CLAT Passage Based Questions on Torts

There are questions based on the Law of Torts topic under the legal aptitude section of the CLAT exam. Unlike other sections, you must approach the legal aptitude section differently because the passages will have to be comprehended to look for facts and applicable rules.

To score well in this section, you have to prepare well on legal terminologies and foreign phrases. 

Are you looking for practice questions for torts? Well, this post shall provide you with the Passage-based Questions on Torts for CLAT Exam, preparation tips to solve legal aptitude questions, and more. 

Important Passage-based Questions and Answers on Torts for CLAT 2022

Practice is the only key to attempt law of torts questions in the exam. If you are an aspirant for the Common law Admission Test, practising previous year's Questions Papers for CLAT is most important to improve your reading speed.

Passage 1

Mahmood Kaskar resided in the city of Mumbai and was long suspected of having committed several offences, including smuggling. Kaskar came across a police check-post on the road on 15 December 2019, and, afraid that the police would find the contraband that he had hidden in the trunk of his car, he drove through the check-post instead of stopping.

In doing so, he smashed his car through the barricades at the check-post, and a piece from the barricades flew a few feet away and injured a policeman manning the check-post. Kaskar was later caught by the police, and charged with the offence of obstructing justice, which the police claimed he did by crashing through the check-post. Kaskar was acquitted of this charge since the police were not able to produce adequate evidence before the court. Some months later, the police, bent on teaching Kaskar a lesson, filed charges of injuring a police officer on duty against Kaskar.

Question: When Kaskar was convicted, he filed an appeal claiming that the decision violated the protection against double jeopardy in Article 20. Will Kaskar succeed?

(a)No, since the second charge filed against Kaskar was in relation to a different offence than the first one.

(b)Yes, since he had already been prosecuted for crashing through the barricades and could not be prosecuted for the same actions again.

(c)Yes, since he had already been acquitted the first time charges were filed against him.

(d)No, since he was long suspected of having committed several offences.

Answer:(a)

Rationale: The correct answer is (a) - no, since the second charge filed against Kaskar was in relation to a different offence than the first one. The passage tells us that the protection against double jeopardy is against a person being ‘prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.

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Since Kaskar was being prosecuted for a different offence the second time (that of injuring a police officer on duty) than the first time (that of obstructing justice), the protection against double jeopardy would not apply in this case.

Since the second prosecution involved a different offence, options (b) and (c) cannot be the correct answer. Option (d) is irrelevant to the question, and so, cannot be the correct answer.

Question: Sometime after the two prosecutions mentioned in the previous question, the police manage to recover CCTV footage from the area near the place where the police check-post was and filed fresh charges of obstructing justice against Kaskar for crashing through the check-post. They claim that the CCTV footage would help them win the case this time. Kaskar claims that this fresh, third trial, violates his protection against double jeopardy in Article 20 of the Constitution. Will he succeed?

(a)Yes, since Kaskar is a citizen of India and is protected under Article 20 of the Constitution.

(b)No, since the police were able to bring fresh evidence before the court in this new trial.

(c)Yes, since he had already been prosecuted for the offence of obstructing justice and was acquitted.

(d)No, since he was prosecuted but not punished for the same offence in the first trial.

Answer:(d)

Rationale: The correct answer is (d) - no, since he was prosecuted but not punished for the same offence in the first trial. The protection under Article 20 is against a person being ‘prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.

Since Kaskar had been prosecuted, but not punished in the first trial, he would not have the advantage of this protection under Article 20. For the same reason, (c) cannot be the correct answer.

While options (a) and (b) may be true, they do not address the issue of whether the protection under Article 20 applies in this third trial, and so, neither (a) nor (b) can be the correct answer.

Question 3:Concerned at the increasing number of instances of rash driving in Mumbai, the legislature passes a law on 12 January 2020, making rash driving a criminal offense punishable with three months’ imprisonment. The police, who are hell-bent on punishing Kaskar by now, file fresh charges and initiate a fourth case against Kaskar, claiming that his act of driving through the police check-post constituted rash driving. Kaskar now claims that this fourth trial violates the first clause of Article 20. Will the police succeed in this fourth trial?

