Q.1 Facts: Ranjit Singh, a resident of the State of Punjab, is denied admission in a premier government institute located in Maharashtra on the basis that he is a non-resident of Maharashtra State. Ranjit Singh has decided to challenge the constitutional validity of this rule.
Principle: The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of place of birth.
- Ranjit Singh will succeed since the rule discriminates on the basis of place of birth.
- Ranjit Singh will not succeed since the court cannot question the rules framed by the institution.
- Ranjit Singh will not succeed since the discrimination is a valid one.
- None of the above.
Solution (iii): is the correct choice because the rule incorporates only a residence requirement. It cannot be said to be discriminating based on place of birth, because a person born in Punjab, but residing in Maharashtra would stil be eligible for admission in the institute.
Q.2 Facts: A new tax law is imposed in India, the effect of which is to make all individuals who have evaded tax in the past six month pay a higher interest as a fine to the tax authorities. Some individuals challenge this law as being violative of their fundamental rights.
Principle: No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.
- The individuals will succeed because a penalty heavier than the one in existence at the time of the commission of the offence cannot be imposed on them.
- The individuals will not succeed because the fundamental right does not extend to the imposition of fines for tax evasion, a civil liability.
- Neither of the above.
Solution (ii) is the correct answer choice since the imposition of a tax liability is equivalent to imposing a civil liability and not a criminal penalty and therefore this action of the State is not covered by the specified principle.
Q.3 Facts: The Parliament enacts a law, which state that all person who are above the height of 5 feet, are liable to pay a higher amount of tax. The object of this law is to increase the government’s tax revenues. A few person who are above 5 feet in height, get together and file a writ challenging this law, stating that is violative of Article 14.
Principle: Article 14 states that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law.
- Since the law treats one category of person differently from another-it is violative of Article 14;
- The law is within the bounds of Article 14 because it bases the different treatment on a reasonable difference between the persons, i.e. a height difference.
- The law is violative of Article 14 because the basis of classification is unrelated to the object that it seeks to achieve;
- The law is not violative of Article 14 since it treats all persons who are above 5 feet height in the same manner.
Solution (iii): Article 14 allows persons to be treated differently if the different treatment is based on a reasonable classification which has a rational relation with the object that the law seeks to achieve. Here, though there is a reasonable basis for the classification, there is absolutely no connection between the basis of classification (height above 5 feet) and the object of the law, i.e. increasing tax revenues. Thus, the law is violative of Article 14.
Q.4 Facts: A student of a prestigious engineering college run by the Rotary is rusticated from the college because the College fears that his religious affiliations will set a bad example for the other students and create an atmosphere of unrest. The student files a writ challenging the College’s action as being violative of this fundamental right.
Principle: Article 15- The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the grounds only of religion.
- The action of the College will be struck down because it amounts to a violative of the fundamental right of the student;
- The College has taken similar action against other students indulging in similar activities, thus there has been no discrimination against the student;
- The action against the College cannot succeed because the College is a private body;
- Instead of indulging in such discriminatory behaviour, the Rotary should be engaged in promoting social welfare.
Solution (iii): Fundamental rights are guaranteed to us by the State, therefore any action for violation of a fundamental right only lies against the State and not against a private entity/person. The engineering college run by the Rotary is exempt from the prohibitions of the fundamental rights as long as it does not violate any laws.
Q.5 Facts: The Municipal Corporation of a particular city continuously dumps garbage in front of X’s house since X belongs to another religion, which is dominantly practised in the neighbouring country. Despite repeated complaints, not only does the situation persist but the Municipal Corporation also begins to ensure that he is restrained from entering the offices of the Corporation to even give complaints. Hence, X is compelled to approach the courts seeking to challenge the actions of the Municipal Corporation as being violative of his fundamental rights.
Principle: The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the grounds only of his religion.
- The action of the Municipal Corporation is violative of X’s fundamental rights;
- The Municipal Corporation is justified in its action, because all loyalists of other enemy countries should be treated in like manner and the Municipal Corporation is not ‘State’;
- The Municipal Corporation is justified because they have always dumped garbage in the same place, even before X took up residence in that place.
- The Municipal Corporation is not justified because it does not treat American loyalists in the same manner.
Solution (i): The Municipal Corporation is a local authority, a body set up by the State, and as such, is part of the ‘State’ machinery. As such, citizens can enforce their fundamental rights against it. In the present case, the Municipal Corporation is discriminating against X because of his religious faith, and therefore, its action can be struck down.
