[Question Paper] Law Mains 2012 UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS Exam

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  1. Usual instructions
  2. Paper 1 Section A
  3. PAPER 1 Section B
  4. PAPER 2 Section-A
  5. Paper 2 Section-B

Usual instructions

  1. Each paper has 3 hours and 300 marks
  2. Each paper has two sections, Q1 and 5 are compulsory and attempt remaining three in such way that atleast 1 question is from every section.
  3. IMPORTANT : Whenever a question is being attempted, all its parts/sub-parts must be attempted contiguously. This means that before moving on to the next question to be attempted, candidates must finish attempting all parts/sub-parts of the previous question attempted. This is to be strictly followed.

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Paper 1 Section A

Q1 12×5=60

  1. “The entries in the legislative lists are not the source of powers for the legislative constituents, but they merely demarcate the fields of legislation. It is now well settled law that these entries are to be construed liberally and widely so as to attain the purpose for which they have been enacted. Narrow interpretation of the entries is likely to defeat their object as it is not always possible to write these entries with such precision that they cover all possible topics and without any overlapping.” Critically evaluate the above statement with reference to interpretation of legislative entries contained in Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
  2. Are personal laws ‘law’ for the purposes of Part III of the Constitution ? Discuss with reference to leading case law.
  3. What is meant by ‘individual responsibility’ and ‘collective responsibility’ of the Council of Ministers ? What would be the consequences of ‘individual responsibility’ in case a Minister of the Government is found guilty of tort of misfeasance by the Supreme Court of India ? Comment.
  4. What is the justification behind the Pardoning power of the President of India under Article 72 of the Constitution ? Discuss with reference to Supreme Court cases the extent to which the exercise of this power can be subjected to judicial review
  5. Do you agree with the statement that ‘re-looking of the process of delegated legislation is necessary particularly in context to substantial amount of public participation ?’ Comment critically.

Q2 20X3

  1. What do you understand by the term ‘Constitutional Conventions’ ? Are they are relevant in a country like India hav1ng a lengthy written constitution with preamble?
  1. “Contempt of Court is a power inherent to a court of record.” In this regard discuss the sweep of power of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish their contempt.  Also examine the defences of ‘fair criticism’ and ‘truth’ in the light of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
  2. In what circumstances and for violation of which rights can monetary compensation be awarded to the victims ? What is your view for adopting such an approach by judiciary ? Analyse critically.

Q3 20X3

  1. With special reference to the landmark judgments of the Supreme Court of India, discuss the effect of relegation of the right to property from being a fundamental right to a constitutional right. Also suggest the changes required to be made in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
  2. In the presence of institutions like Competition Commission of India and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, where policy making and adjudicatory functions are fused, comment on the significance of the doctrine of separation of powers 20 in the contemporary Indian scenario.
  3. Is there any difference between ‘Right to information’ and ‘Right to be informed’ ? Do we have any provision in the Constitution in this regard ? Discuss with reference to case law.

Q4 20×3=60

  1. Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation
  2. Institution of Local Self Government
  3. Modern progressive approach of the principles of natural justice


Q5 12×5=60

  1. It is often said that customary international law is earlier to apply than to define. What are the inherent problems in defining ‘custom’ and how can a custom be considered as a source of international law?
  2. With reference to the relationship between international law and municipal law, discuss the ‘transformation’ and ‘specific adoption’ theories. How can these two theories be harmonised with reference to States’ obligations under relevant international law.
  3. Identify and comment on the three major grounds for a State party to avoid its treaty obligations.
  4. “The rules of the humanitarian law of war have clearly acquired the status of ‘jus cogens’, for they are the fundamental rules of a humanitarian character, from which no derogation is possible without negating the basic considerations of humanity which they are intended to protect.” Evaluate the above statement and also point out the major distinction between humanitarian law and law relating to human rights.
  5. Do you agree with the statement that ‘United Nations is a World Government’? Give reasons for your answer.

Q6 30X2

  1. What is meant by right of national self determination of peoples and what is its role in the creation of a new State ? Critically examine how minority rights can be protected while balancing the territorial integrity of a State at the same time.
  2. ‘Legal restraint on the use of force’ is the fundamental postulate on which the conception of enforcement of peace is based upon in modern international law.  Enumerate and elucidate various international legal instruments with the help of which this concept is actually practised.

