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Legal Reasoning Quiz-1

Read the principle and decide for the following fact situations.

Q1. Principle: Wilful rash driving is an offense.

Facts: Mr. Boru was driving his car after drinking alcohol. Police books him for wilful rash driving. Is the act of the police lawful?

(a) No, because Mr. Boru was not driving rashly; he was drunk while driving.

(b) No, this is not a negligent act.

(c) Yes, because Mr. Boru was driving rashly.

(d) Yes, because the police has the power to arrest a person driving rashly.

Q2. Principle: Mere silence as to the facts likely to affect the willingness of a person to enter into a contract is not a fraud, unless the circumstances of the case are such   that, on close examination it is found to be the duty of the person keeping silent to speak, or unless his silence is, in itself, equivalent to speech.

Facts: Akash sells by auction to Anubhuti, a horse which Akash knows to be of unsound state of mind. Akash says nothing to Anubhuti about the horse’s unsound state of mind. Give the correct answer-

(a) Akash can be held liable for fraud

(b) Akash can be held liable for misrepresentation

(c) Akash cannot be held liable, because he did not say anything positive about the mental state of the horse

(d) Akash cannot be held liable because it is the buyer who must be aware of these things.

Q3. Principle: Only Parliament or State Legislatures have the authority to enact laws on their own. No law made by the State can take away a person’s fundamental right.

Facts: Parliament enacted a law, which according to a group of lawyers is violating the fundamental rights of traders. A group of lawyers file a writ petition challenging the Constitutional validity of the statute seeking relief to quash the statute and further direct Parliament to enact a new law.

(a) No writ would lie against Parliament, as the court has no authority to direct Parliament to enact or re-enact a law

(b) The court can quash existing law if it violates fundamental rights and can direct Parliament to make a new law.

(c) The court can quash the existing law if it violates fundamental rights but cannot direct Parliament to make a new law.

(d) None of these.

Q4. Principle: When one person signifies to another his willingness to do or abstain from doing anything, with a view to obtaining the assent of that person to such an act or abstinence, he is said to have made a proposal.

Facts: “Arshita telegraphed to Aparna, writing: “Will you sell me your BMW car? Telegram the lowest cash price.” Aparna also replied by telegram: “Lowest price for car is Rs. 20 lakh.” Arshita immediately sent his consent through telegram stating: “I agree to buy the car for Rs. 20 lakh asked by you.” Aparna refused to sell the car.

(a) He cannot refuse to sell the car because the contract has already been made.

(b) He can refuse to sell the car because it was only invitation to offer and not the real offer.

(c) It was not a valid offer because willingness to enter into a contract was absent.

(d) None of these

Q5. Principle: A person is said to be of sound mind for the purpose of making a contract if, at the time when he makes it, he is capable of understanding it and of forming a rational judgment as to its effect upon his interests.

Facts: Sakshi who is usually of sound state of mind, but occasionally of unsound state of mind, enters into a contract with Samyak when he was of unsound state of mind. Samyak having come to know about this fact afterwards, wants to file a suit against Sakshi.

(a) Sakshi cannot enter into contract because he is of unsound state of mind when he entered into contract.

(b) Sakshi can enter into contract but the burden is on the other party to prove that he was of unsound state of mind at the time of contract.

(c) Sakshi can enter into contract but the burden is on Samyak to prove that he was of sound state of mind at the time of contract.

(d) None of these

Q6. Principle: Whoever stores a substance which could cause damage on escape shall be absolutely liable (i.e. liable even when he has exercised necessary care) for any damage caused by the escape of the substance.

Facts: Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) manufactured methyl isocyanate, an extremely toxic gas. Due to a storm, the gas that was being stored in sealed containers got released. Before a lot of damage could happen, the local municipal authorities managed to contain the disaster. The authorities filed a suit against UCIL for the costs that were incurred in decontamination. However, later it was realized that the clean-up by the authorities could have been done without spending as much resources and the damage was not that significant. UCIL argued that it would pay only part of the amount demanded by the authorities, which could have dealt with the contamination.

(a) UCIL is liable only to the extent of contamination caused. It does not need to pay the authorities the entire amount demanded by them.

(b) The authorities are entitled to the whole sum, as UCIL shall be held liable for all the repercussions of their act even if they had exercised due care.

(c) UCIL can plead that the escape of the gas had been caused by a storm and not due to its own negligence. It was an inevitable accident.

(d) The municipal authorities should have analyzed the damage first before jumping into action. It was due to their own negligence because of which they had to shell out more than required.

Principles for questions Qs. 7-9

Principle 1: For defamation, there must be publication of defamatory material. Such publication constitutes the tort of defamation. Here, publication means a third person comes to know about the defamatory material.

Principle 2: Truth is a defence to the tort of defamation.

Principle 3: If injury is caused to a person’s reputation without any lawful justification, then the tort of defamation has been committed.

Facts: Akashdeep and Ashim have been good friends for fifteen years. However, when they both decide to get married on the same day they start to develop problems as they have both wanted exactly the same marriage since the time they became friends. In order to sabotage Ashim’s wedding, Akashdeep sends a letter to Ashim’s employers telling them about his pathetic work ethic. This leads to Ashim being fired, and in retaliation he sends out invites for his wedding with a message about Akashdeep being an extremely mean person.

Q7. Apply principles 1 and 3 and decide which case defamation has been committed.

(a) Defamation has been committed only in the first instance.

(b) Defamation has only been committed in the second instance.

(c) Defamation has been committed in both the instances.

(d) Defamation has not been committed in either of the instances.

Q8. Apply principles 1 and 2 and decide whether Ashim can succeed in a claim for damages caused due to the defamation committed by Akashdeep against him.

(a) Ashim can succeed in a claim for damages against the defamation caused by Akashdeep.

(b) Ashim can succeed in a claim for damages against the defamation caused by Akashdeep as it resulted in an injury to her reputation which resulted in her being fired from her job.

(c) Ashim cannot succeed as Akashdeep merely stated the truth, and truth is a defence to defamation.

(d) None of the above.

Q9. Apply principles 1, 2 and 3 and decide whether defamation has occurred against Ashim.

(a) Defamation has been committed against Ashim as there was publication of defamatory material.

(b) Defamation has been committed against Ashim as Akashdeep’s letter caused an injury to her reputation.

(c) Defamation has been committed against Ashim as Akashdeep was not telling the truth, and truth is the only defence to defamation.

(d)  All of the above.

Q10. Principle: A contract with a minor is a void contract.

Facts: Abhiroop is extremely fond of watching TV and constantly asks his father to supply him with one in his room, but his father doesn’t agree. Abhiroop goes to a shop selling TVs and asks the owner – Amulya – to sell him one. Amulya asks for his age and Abhiroop manages to convince him that he is in fact 21 years of age. He then buys the TV from Amulya on credit and proudly takes it home. A week later, when Amulya realizes that Abhiroop has no capacity to pay him for the TV, he sues Amulya and his father for the loss he suffered.

(a)   Abhiroop is liable in this case because he made Amulya have an honest belief that he is a major.

(b)  Abhiroop is a minor and thus any contract with him is void; Abhiroop isn’t liable to pay.

(c)   Abhiroop can’t be made liable to pay, but his father would be liable since he is the next closest major,

(d)   Both Abhiroop and his father are liable.

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