Q.6 Facts: Giridhar goes for a walk every morning, but is lately finding that traffic is increasing. So, he decides to go for his morning walk inside the Air Force Station campus in the vicinity of his residence.
When he gets there, the guards at the gate refuse to allow him through, stating that the area is restricted / prohibited and he cannot enter. Giridhar challenges this action under Article 19(1) (d).
Principle: Article 19 (1) (d) guarantees that every citizen shall, subject to reasonable restrictions, if any, have the right to move freely throughout the territory of India.
- It is not reasonable on the part of the government to earmark green and peaceful areas as restricted and to restrict entry within these areas;
- It is unreasonable of the government to think that every person who is entering the area is a potential security threat;
- It is a reasonable restriction because it is necessary to preserve the security of the state;
- None of the above.
Solution (iii): It is impossible for the government to question every person closely before deciding whether or not they are security threat. Considering that the area is a part of the State’s defence organisation, it is justified in the interests of state security (consequently, public interest) to restrict entry of unauthorised persons into this area.
Q.7 Facts: Dr. Been is a social activist. He believed the masses were being exploited by capitalist demons and started a mass awareness campaign. He gave a speech in which he denounced the capitalist policies of the State Government and asked all people to devote themselves to socialist way of life. Seth Jamna Das Bansal requests the Chief Minister arrest Dr. Been for creating a dangerous situation that might result in a violent uprising. Accordingly Dr. Been is banned from publishing anything and is placed in house arrest. Are the actions of Chief Minister correct?
Principle: Every citizen has the freedom of speech and expression. Reasonable restrictions can be imposed on this freedom in order to maintain public order.
(a). The CM’s actions are wrong because the freedom to speech and expression is absolute and this restriction is a fraud on the people of the state.
(b). The CM’s actions are wrong because he is acting in collusion with capitalist leaders of the State.
(c). The CM’s actions are correct because socialist speeches tend to be provocative that may create a public order situation.
(d). The CM’s actions are wrong because no restriction can be imposed on speech and expression only under an apprehension that an exercise of this freedom may create a public order situation.
Solution (d): The CM imposed the restriction not because there was a public order situation. Rather he imposed it because he was urged to by the Seth and as such there was no reason to believe that a public order situation would arise. In the absence of any such circumstances, the restriction was wholly uncalled for.
Q.8 Facts: Ramu Singh was convicted of killing his brother and sister-in-law by beheading in relation to a property dispute. He was sentenced to be executed by the court. Government of India passed the Executions Act wherein it was laid down that every person who is to be executed should be executed by dissection of an arm whereupon such person shall bleed to his death. Ramu Singh challenged the validity of this law on the ground that this law provides for an unreasonably brutal way of execution.
Principle: No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
Explanation: Procedure established by law means-
(a) there should be a law
(b) it should established a procedure
(c) such procedure must be just, fair and reasonable
(a) Ramu Singh shall fail because he killed his brother and sister in law by beheading and now he shall be condemned to suffer the misery of a brutal death-exactly the kind of death he inflicted upon his victims
(b) Ramu Singh shall fail because the Executions Act is a law that provides for a procedure and such procedure is to be followed
(c) Ramu Singh shall succeed because every human life is sacred and shall be preserved
(d) Ramu Singh shall succeed because the method of execution provided under the Executions Act is unreasonably brutal.
Solution (d): Reason: As per the principle there are three requirements-a law, a procedure laid down under the law, the procedure being just fair and reasonable. The method of execution provided by the Executions Act is clearly brutal and therefore unreasonable. Therefore Ramu Singh shall succeed.
Q.9 Facts: Deepali was a daily wage labourer in New Delhi. She and her husband Ram Sarup were working on a construction project in Gurgaon when she got pregnant. As a result she was not able to go to work. When she was in labour, Ram Sarup took her to Sri Ram Government Hospital in New Delhi for delivery of their child. In the hospital, Deepali was not given proper treatment and she as a result her child was still born. It turned out that the Government doctors who were supposed to deliver the child were busy having tea while Deepali was in labour. Arun Mishra is a social worker and when he got to know of this tragedy, he filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court, alleging violation of life and personal liberty of Deepali by Sir Ram Government Hospital and sought compensation on their behalf. Can he succeed?
Principle: No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
Explanation: Life and personal liberty are protected against violation by State. State includes Government or Governmental Authorities or authorities and bodies that are directly or indirectly under the control of Government.
In case of such violation, the aggrieved person has the right to claim compensation from the State Procedure established by law means-
- there should be a law
- it should establish a procedure
- such procedure must be just, fair and reasonable
(a) Yes he can as doctors are supposed to attend patients when they need them and no chat around having tea.
