supreme Court of India. Mr Harshil Mehta, Solicitor General of India, argues before a 5-judge bench that the death penalty is constitutional, for the constitution itself makes reference to the form of punishment. You are the judge.

  • I would accept the argument that the intention of the makers of the constitution is well reflected in the references to the death penalty in the constitution itself.
  • I would not accept the argument that the constitutionality of the death penalty has to be tested only for violation of fundamental rights under Article 13. 
  • I would accept the argument that the death penalty must be constitutional, for it serves justice to the perpetrators of brutal crimes.
  • I would not accept the argument that the death penalty is against public policy. 

Q 2. It is the year 1951, and Arjun Reddy has been convicted of the murder of Kabir Singh, a farmer who had his agricultural land adjacent to Reddy’s. It is found that Reddy and the deceased got into a dispute regarding the deceased farmer’s encroachment of Reddy’s land. A disagreement turned into a quarrel and enraged Reddy hit Singh on his head with an iron rod. Reddy’s lawyer pleaded provocation and prayed before the judge to reduce Reddy’s sentence. 

  • The judge should sentence Reddy to life imprisonment which is the ordinarily given punishment for murder. 
  • The judge should sentence Reddy to death which is the ordinarily awarded punishment for murder.
  • The judge should consider provocation as a special reason not to award Reddy the death sentence. 
  • The judge should consider provocation as a special reason and sentence Reddy to death.

Q 3. Please refer to the facts abovementioned. In 1977, Kabir Singh’s son Mussaddilal in order to take revenge for his father’s death, killed Arjun Reddy’s son Prabhas. There are no circumstances that may warrant special reasons to be assigned by the judge.  

  • The judge should award the death penalty to Mussaddilal. There is no requirement to assign special reasons for the same. 
  • The judge should award a life sentence to Mussaddilal. There is no requirement to assign special reasons for the same. 
  • The judge should award the death penalty to Mussaddilal. He should not have carried out such cold-blooded murder. 
  • The judge should award a life sentence to Mussaddilal, for he was enraged by his father’s murder.

Q 4. Ashfaq jumped to hit Mushtaq on his head with an iron rod; the nimble Mushtaq (who happened to be a Naruto fan and always wanted to train to be a ninja) dodged and threw a sickle that he was carrying, and Ashfaq died. Mushtaq is now convicted of murder. His counsel pleads that Mushtaq acted in self-defence which the judge accepts as a special reason to reduce his sentence. 

  • Mushtaq should be sentenced to death which is the ordinarily given punishment.
  • Mushtaq should be given a reduced sentence of 7 years for he acted in the right of self-defense.
  • Mushtaq should be sentenced to death on account of the existence of special reasons.
  • None of the above. 

Practice Questions from Other Subjects of CLAT

GK & Current Affairs Questions English Questions

Q 5. Which of the following best describes the evolution of the law on the death penalty?

  • The law on the death penalty has evolved gradually, avoiding arbitrary application.
  • The law on the death penalty has evolved gradually, inclining towards making the death penalty the rule. 
  • The law on the death penalty has evolved gradually, inclining towards making the death penalty the exception. 
  • None of the above

Q 6. It is the year 1984, and Indira Gandhi, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India has been killed by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh by shooting bullets in her abdomen. Which of the following is the strongest defence against awarding the death penalty to convicts?

  • The convicts were enraged at the Prime Minister for having carried out Operation Blue Star and firing at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
  • There are no special reasons for the convicts to be given the death penalty, for this is an ordinary murder, and the profile of the deceased does not matter. 
  • This case is not the rarest of the rare cases, and the sentence of life imprisonment is not unquestionably foreclosed. 
  • None of the above

Previous Year CLAT Legal Reasoning Questions and Answers

Here are a few legal reasoning questions for CLAT exam preparation. These questions are picked from the Previous Year's CLAT Question Papers.

Try answering these questions to test your legal reasoning ability and preparation levels. 

Passage 1

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the entire world hostage in less than four months, and the global economy has been hit the hardest with governments across the globe implementing stringent policies, including lockdowns, to control the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic today presents unprecedented challenges and impediments to businesses in conducting their normal operations. The lockdown across the world has caused delays in the performance of contracts and transactions. Now, the question that arises is whether the current situation can enable parties to a contract to alter their obligations with non-compliance of terms neither being regarded as a "default committed by any party" nor a "breach of contract"? There are certain well-accepted practices for dealing with such extraordinary situations in commercial transactions by the inclusion of force majeure & material adverse effect (MAE) clauses. Determination of the types of circumstances so covered by the force majeure clause contained in a contract is essential.