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(a)Yes, since Kaskar had injured a policeman when he drove through the check-post.

(b)No, since driving through a check-post does not constitute rash driving.

(c)No, since rash driving was not an offence at the time Kaskar drove through the police check-post.

(d)Yes, since Kaskar had been prosecuted for different offences in the previous three trials.

Answer:(c)

Rationale: The correct answer is (c) – no, since rash driving was not an offence at the time Kaskar drove through the police check-post. The first clause of Article 20 provides that “a

person cannot be convicted for an offence which was not an offence at the time at which it was committed”. Since rash driving was not an offence on 15 December 2019 when Kaskar drove through the check-post, he cannot be punished for having committed that offence. While options (a) and (b) may or may not be true, they do not address the question of whether Kaskar’s

rights under the first clause of Article 20 had been violated, and so, neither (a) nor (b) can be the correct answer. Option (d) is irrelevant to the question – it addresses the issue of double jeopardy rather than the protection under the first clause of Article 20, and so, (d) cannot be the correct answer.

Question: While he was in custody, the police decided to investigate whether Kaskar was involved in the instances of smuggling that he was suspected of having committed. They asked him to produce a DNA sample that they could use to compare against the evidence they obtained from a boat suspected to have been used in such smuggling activities. Kaskar refused, claiming that forcing him to provide a DNA sample would violate his protection against self-incrimination under Article 20. Can the police force Kaskar to provide the DNA sample?

(a)Yes, since DNA samples amount to physical evidence, and not testimonial evidence.

(b)Yes, since smuggling is a serious offence, and Kaskar was already suspected of being involved in it.

(c)No, since producing DNA samples would amount to compelling Kaskar to be a witness against himself.

(d)No, since Kaskar had not been charged with smuggling at the time he was asked to produce the sample.

Answer:(a)

Rationale: The correct answer is (a) – yes since DNA samples amount to physical evidence, and not testimonial evidence. The decision in Kathu Kalu Oghad clarifies that the protection against self-incrimination under Article 20 extends to “the production of information based on personal knowledge” (testimonial evidence) but not ‘physical evidence’ like “a writing sample or a thumb impression”.

For this reason, (c) cannot be the correct answer. Options (b) and (d) may be true, but they do not address the question, and so, neither can be the correct answer.

Question: Assuming that the Supreme Court was bound to follow the decision in Kathu Kalu Oghad while deciding Selvi, what decision should the Supreme Court have taken in Selvi as regards the forcible administration of narco-analysis on a person?

(a)It would be constitutional, since it is a new technology, and is different from other techniques of extracting evidence like fingerprints or thumb impressions.

(b)It would be unconstitutional since it would amount to forcibly extracting testimonial evidence.

(c)It would be constitutional, since it only has a physical effect, and so, would amount to extracting physical evidence.

(d)It would be unconstitutional since it puts a person in an abnormal state of mind where they cannot remember their rights under Article 20.

Answer:(b)

Rationale: 

The correct answer is (b) – it would be unconstitutional since it would amount to forcibly extracting testimonial evidence. As the passage tells us, the administration of sodium pentothal would lower a person’s inhibitions, and take them into a trance, inducing them to converse casually – as a result of which, they may provide information based on personal knowledge (testimonial evidence).

While it may be new technology, and different from thumb impressions or handwriting samples, the forcible use of narco-analysis may result in the extraction of testimonial evidence, and so, (a) cannot be the correct answer. While it may have a physical effect, the end result of the forcible administration of narco-analysis would be the extraction of testimonial evidence, and so, (c) cannot be the correct answer.

While (d) may be true, it does not address the issue of whether the forcible administration of narco-analysis violates the protection against self-incrimination under Article 20, and so, (d) cannot be the correct answer.

Passage 2

Most civil cases deal with contracts, or promissory notes etc. which are not matters that involve reckless wrongdoing, or morally reprehensive conduct, in a majority of cases, the subject matter is irrelevant to the character of persons so it is never accepted as evidence. Character evidence is thus accepted only in situations where the facts show that it is relevant. Though the test appears to be relevant, there are several civil cases where the character of a person becomes relevant and yet character evidence is excluded. For example in tortuous claims against assault or negligence, the good character of the defendant would be relevant, yet character evidence is not accepted in tortuous claims while it is accepted in criminal actions for the same offences of assault or negligence.  Similarly, in quasi-criminal cases, where features belonging to classes of action can be found, civil courts do not entertain character evidence even if it could be accepted in a criminal court for the same offence.

