UPSC IAS Mains 2008 Law (Paper -1 & 2) Optional Question
Exam Name: IAS Mains
Subject: Law (Optional)
Section - A
1. Answer any THREE of the following (Each answer should be about two
hundred words) :
(a) ‘Rule of Law’ does not mean rule according to statutory law, pure and
simple, because such a law may itself be harsh, inequitable, discriminatory or
unjust. ‘Rule of Law’ connotes some higher kind of law which is reasonable, just
and non-discriminatory. Explain.
(b) “With a view to enabling Parliament to act and x discharge its high
functions effectively, without any interference or obstruction from any quarter,
without fear or favour certain privileges and immunities are attached to each
House collectively, and to the Member thereof individually.” Critically examine
(c) Examine the scope of the ‘Special Leave Jurisdiction’ of the Supreme Court
as expounded by the Supreme Court of India.
(d) Explain and elucidate the significance of the various strategies adopted for
the implementation of the ‘Directive Principles’ of Stale Policy enshrined in
Part - IV of the Indian Constitution.
(a) The framers of the Constitution felt that, in an emergency, the centre
should have overriding powers to control and direct all aspects of
administration and legislation throughout the country. Elucidate.
(b) ‘Judicial review is one of the basic features of the Constitution.’ Do you
agree with the view? Cite relevant case laws.
(a) “The legislature cannot delegate its powers to make a law; but it can
make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things upon
which the law intents to make its own action depend.” Critically comment on the
above statement and discuss with the aid of relevant legal provisions and case
(b) “Equality is the basic feature of the Constitution of India and any
treatment of equals unequally or unequals as equals will be violation of basic
structure of the Constitution of India.” Explain.
4. Write short notes on the following:
(a) The distinction between ‘Executive Power’ of the President and his
(b) Rights of the Press and the problem of Pre- censorship.
(c) The scope of the constitutional harmony and balance between ‘Fundamental
Rights’ and ‘Directive Principles’ of State Policy.
Section - B
5. Answer any THREE of the following (Each answer should be about two
(a) “It is difficult to maintain the distinction between formal and material
sources taking into account that material sources consist simply of quasi
constitutional principles of inevitable but unhelpful generality. What matters
is the variety of material sources, the
all-important evidence of the
existence of consensus among States concerning particular rules of practice.”
Critically examine the various sources of International Law in the development
of Modern International Law, with the help of relevant case law.
(b) “India is neither a signatory to the 1951 Convention nor to the 1967
Protocol relating to the status of refugees and is already a signatory to other
Universal Human Rights instruments. The Indian courts have taken the lead by
resorting to judicial activism in protection of refugees with the aid of
International Instruments, constitutional and various legislative provisions.”
(c) Explain the concept and characteristics of ‘Third World Countries’.
Critically examine the demands and the achievements of ‘Third World Countries’
in shaping New International Economic Order.
(d) Do you find any distinction between the State Liability and State
Responsibility under International Law ? Critically examine the general
principles of State Respon-sibility in International Law.
(a) “International Organisations are very important to International Trade
Law.” Examine the role of relevant International Organisations involved in the
development of International Trade Law.
(b) Explain the need, objectives and outcome of the Bretton Woods Conference of
1944. Discuss the similarities and distinctions between the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the ‘International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD).’ Critically examine the role of IMF and IBRD initiatives in
the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation of economies, while
focussing on the problems of the developing countries.
(a) “It is evident that general International Law does not prohibit
intervention under all circumstances, forcible interference in the sphere of
interest of another Stale is permitted as reaction against violation of
International Law.” Critically examine the statement.
(b) “The general principles and prescriptions of International Law are not
without applicability to problems of transnational pollution - an environmental
degradation. Thus fundamental principle of international limits action by one
State which would cause injury in the territory of another state “ “There has
been general recognition of the Rule that a State must not permit the use of its
territory for purposes injurious to the interest of another State Explain.
8. Write notes on the following:
(a) Globalisation and Human Rights.
(b) India’s accession to the WTO : Pros and Cons.
(c) Laws relating to Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf and High Seas.
Section - A
1. Answer any THREE of the following (answer to each question must not
exceed 200 words). Support your answer with the help of legal provisions &
(a) “Offence does not happen all of a sudden, it passes through some stages.”
Discuss and distinguish between preparation to commit offence and an attempt to
commit an offence.
(b) Discuss the rules regarding joint and constructive liability in Criminal
Law. Do you find any distinction between similar intention and common intention?
(c) “State has to answer for every wrong committed by its erring servant.”
(d) “It is an actionable wrong to institute, maliciously and without reasonable
and probable cause, criminal proceedings which may injure person’s reputation,
personal freedom or property.” Elucidate.
(a) “Right of private defence can be exercised only against the offender.”
Explain and discuss also the circumstances when even death can be caused of the
accused in exercise of right of private defence of property.
(b) “In all robbery there is either theft or extortion.” Explain. A holds Z
down, and fraudulently takes Z’s money and jewels from Z’s person without Z’s
consent and for this purpose he causes a wrongful restraint to Z. Discuss A’s
(a) “It is not the hindsight of a fool, it is the foresight of a reasonable
man which alone can determine the liability.” Discuss. A threw a lighted cracker
in a crowded market. It fell on B’s shop. C was standing nearby. To save himself
and B’s shop too, C threw the cracker away. It then fell on D’s shop. D in his
turn, threw it away which then fell on E who became blind. Decide, who is liable
(b) “Knowledge of the danger does not amount to consent to undertake the risk.”
Discuss with the help of decided cases.
(a) “The law of consumer protection has come to meet the long felt necessity
of protection to the common men from the wrongs for which the remedy under
ordinary law for various reasons has become illusory.” Discuss this statement
and explain to what extent the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has succeeded in
(b) Critically examine the concept of ‘plea bargaining’ and evaluate its scope
Section - B
5. Answer any THREE of the following (Answer to each question must not
exceed 200 words). Support your answer with legal provisions and decided cases
(a) “For giving rise to a valid contract, there must be consensus ad-idem
among the contracting parties.” Explain this statement.
(b) “Law as well as justice should try to prevent unjust enrichment.” Critically
examine this statement in relation to quasi-contracts.
(c) “Liability of the surety is secondary.” Comment.
(d) “The rule of Caveat Emptor does not mean that the buyer must take a chance,
it means that the buyer must take care.” Explain with exceptions, if any.
(a) “The effects of non-registration of partnership firm are so fatal that
ordinarily the firms are registered.” Explain with the help of legal provisions
and decided cases.
(b) “Every contract of guarantee is a contract of indemnity but every contract
of indemnity is not a contract of guarantee.” Elaborate. ‘A’ and ‘B’ go to a
shop. ‘A’ says to the shopkeeper, “let B take goods from your shop and if he
does not pay, I will pay”. What kind of contract is this? Give reasons.
(a) “The object of Sec. 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is to
inculcate faith in the efficacy of banking operations and credibility in
transacting business on negotiable instruments.” Elucidate with the help of the
latest Supreme Court cases.
(b) The “precautionary principle” and the “polluter pays principle” are the
parts of the environment law of this country. Explain in the light of decided
(a) “Intellectual property of whatever species is in the nature of intangible
incorporal property.” In the light of this statement discuss the scope of
intellectual property rights in India..
(b) “Cyber crime is a collective term encompassing both ‘cyber contraventions’
and ‘cyber offences’. “ Explain this statement and discuss the various offences
enumerated in the Information Technology Act, 2000.