Provisions of force majeure often cover natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes as "acts of God." Other covered events may include war, terrorism, civil disorder, fire, disease, medical epidemics or by reasons of applicable laws or regulations. Broadly, the Courts have interpreted the term "Force Majeure" as an event that can neither be anticipated nor controlled by either of the contracting parties. A force majeure clause applies in the context of ongoing contractual arrangements, whereas an MAE or material adverse change (MAC) clause applies to the allocation of risk in transactions before their closure or completion. A pandemic and related consequences, such as government action, is a type of event covered by a force majeure clause. However, its impact on the affected party's ability to perform its contractual obligations may vary depending upon contractual terms. It is common for force majeure clauses to specify the impact that the event or circumstances in question must have in order for the clause to be triggered. References may be made, for example, to the event or circumstances having "prevented", "hindered", or "delayed" performance. These terms require different levels of impact on performance before a party can claim recourse to these clauses. In other words, the force majeure and MAC clauses act as an exception to what would otherwise be treated as a breach of contract.

Certain contracts may state that if a force majeure clause is applied, the contract may automatically be terminated. On the other hand, some contracts may even state that the duty to fulfil the contractual obligation may be suspended for a certain period of time and if the force majeure event is not curbed or treated even after such time, then eventually, the contract may be terminated. Though there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution to this question, and it depends upon how the force majeure clause is worded in a specific contract, and in the absence of the same, applicable laws related to the same will be required to be taken into consideration.

[Excerpt from Business Today, by Ranjana Roy Gawai, April 17, 2020]

Q 1. Based on the Author‘s argument in the passage above, which of the following is correct?

  • Force Majeure Clauses generally have a uniform impact on the performance of Contracts in all cases.
  • The Impact on the performance of Contracts by the usage of Force Majeure Clauses is dependent upon the way such clauses have been constructed in a particular Contract.
  • Both Force Majeure and Material Adverse Change Clauses have similar impacts on the performance of Contracts.
  • All of the above.

Q 2.  Imagine there is a domestic commercial Contract for the supply of certain goods for a certain price between A and B. However, in pursuance of the same, both A and B forget to negotiate and agree on the terms of a Force Majeure event, and the Contractual document does not contain the Force Majeure clause. In such a situation, what would be the fate of the Contract in an event like that of COVID-19?

  • As the parties did not negotiate on the Force Majeure Clause, neither of them can take an exception to the Breach of Contract.
  • The parties can invoke the Material Adverse Change Clause.
  • In absence of such clauses in the Contract, the Courts may resort to the applicable law, i.e., the Indian Contract Act of 1872, to give relief to the parties.
  • None of the above.

Q 3. In the same fact situation as mentioned above with a modification that there is a Force Majeure Clause in the Contract between A and B, let us suppose that B, who was to supply goods to A on a certain date and time, faced issues in relation to the procurement of goods due to mill strike and also because of rise in prices of goods. In this case, can B claim the suspension of performance of the Contract on the basis of the Force Majeure Clause?

  • Yes, B can, depending upon the way the Force Majeure Clause is worded.
  • Such a situation cannot be covered under Force Majeure as it is just a case of disappointed expectations, and hence B cannot invoke the clause. It is merely a case of commercial hardship.
  • B can invoke the Force Majeure clause as the clause is too broad to cover such situations. 
  • None of the above.

Q 4. Typically, the MAE (Material Adverse Change) provision in an agreement contemplates events which, if they occur, or are likely to occur, would have a ―materially adverse change or effect on the assets, business, property, liabilities, financial condition, results, operations of the target‖ or that ―affects the ability of the transacting parties to consummate the transaction‖ or the ―validity or enforceability of the transacting parties to its rights and remedies under the transaction documents‖. Which of the following sample clauses in a contract resembles an MAE clause?

  • "In the event, either party is unable to perform its obligations under the terms of this agreement because of an Act of God, strikes, equipment of transmission failure or damage reasonably beyond its control, such party shall not be liable for damages to the other for any damages resulting from such failure to perform."
  • "Except with respect to payment obligations under this agreement, no party shall be liable for, nor such party shall be considered in breach of this agreement due to, any failure to perform its obligations under this agreement as a result of a cause beyond its control, including any earthquake, labour problem, unavailability of supplies"
  • Both of the above.
  • None of the above

Passage 2

The issue of Obscenity has vexed the Courts in India and abroad for a long time now. The intriguing question has always been the same, i.e., what should be the standards to qualify something as obscene in the eyes of law? In the United Kingdom, way back in 1868, the Court laid down the Hicklin test in Regina v. Hicklin (1868 L.R. 2 Q.B. 360) and held that: ―The test of Obscenity is whether the tendency of the matter charged as Obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands a publication of this sort may fall.‖ Hicklin test postulated that a publication has to be judged for obscenity based on isolated passages of a work considered out of context and judged by their apparent influence on most susceptible readers, such as children or weakminded adults. However, this test was later rejected by most jurisdictions. There were many judgments where it was stipulated by the Indian Courts that, Obscenity has to be judged in the context of contemporary social mores, the current socio-moral attitude of the community and the prevalent norms of acceptability/ susceptibility of the community in relation to matters in issue. [For example, in Ranjit D. Udeshi v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1965 SC 881; Chandrakant Kalyandas Kakodar v. State of Maharashtra 1969 (2) SCC 687 etc.] These judgements indicated that the concept of Obscenity would change with the passage of time and what might have been ―obscene‖ at one point of time would not be considered as obscene at a later period. This came to be known as ―Community Standards Test‖. In Bobby Art International & Ors. v. Om Pal Singh Hoon (1996) 4 SCC 1, the Court, upholding the Community standards test, held that the complete message and context of the objectionable scene/firm/picture etc., need to be examined in order to find out whether the alleged material is obscene or not.

