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Previous Year UPSC Polity Questions With Explanation 2022

Previous Year UPSC Polity Questions With Explanation 2022

A thorough analysis of 2022 UPSC Prelims Polity section shows that UPSC focussed on a basic understanding of the Constitution, knowledge of relevant case laws, and the Political system of India with a focus on the Indian Judiciary along with contemporary governance issues.

Here we have provided a detailed and in-depth explanation of the UPSC Polity Prelims questions of 2022 which will guide aspirants in their preparation for the exam.

UPSC Previous Year Polity Questions (PYQs) With Explanation 2022

01. Consider the following statements:

1. Pursuant to the report of the H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971was passed.

2. The Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court to punish for contempt of themselves.

3. The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.

4. In India, the Parliament is vested with the power to make laws on Contempt of Court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only 

(b) 1, 2 and 4

(c) 3 and 4 only 

(d) 3 only

Answer: b

Explanation: 

In India, the law of contempt has a direct relation with the common law jurisdiction of England. The “courts of record” in England exercised contempt powers to convict persons who scandalized the court or the judges.

The courts of record have been indicative of a superior status rather than a court that is regulated through procedure.

A court that is such a high and super eminent authority that its truth is not to be called in question. 

The Judicial Committee of Privy Council recognised that the Indian High Courts shall have the same inherent power to punish for contempt, especially the three Charter High Courts—Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.

The other High Courts of British India, by virtue of being courts of record, started exercising this power. British India passed the Contempt of Courts Act, 1926, which was replaced by the Contempt of Courts Act, 1952. 

There were various efforts to improve this 1952 law. Finally, the H.N. Sanyal Committee was set up to examine the law relating to contempt of courts in the light of the position obtaining in India and various other countries.

The committee gave its report in 1963. It recorded the principle underlying the law of contempt as expounded in the Almon case: “the power of committing contempt was the emanation of royal authority, for any contempt of court would be contempt of the sovereign.” Pursuant to this report, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, was passed. 

Hence Statement 1 is correct.

Articles 129 and 215 of the Constitution empowered the Supreme Court and the High Courts respectively “to punish for contempt of itself”. 

Article-129: Supreme Court to be a court of record—The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Article- 215: High Courts to be courts of record—Every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself. 

Hence Statement 2 is correct.

The power to make law relating to contempt was set out in entry 77 of List I (union List) and Entry 14, List III (concurrent list) of the Seventh schedule of the Constitution. Legislatures (union and state) are vested with the powers to make laws on contempt. 

Hence Statement 4 is correct.

It is the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, which defines “civil contempt” and “criminal contempt ” in addition to the procedure to be followed. The Constitution of India does not define “civil contempt” and “criminal contempt ”.

Civil contempt is wilful disobedience of the court orders whereas criminal contempt is to “scandalise or lower the authority of court”, or “prejudicing or interfering with the administration of judicial proceedings and or administration of justice”

Hence Statement 3 is incorrect.

02. With reference to India, consider the following statements:

1. Government law officers and legal firms are recognized as advocates, but corporate lawyers and patent attorneys are excluded from recognition as advocates.

2. Bar Councils have the power to lay down the rules relating to legal education and recognition of law colleges.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Explanation: 

‘Advocate’ means a person whose name is entered on the roll of advocates prepared and maintained by a State Bar Council under the Advocates Act, 1961 (section 25 of Advocates Act 1961).

Only advocates have the right to access and represent others in a court of law. No citizen, other than an advocate, has the right to appear, act, or plead in court. Every citizen depends on members of the legal profession for the fulfillment and enjoyment of their legal rights.

In India, the term “legal professionals” refers only to those “advocates” who are law graduates and have been enrolled in state bar councils (SBCs). “Advocates” enrolled in bar councils enjoy exclusive monopoly over the right to practice law in all courts, tribunals, and other authorities in India.

An emerging class of legal professionals engaged with various law-related activities—such as government law officers, corporate lawyers, law firms, law professors, legal researchers, and patent attorneys—have been excluded from recognition as advocates.

Hence Statement 1 is incorrect.

The judiciary has clarified the otherwise undefined concept of “practice of law” to include all forms of legal activities, including both litigious and non-litigious work, such as appearing in court, drafting, giving opinions, performing transactional work, consulting, arbitrating, mediating, filing vakalatnamas (power of attorney), and working as legal officers. 

The Bar Council of India was established by the Parliament under the Advocates Act of 1961

The Bar Council of India is a statutory body created by Parliament to regulate and represent the Indian Bar. The Bar Council of India performs the regulatory function by prescribing standards of professional conduct and etiquette and by exercising disciplinary jurisdiction over the Bar. The Bar Council of India also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degrees in law will serve as a qualification for enrolment as an advocate. 

Hence Statement 2 is correct.

03. Consider the following statements:

1. A bill amending the Constitution requires a prior recommendation of the President of India.

2. When a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to the President of India, it is obligatory for the President of India to give his/her assent.

3. A Constitution Amendment Bill must be passed by a special majority and there is no provision for Joint Sitting.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only 

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only 

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation: 

Article-368: Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefor—

(1) Parliament may in exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of this Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down in this article.

(2) An amendment of this Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament, and when the Bill is passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting, it shall be presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill and thereupon the Constitution shall stand amended in accordance with the terms of the Bill.

