Constitutional Law: CLAT 2021 Legal Reasoning Previous Year Questions

Constitutional Law: The principle of res judicata serves to prevent parties from repeatedly bringing the same matter before the courts, ensuring that decisions by competent courts are final, subject only to appeal, revision, or review. This doctrine, enshrined in Section 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, emphasizes the public interest in providing closure to litigation.

While it doesn’t apply to writ jurisdictions, the Supreme Court recognizes its relevance in fundamental rights cases under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The court highlights that if a party’s writ petition under Article 226 is dismissed on merits, the decision binds the parties unless overturned on appeal. However, a dismissal without a substantive order does not constitute a bar to a subsequent Article 32 petition. This underscores the importance of respecting court decisions and discourages the pursuit of the same claims through different avenues.

Previous Year Questions for Constitutional Law

Question 1: What types of legal proceedings does res judicata apply to?

(A) Civil suits

(B) Writ petitions

(C) None of the above.

(D) Both (A) and (B).

Question 2: Under what conditions is the doctrine of res judicata applicable to writs?

(A) The decision is on merits.

(B) Order is a speaking order.

(C) Both (A) and (B).

(D) Neither (A) nor (B).

Question 3: What is the basis of the doctrine of res judicata?

(A) No one should be vexed twice for the same cause more than once.

(B) It is in the interest of public that finality should be attached to the decisions of courts.

(C) There should be an end to litigation.

(D) All of these.

Question 4: Which statements are correct regarding the application of res judicata to writ petitions?

(A) If a writ petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and the same is rejected on merits by a speaking order, another petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India is not maintainable being barred by res judicata.

(B) The doctrine of res judicata is founded on the principle that it is in the interest of the public at large that a finality should be attached to the binding decisions pronounced by courts of competent jurisdiction.

(C) Technical rule of res judicata only prevents multiple filing of petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India between same parties over the same matter and is not applicable to petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.

(D) Both (A) and (B).

Question 5: Mr. X was dismissed from service by his employer after a proper enquiry. Mr. X challenged his dismissal in High Court by a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. However, the High Court dismissed the petition citing that Mr. X has an alternative remedy available. Mr. X took recourse to the alternative remedy before the appropriate forum, but Mr. X’s legal action is opposed by the employer on the basis of res judicata. Based on these facts, which of the following is the most appropriate?

(A) Res judicata is applicable.

(B) Res judicata is not applicable.

(C) Since the matter relates to livelihood and life of the person, technical rule of res judicata should not be applied.

(D) Both (B) and (C).

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