Q4 30X2

  1. “With the exception of disputes of an exclusively legal character which are usually submitted to. arbitration or judicial settlement, it is purely a matter of policy or expediency which of the different methods is to be adopted for composing a particular difference between States.” Explain the different methods of peaceful dispute settlement envisaged by the United Nations Charter and examine the appropriateness of each in different situations.
  2. In the light of recent European crisis, critically assess the success of regional organisations of countries for cooperation in matters of trade and commerce. How far do geo-political proximities further economic cooperation ?

Q4 30X2

  1. Having regard to the United Nations Convention on Law of Sea (UNCLOS-III), which came into force in 1994, and its two predecessor UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, analyse how far these conventions have been able to effectively codifY customary international law of sea.
  2. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 providing an enforcement mechanism for individuals in the international sphere is a watershed moment for the enthusiasts of second generation rights.  Discuss the proposed mechanism, its significance and viability.

End of paper I.

PAPER 2 Section-A

Q1 12×5=60

  1. “Culpable homicide is the genus and murder is species, and that all murder~ are culpable homicide but not vice versa.” Discuss in the light of legal provisions and some decided cases.
  1. “The recent Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2011 seeks to replace ‘rape’ by the term ‘sexual assault’ in the IPC and intends to make rape a gender-neutral offence in the country.” Examine whether this is appropriate.
  2. “The expression ‘good faith’ has a definite identity in the Indian Penal Code.” Discuss.
  3. The defendant had been carrying cargo in a lorry for the plaintiff. On the way there was heavy rainfall. The cargo was damaged by seepage due to rainwater rising from below, while it had been securely protected by the defendant by tarpaulin from above. The flash flood on the highway had stranded hundreds of lorries including that of the defendant, and the water level on the highway rose above tyres and up to the level of the platform which resulted in the seepage
  4. However, the plaintiff claimed heavy damages from the defendant on the ground of negligence or want of due care.  Discuss whether the defendant can have any defence in this case.
  5. “The principle of ‘res ipsa loquitur’ is an exception to the rule that it is for the plaintiff to prove negligence of the defendant.” Discuss with reference to some cases.

Q2 30×2

  1. Explain the essentials of malicious prosecution. What are the grounds on which plaintiff can claim damages?
  2. Mr. X himself was driving a car and when he was passing through a railway level crossing, his car was hit by a mail train. The car was smashed and Mr. X was seriously injured, and died in hospital. In an action by the widow against the Union of India, as owner of the Railway, it was contended that the level crossing was unmanned and the gates were open.  This constituted negligence on the part of the Railway. Further it was contended that there was no contributory negligence on the part of Mr. X, the deceased, as he could not have a look at the railway line from a distance as his view was obstructed by some trees, etc., nor could he hear the sound of the coming mail train while he was in the car with the engine running and the windscreen closed. Decide the case giving your reasons.

Q3 20×3

  1. ”It is possible to support an action for . nuisance as well as of negligence on the same set of facts, however, there are certain points of distinction between the two.” Discuss.
  2. The accused (appellant) was separated from his wife. She was living with her father. The accused was keeping their youngest child with someone else. During the noon of a day, his wife took away the child from that someone. The accused, on hearing this, reached his father-in-law’s place and quarrelled. Later in the evening of the same day, the accused and his father-in-law happened to meet at a marketplace. They again quarrelled, grappled with each other. Both fell down. In the heat of passion thus generated, the accused stabbed his father-in-law and he died. Discuss in the light of legal provisions whether the accused would have any lawful defence in this case.
  3. The plaintiff was insured with the defendant against loss by theft.  The plaintiff advertised a watch and a ring for sale and in response, he received a telephone call from someone who expressed interest. He called, agreed to pay the asked price and made payment by a building society cheque and took delivery of the items.  The cheque was dishonoured. For the articles so lost, a claim was presented to the insurer under the theft policy.  The insurer refused to pay anything. Explain the rights, if any, available to the plaintiff under the circumstances.

Q4 20×3

  1. “There may be an element of abetment in a conspiracy but conspiracy is something more than an abetment.” Discuss with illustrations.
  2. The accused, one of the two joint owners of a shop, put her lock on the shop which was let out by another joint owner without her consent. The tenant charged the accused with the offence of wrongful restraint in that he was prevented by the lock from entering into the shop. Discuss in the light of legal provisions whether the accused has committed the offence of wrongful restraint.
  3. A contractor was given cement for construction work by the Minor Irrigation Department of a State Government under a specific agreement that he would return unused cement but instead of doing so, he sold the cement to outsiders.  Mentioning relevant legal provision, discuss what offence, if any, is committed by the contractor.