Likewise, it is seen that when criminal charges are involved in a civil suit character evidence is not admissible. One of the reasons for this in both India as well as England is stated to be a policy decision in order to restrain civil proceedings within manageable limits and prevent protracted legal proceedings. It is said that such a move has been made in order to prevent unfairness to civil litigants as they cannot be expected, to protect themselves against allegations of bad character which may range over their whole life. However, this reasoning should hold good for criminal cases as well, as character evidence in criminal cases may also involve imputations that may range throughout one’s life. The reason for allowing for character evidence, here maybe because of the fact that the repercussions of a criminal trial are different from that of a civil case. Criminal cases involve the possibility of imprisonment. For example, the Indian Penal Code provides imprisonment of three months for assault without grave and sudden provocation. While a tortious claim against assault will only result in damages. This might be one of the reasons behind admitting character evidence in criminal cases. Character Evidence When Admissible- Thus we can see that character evidence in civil cases is admissible when the character of the party or third party is a fact in issue the character of the party or third party becomes relevant from the facts of the case, that is when it is needed as circumstantial evidence to prove another fact in issue. The character of a witness is in question.

Question: Remedy against the offence of assault can be claimed under

(a) Law of Tort

(b) Indian Penal Code

(c) Both a and b

(d) None of the above

Answer: (c)

Rationale: In a tortuous claim against assault or negligence, the good character of the defendant would be relevant, yet character evidence is not accepted in tortuous claims while it is accepted in criminal actions for the same offences of assault or negligence.

Question: Whether character evidence​​ is​​ admissible in a civil suit from criminal action?

(a) Yes

(b) No

(c) Maybe

(d) Not sure

Answer: (b)

Rationale: when criminal charges are involved in a civil suit character​​ evidence is not admissible.

Question: Why is character evidence not admissible in civil cases

(a) In civil cases the society at large is not affected thus it is unfair that the accused should carry a bad image for the rest of his life

(b) In civil cases the society at large is affected thus it is unfair that the accused should carry a bad image for the rest of his life

(c) In civil cases the society at large is not affected thus it is fair that the accused should carry a bad image for the rest of his life

(d) In civil cases the society at large is affected thus it is fair that the accused should carry a bad image for the rest of his life

Answer: (a)

Rationale: One of the reasons for this in both India as well as England is stated to be a policy decision in order to restrain civil proceedings within manageable limits and prevent protracted legal proceedings. It is said that such a move has been made in order to prevent unfairness to civil litigants as they cannot be expected, to protect themselves against allegations of bad character which may range over their whole life.

Question: What is the punishment prescribed for the offence of assault under the Law of Tort?

(a) 3 months imprisonment​​ 

(b) Damages

(c) Both a and b

(d) Only a

Answer: (b)

Rationale: a tortious claim against assault will only result in damages

How to Attempt Legal Aptitude Questions in CLAT Exam?

The questions in the legal aptitude section are designed to test your legal aptitude, research aptitude, and problem-solving ability in legal issues.

To help you solve the legal aptitude section easily, we have provided some of the best preparation tips for CLAT Legal Aptitude in the post below.

  • Firstly, read the passage carefully and try to identify the principles given in the passage.
  • The legal principle should be applied correctly to the given set of facts.
  • Try to choose the option which comes closest to the given legal principle.
  • Avoid choosing an option based on moral considerations.
  • Try to keep your assumptions outside the principle facts and stick to the theories that the principle is always right.

FAQ's

How many questions are asked in CLAT Legal Aptitude section?

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

Is one month enough CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation?

It is depends on your capability and grasping power. If you have already begun your preparation an year ago, then one month of of revision is good. However, since the syllabus is huge with a new pattern of questions it requires a lot of dedication and hard work if preparing one month before the exam. 

Is Legal Aptitude Questions easy?

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.