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Polity MCQs- 11

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#1 With reference to Article 20 of the Constitution of India, consider the following statements: 1. Both civil and criminal laws cannot be applied retrospectively. 2. The protection against self-incrimination extends to both criminal and civil proceedings. Which of the statements given above is/are correct??Answer- d

Article 20 dealing with Protection in respect of Conviction of offences has three provisions :

  • No ex-post-facto law: No person shall be (i) convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in
    force at the time of the commission of the act, nor (ii) subjected to a penalty greater than that prescribed
    by the law in force at the time of the commission of the act. An ex-post-facto law is one that imposes
    penalties retrospectively (retroactively), that is, upon acts already done or which increases the penalties
    for such acts. However, this limitation is imposed only on criminal laws and not on civil laws or tax laws.
    In other words, a civil liability or a tax can be imposed retrospectively. Hence, statement 1 is not
    correct.
  • No double jeopardy: No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.
    The protection against double jeopardy is available only in proceedings before a court of law or a judicial
    tribunal. In other words, it is not available in proceedings before departmental or administrative
    authorities as they are not of judicial nature.
  • No self-incrimination: No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against
    himself. The protection against self-incrimination extends to both oral evidence and documentary
    evidence. Further, it extends only to criminal proceedings and not to civil proceedings or proceedings
    which are not of criminal nature. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
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#2 With respect to the writ jurisdiction consider the following statements: 1. The writ of habeas corpus cannot be issued against the private individuals. 2. The writ of prohibition is available only against the judicial bodies. 3. The writ of quo-warranto can be sought even by a non-aggrieved person. Which of the statements given above is/are correct??Answer- b

  • Statement 1 is not correct: The writ of habeas corpus can be issued against both public authorities as
    well as private individuals. The writ, on the other hand, is not issued where the (a) detention is lawful, (b)
    the proceeding is for contempt of a legislature or a court, (c) detention is by a competent court, and (d)
    detention is outside the jurisdiction of the court.
  • Statement 2 is not correct: The writ of prohibition can be issued only against judicial and quasi-judicial
    authorities. It is not available against administrative authorities, legislative bodies, and private individuals
    or bodies.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Unlike the other four writs, the writ of quo-warranto can be sought by any
    interested person and not necessarily by the aggrieved person. The writ can be issued only in case of a
    substantive public office of a permanent character created by a statute or by the Constitution. It cannot be
    issued in cases of ministerial office or private office.
  • Mandamus: The writ of mandamus cannot be issued (a) against a private individual or body; (b) to enforce departmental instruction that does not possess statutory force; (c) when the duty is discretionary and not mandatory; (d) to enforce a contractual obligation; (e) against the president of India or the state governors; and (f) against the chief justice of a high court acting in judicial capacity.
  • Certiorari: Till recently, the writ of certiorari could be issued only against judicial and quasi-judicial authorities and not against administrative authorities. However, in 1991, the Supreme Court ruled that the certiorari can be issued even against administrative authorities affecting rights of individuals. Like prohibition, certiorari is also not available against legislative bodies and private individuals or bodies.
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#3 Which among the following have been described as Conscience of the Constitution??Answer-d

The Directive Principles along with the Fundamental Rights contain the philosophy of the Constitution and is the soul of the Constitution. Granville Austin has described the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights as the ‘Conscience of the Constitution‘.

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#4 Which of the following Schedules of the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the Parliament? 1. Second Schedule 2. Fourth Schedule 3. Fifth Schedule 4. Seventh Schedule. Select the correct answer using the code given below.?Answer - d

A number of provisions in the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the two Houses of
Parliament outside the scope of Article 368. These provisions include:

  • Admission or establishment of new states.
  • Formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states.
  • Abolition or creation of legislative councils in states.
  • Second Schedule-emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of the president, the governors, the Speakers, judges, etc.
  • Quorum in Parliament.
  • Salaries and allowances of the members of Parliament.
  • Rules of procedure in Parliament.
  • Privileges of the Parliament, its members and its committees.
  • Number of puisne judges in the Supreme Court.
  • Conferment of more jurisdiction on the Supreme Court.
  • Use of official language.
  • Citizenship-acquisition and termination.
  • Elections to Parliament and state legislatures.
  • Delimitation of constituencies.
  • Union territories.
  • Fifth Schedule-administration of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
  • Sixth Schedule-administration of tribal areas.
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#5 Which of the following is not an example of exercise of Fundamental Right??Answer - c/3

  • A farmer sells his farm and starts a business – It is an exercise of the Right to freedom to practice any
    profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
  • A person from Gujarat moves to Maharashtra and settles there – It is an exercise of the right to move
    freely throughout the country, and to reside in any part of the country.
  • A person refuses to believe in any religion – It is an exercise of the Right to Freedom of Religion.
  • A person inherits property from his parents – It is not a fundamental right.
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