Paper 2 Section-B

Q5 12×5=60

  1. ”Undue influence is said to be a subtle species of fraud whereby mastery is obtained over the mind of the victim by insidious approaches and seductive artifices.” Explain.
  2. “Quasi-contract consists of the contractual obligation which is entered upon not because the parties have consented to it, but because law does not allow a person to have unjustified benefit at the cost of other party.” Explain the real basis of quasi-contracts with legal provisions and illustrations.
  3. Explain with illustrations when may a principal unilaterally cancel an agency relation without incurring liability for breach of contract.
  4. Discuss the law regarding dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the account.
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution System?

Q6 30×2

  1. “An irrational distrust of all standard form contracts would be as dangerous as a facile acceptance and enforcement of these contracts.” Discuss.
  2. Briefly explain the meaning, scope and applicability of the doctrine of frustration under the law of contract.

Q7 30×2

  1. Under what circumstances ‘breach of condition’ may be treated as ‘breach of warranty’ under the Sale of Goods Act? Discuss.
  2. “Public interest litigation is not in the nature of adversary litigation but it is a challenge and opportunity to the Government and its officers to make basic human rights meaningful to the deprived and vulnerable sections of community to assure them social and economic justice which is the signature tune of our Constitution.” Discuss.

Q8 20×3

  1. “During high publicity court cases, the media are often accused of provoking an atmosphere of public hysteria akin to a lynch mob which not only makes a fair trial nearly impossible but means that regardless of the result of the trial the accused will not be able to live the rest of his life without intense public scrutiny.” How would you reconcile the “freedom of the press” and the “individual’s right to privacy and right to a fair trial”? Do you think that trial by media amounts to “contempt of court” and needs to be punished?
  2. A television was displayed on a Web site owned by XYZ Distributors for sale at a price of ~ 79.99.  Hundreds of customers ordered the television but the retailer refused to fill the orders on the ground that they had been incorrectly priced by mistake. The correct price was ~ 7,999.  Explain the liability, if any, arising out of the above-mentioned communications. Give reasons.
  3. In a contract between A and B, security deposit was taken by A from B to ensure due performance of the contract.  B committed default in performance though no actual loss had arisen. A forfeited the deposit for fault of B. B claimed that forfeiture of deposit is not valid in law. How would you decide?  Give reasons.
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28 Comments on “[Question Paper] Law Mains 2012 UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS Exam”

  1. Is there a way I can get the 2012 mains paper of English Literature before UPSC puts it in their website.

  2. Mrunal Sirji……Can u please arrange for Electrical Engineering mains 2012 exam papers??? I shall be highly thankful to u….

  3. Can i get solved papers of law 2012 paper from somewhere and of previous years papers as well.

  4. @ankita
    i am also looking for the same but with no luck. one book publisher told me that the reason they dont publish law solved mains papers is coz hardly anyone takes law as an optional so just for 100 odd people who make it to mains having law as an optional makes no sense to him for publishing ..u can buy judiciary solved mains…
    paper is not difficult..questions are alrite.

  5. Hi , people who wrote this paper . Please share your experience and how to attempt these questions .It would greatly benefit us.

  6. Sir kindly clarify one of of my lingering doubts; whether or not we can directly quote the eccerpts published in reputed publications like EPW?

  7. Sir kindly clarify one of of my lingering doubts; whether or not we can directly quote the excerpts published in reputed publications like EPW?

  8. can you please explain the instructions as in how to answer the questions as in how many questions from which sections?

  9. @chandan ….read it again carefully

    Each paper has two sections, Q1 and 5 are compulsory and attempt remaining three in such way that atleast 1 question is from every section.
    that means 2 questions minimum from section a or b.. Coz 1st question is compulsory in both sections..