(b) Yes he can as Government Hospital doctors had a prima facie responsibility to attend to Deepali as she was in labour
(c) No he cannot as it is the doctors who are responsible for this act and not the State run Government Hospital and only doctors and not the State can be held liable to pay compensation
(d) Yes he can as the Government Hospital is State and life and personal liberty are protected against State action.
Solution (d): Reason Right to medical attendance is a part of life and personal liberty. Doctors in Government Hospital are a part of State. Violation of this right is protected against the State. Failure of the doctors to provide timely medical attention to Deepali that resulted in her miscarriage is a violation of this right. Therefore she is allowed to claim compensation from the State through social activist Arun Mishra.
Q.10 Facts: Natha was 13 years old when he joined a glass factory as a water boy. His job primarily was to serve tea and water to all employees and visitors at the factory. Prem Chand, a social worker, filed a case against the glass factory owners on the ground that Natha is being exploited by the glass factory by employing him in a hazardous industry.
Principle: No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
Explanation: Hazardous Employment- Any employment that presents a potential threat to the body and/or health of the child is a hazardous employment.
(a) Prem Chand will Succeed as Natha is being employed to work in the glass factory and such employment is contrary to the principle.
(b) Prem Chand will fail because Natha is being employed only as a water boy and the employment is not hazardous
(c) Prem Chand will succeed because glass factory owners are renowned as exploitators of children.
(d) Prem Chand should be grateful to the glass factory owners as they are providing gainful employment to Natha.
Solution (a): First part of the principle says that a child is not to be employed in a hazardous employment anywhere. The first and second are two independent parts of the principle. The first part is clearly being violated.
Q.11 Facts: Ronny was a member of a criminal gang that was notorious for kidnapping and ransom. One day the police laid down a trap and Ronny was arrested. In the police station Inspector Chulbul Pande beated him black and blue left, right and centre. To save his life Ronny confessed to all the crimes that he had committed and even to those that he had not committed. Based on the confession the court convicted Ronny. Now, he challenged his conviction before the State High Court on the ground that his confession was forced. Will he succeed?
Principle: No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Explanation: Any person who is accused of an offence cannot be induced of forced to confess a crime and if he or she is indeed forced to confess, such confession is of no value in the eyes of law.
(a) Ronny will succeed because Inspector Chulbul Pande is known for giving his prisoners third degree
(b) Ronny will succeed because the confession on which his conviction is based was forced out of him against his will by use of force by the police.
(c) Ronny will succeed because there is no evidence that he has actually committed any kidnapping and has demanded any ranson
(d) Ronny will fail because Inspector Chulbul Pande is a very popular and honest police offier
Solution (b): Confession is clearly a result of police torture. Furthermore, the confession was given to make the police torture stop and was not voluntary. As per the principle, such confession has no value in eyes of law. Therefore Ronny’s conviction has to be quashed.
Q.12 Principle: No person shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once.
Facts: Mr. Natwarlal, the Treasurer of Sikandar Cargo Handling Company Pvt. Ltd. was charged with misappropriating large sums of money from the office funds. Besides a case of theft, departmental proceedings were also instituted against him for grave professional misconduct and other similar charges. He was convicted by the Court of the Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai and sentenced to three years’ RI along with fine. The Departmental Proceedings had been stayed till the disposal of Mr. Natwarlal’s Appeal to the High Court against the order of the Magistrate. The High Court affirmed the decision of the Magistrate. After he had served his sentence, the Departmental Proceedings, which had been kept in abeyance till that time, were started again.
Mr. Natwarlal challenges the fresh institution of departmental Proceedings in the High Court by way of a Writ Petition.
(a) Mr. Natwarlal is protected by the Fundamental Right against double jeopardy, and hence would succeed in his Writ.
(b) The Departmental Proceedings would be rendered infructuous since he has already been convicted and sentenced by the Court, and also served the sentence imposed on him.
(c) Mr. Natwarlal’s Writ would fail, since in the Order of conviction, both the Courts had left it open for Sikandar Cargo Handling Company to pursue separate actions against him.
(d) Remedies in criminal law are independent of Departmental Proceedings
Solution (d): Also, it must be noticed that the Departmental Proceedings were instituted not only for misappropriation of funds, but also for grave professional misconduct and other charges. This is a classic example of a single act giving rise to a number of offences. The principle of double jeopardy speaks about ‘offences’ and not ‘acts’, so it would not be applicable here.
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