Q 1. A daily local newspaper called ‗Ramanand Bazar Patrika‘ has a wide circulation in Anandnagar; published, on 1st July 2019, an article with a picture of Boris Becker, a world-renowned Tennis player, posing nude with his dark-skinned fiance by name Barbara Feltus. This film actress was photographed by none other than her father. The article states that, in an interview, both Boris Becker and Barbara Feltus spoke freely about their engagement, their lives and future plans, and the message they wanted to convey to the people at large for posing for such a photograph. The article picturizes Boris Becker as a strident protester against the pernicious practice of ―Apartheid‖. Further, it was stated that the purpose of the photograph was also to signify that love champions hatred. Will the alleged picture classify as Obscene Material in India?

  • No, according to the Hicklin Test, it will not classify as Obscene.
  • Yes, according to the Community Standards Test, the picture will classify as Obscene.
  • No, according to the Community Standards Test, the picture will not classify as Obscene
  • Both (a) and (c).

Q 2. The difference between Hicklin Test and Community Standards Test is:

  • The former focuses on the susceptibility of the minds of individuals to get corrupted, while the latter hinges upon the context, intended meaning and contemporaneous sociocultural environment of the society
  • As per Hicklin Test, a nude picture of a woman per se can be obscene, while as per the latter, the picture should be suggestive of depraved mind and designed to excite sexual passion in persons who are likely to see it.
  • The former considers Obscenity as a changing concept with changing times, while the latter does not
  • All of the above.

Q 3. The issue of ‗Obscenity‘ is fundamentally related to which of the following?

  • Freedom of Religion of an individual
  • Freedom of Speech and Expression of an individual.
  • Right to Privacy of an individual.
  • All of the above.

Q 4. Consider the following situations. Choose the correct option as per Hicklin‘s Test. 1. A Movie scene where rows of naked Jewish men and women are shown frontally and led into the Gas Chambers of the Nazi Concentration Camp. Not only are they about to die, but they have been stripped of their basic dignity in the last moments of their life. 2. The controversial movie scene of Phoolan Devi, the Bandit queen, where she is paraded naked and made to draw water from the well within the circle of a hundred men. 

  • 1 is Obscene, but 2 is not.
  • 2 is Obscene, but 1 is not.
  • Both 1 and 2 are Obscene
  • Neither 1 nor 2 are Obscene.

Q 5. An activist, while being semi-nude, allowed her body to be used as a canvas to paint on by her two minor children, who were properly clothed. She uploaded this video of hers on an online platform with a message that she intended to normalize the female form for her children and not allow distorted ideas about sexuality to pervade their minds. An advocate who sees the video registers a case of Obscenity against her. Is it a case of Obscenity as per the Community Standards Test?

  • This is a pure case of Obscenity, and she is spreading it
  • This is a pure case of Obscenity as well as Child Pornography, as her children were exposed to her nudity.
  • This is not a case of Obscenity because, as per the Community Standards Test, the video must not be seen in isolation but in the contextual setup of the message that the activist has put on the normalization of a female‘s sexuality
  • This is a case of Obscenity as per the Community Standards Test, as the video was blatantly obscene.

How to Solve Legal Reasoning Questions for CLAT 2024?

As per experts' advice, understand the concepts well in advance before proceeding with solving critical reasoning questions CLAT.

Following the CLAT Preparation Tips will help you know to solve questions quickly in the upcoming exam.

  • Make sure to read the question carefully to understand better what is being asked
  • Break the passage into various parts if you are having difficulty understanding the passage
  • Try to understand the question carefully before choosing the answer
  • Use your own words to simplify the language used in the question

Frequently Asked Questions

In CLAT legal Aptitude Section, around 35-29 questions are asked. 

Some of the general preparation tips to crack Legal Aptitude are: Read the passage carefully to answer the questions correctly. Pay attention to all the small details and identify the principles and roles in the passage. Ensure to refer to the best books for preparation.

Some of the best books for the CLAT Legal Aptitude section are Legal Aptitude for CLAT and other Law Exams: Workbook by A. P Bhardwaj, Our Judiciary (National Book Trust) by National Book Trust, Legal Aptitude (CLAT) by R. K Gupta and Samiksha Gupta.

In Legal Aptitude, aspirants must be well-versed in all Legal fundamentals and terms. Some of the important topics to be prepared for are:

Research aptitude, Problem-solving ability, Questions based on hypothetical situations, Law of Torts, Indian Contract Act, Indian Constitution, and Important court decisions.

With proper preparation methods and following experts' tips, you can answer any type of question easily. Ensure to study all the topics from the highly recommended books by experts.
As per the new pattern, the questions are asked in comprehension-based passages. You need to read through the passage carefully and answer the questions. 

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