  10. sir, please can you help us in solving law mains paper .your guidence will be benificial for us

  11. As I guy who gave the Law mains for the first time without coaching this year, there were both positives and negatives in the paper, according to my experience and preparation.
    One good thing was that paper 2 was relatively better balanced than 2011 paper, which heavily favoured contemporary legal developments to the prejudice of IPC, contract, torts.
    I felt (in the exam atleast!) that the international law part was really tough. The static conventional topics on which long questions were generally asked came in Q.5 for just 12 marks each (e.g. sources of IL, Municipal law vs. Intl Law etc.) The other questions 6,7,8 had one easy part combined with a twisted question, so there was equal risk in attempting any of them.
    Constitutional law also threw in a few punches with some tricky questions on personal laws & Part III, regulators and separation of powers, RTI etc which required one to improvise on the spot aand are not available in any book… Over-reliance on consti. at the cost of intl. law could be risky…

      1. Most welcome Mrunal. Its nothing compared to your efforts!

    1. Ankit, can you tell about your experience with paper second also? How to prepare for shorter topics like PCRA, PCA and contemporary legal developments,partnership,negotiable instruments etc.?

      1. Hi Ankita,
        Not much to write about paper 2.. fairly well balanced as compared to 2011 paper, so not many issues to hold against UPSC in that regard!!
        Prevention of Corruption Act prepared from KD Gaur’s IPC book..
        Protection of Civil Rights Act from the bare Act itself.. Its a short Act, combine it with inputs from Article 17 of Consti. plus also add a para from Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST Act.. that should suffice…
        Smaller contract law topics like Partnership, agency, sale of goods from R.K Bangia; Negotiable Instruments and Arbitration Act from Duggi Law notes. For all these Acts, I did not cover it section by section, just drew a list of hot topics from past year questions and thoroughly did that. Fortunately, lady luck smiled and it worked!!
        For each contemporary topics, I spent 4-6 hours per topic googling the best law research paper on it and associated current news/case law developments and made a list of bullet points in 200-300 words(imp!) for each.. The fluke again paid-off as I absolutely killed that trial by media answer… :D
        Now sad part, I got absolutely clean bowled on a stupid topic like ADR (honestly didn’t prepare!).. since it was compulsory, I wrote some mumbo-jumbo that came to my mind, a bluff the examiner will call off easily…
        As I dont check this page quite often, for further queries, you can email me directly at ankitsrivastav25[at the rate of]gmail[dot]com
        STATUTORY WARNING: Views expressed on both Papers based solely on author’s (in)experience in writing mains paper!! :P

        1. Hi, as most of us are in a dilemma on what to take as optional in mains 2013, people like you who wrote mains in 2012 could throw light on their marks in law. It will help in other law students deciding what to opt.

  12. hi mrunal ,can u plz provide me papers of upsc mains’12 of marathi literature

  13. @ankit
    Assuming ur a law graduate , how to write a model answer or is presentation really important in some questions ?
    how to shorten the answer to the word limit prescribed…?
    i felt paper 2 was direct and not difficult at all

    1. Hi Anup,
      Don’t have to assume, I am a law graduate. :)
      I don’t know what a model answer is like, it totally depends upon the question. Your command on the subject and language flair decide what an ideal/model answer should be.
      Presentation is really important for any subject, why just Law. Personally, I prefer (and would give more marks for) a coherent presentation of 5 points rather than write gibberish about 10 case-laws on the topic without making any sense. If you see Q.8(C) of paper 2, question is themed around “Injuria sine dammno” principle, but writing on contract of guarantee or performance of contract would amount to beating around the bush. Some people (old players) emphasize on case laws n all, so take your call what you wanna do.
      Word limit was not an issue with me as I usually remembered very little facts, but adherence to word limit can be practiced by answer-writing.
      In my case, as all best-laid plans fail, when the long questions came in for short answers of 12 markers in Intl. Law, I just wrote down the outlines and broad points without caring to elaborate each and didn’t give a damm about the rules of english grammar!
      Our views on paper 2 are pretty much same, though you can refer to the reply to Ankita.

  14. hey Mrunal Sir can you please arrange for management UPSC mains paper 2012 . I am having a had time in finding these

    1. very hard to find.
      i suggest you file R.T.I. get all previous papers of last 10-15 years.

  15. I dont have any idea about IAS exam and also exam course.so plz help me how I prepared for this exam nd which books are refer to preparation?

  16. how to attend this question

  17. can i get solved questions of all the model papers which are completed till now pls send me those papers to my email address

  18. hi mera name sanjay singh h main u.p. se hu,main ips ka preparing krne walo se dosti krna chahta hu qki ,chahe girls or boys mujhe aise logo se frndship krne ka mann karta mgr abhi tk koi ni mila ,
    main apni email id deta hu [email protected] h
    mujhe unse ips se relative hr batein janna chahta hu or dusro ko btana chahta hu, qki main bhi IPS bnna chahta hu

  19. sar your wapside is vary best

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