Provided that if such amendment seeks to make any change in— 

  • (a) article 54 (election of president), article 55 (manner of election of president), article 73 (extent of executive power of the union), article 162 (extent of executive power of the state), article 241 (high courts of union territories) or article 279A (Goods and Services Tax Council); or 
  • (b) Chapter IV (The Union Judiciary) of Part V, Chapter V (the High Courts in the states) of Part VI, or Chapter I of Part XI (Legislative relations between the Union and the states); or 
  • (c) any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule (Division of powers between union and States); or 
  • (d) the representation of States in Parliament; or
  • (e) the provisions of this article

the amendment shall also require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolutions

Such a bill amending the Constitution does not require to be presented with prior permission of the President.

Hence Statement 1 is incorrect.

As per clause (2) of Article 368 president must give his assent to such a bill (inserted by 24th Constitutional Amendment Act).

Hence Statement 2 is correct.

There is no provision for a joint sitting in case of disagreement between the two houses. 

Hence Statement 3 is correct.

04. Consider the following statements:

1. The Constitution of India classifies the ministers into four ranks viz. Cabinet Minister, Minister of State with Independent Charge, Minister of State and Deputy Minister.

2. The total number of ministers in the Union Government, including the Prime Minister shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members in the Lok Sabha.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Explanation:

Article 74: Council of Ministers to aid and advise President—(1) There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.

[Provided that the President  may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice, either generally or otherwise, and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration.]

(2) The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the President shall not be inquired into in any court. 

The Constitution only mentions the “Council of ministers” and not the classification. According to “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha”, section 2: “Minister” means a member of the Council of Ministers and includes a member of the Cabinet, a Minister of State, a Deputy Minister, or a Parliamentary Secretary.

Hence Statement 1 is incorrect.

Article 75: Other provisions as to Ministers.—(1) The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. 

(1A) The total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed fifteen per cent of the total number of members of the House of the People (Lok Sabha).   

This provision was introduced by 91st Amendment Act, 2003

Hence, statement 2 is correct.

05. Which of the following is/are the exclusive power(s) of Lok Sabha?

1. To ratify the declaration of Emergency

2. To pass a motion of no-confidence against the Council of Ministers

3. To impeach the President of India

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 

(d) 3 only

Answer: b

Explanation: 

Article-352(4): Every Proclamation issued under this article(proclamation of emergency) shall be laid before each House of Parliament and shall, except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate at the expiration of one month, unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament.

Hence Statement 1 is incorrect.

The principle of collective responsibility is embodied in Article 75(3) of the Indian Constitution, which states that the Council of Ministers is jointly accountable to the Lok Sabha.

The No Confidence Motion is not directly addressed in any clause of the Indian Constitution. It was introduced in the rule book(Rules of procedure and Conduct of business of Lok Sabha) under the powers of making rules.

Hence Statement 2 is correct.

Article-61: Procedure for impeachment of the President—

(1) When a President is to be impeached for violation of the Constitution, the charge shall be preferred by either House of Parliament

(2) No such charge shall be preferred unless— 

  • (a) the proposal to prefer such charge is contained in a resolution which has been moved after at least fourteen days’ notice in writing signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of members of the House 
  • (b) such resolution has been passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House. 

3) When a charge has been so preferred by either House of Parliament, the other House shall investigate the charge and the President shall have the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation. 

(4) If as a result of the investigation a resolution is passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House declaring that the charge preferred against the President has been sustained, such resolution shall have the effect of removing the President from his office as from the date on which the resolution is so passed.  Therefore, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has equal powers in the impeachment of the President. 

Hence, Statement 3 is incorrect.

06: With reference to anti-defection law in India, consider the following statements:

1. The law specifies that a nominated legislator cannot join any political party within six months of being appointed to the House.

2. The law does not provide any time-frame within which the presiding officer has to decide a defection case.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Explanation:

Defection: The term defection indicates revolt, dissent, and rebellion by a person or a party.

The anti-defection law deals with situations of defection in Parliament or state legislatures by: (a) members of a political party, (b) independent members, and (c) nominated members. 

Traditionally, this phenomenon is known as ‘floor crossing‘ which had its origin in the British House of Commons where a legislator changed his allegiance when he crossed the floor and moved from the Government to the Opposition side, or vice-versa.

The Constitution (Fifty-second Amendment) Bill, 1985 (Anti-defection Law) led to amendment in Article 101, 102, 190 and 191 of the Constitution to provide the grounds for vacation of seats for the disqualification of the members; and also inserted Tenth Schedule.

The Act, which came into force with effect from 1 March 1985.

A Member could be disqualified: 

 If he or she voluntarily gives up the membership of a political party or joins any other political party after the election (section 2(a)), votes or abstains from any crucial voting contrary to the directive circulated by his/her respective political party (section 2(b).  A nominated member if he/she joins any political party after six months from the date he/she takes his seat (section 2(3)). Hence Statement 1 is incorrect. If, not less than two-thirds of the members of the legislature party have agreed to merge with other party, they are exempted from disqualification. Chairman or the Speaker of the House have absolute power in deciding the cases pertaining to disqualification of members on the ground of defection.

Wide power to the SpeakerRule 6 of the Tenth Schedule has given wide and absolute power to the Chairman or the Speaker of the House in deciding the cases pertaining to disqualification of members on the ground of defection. As per the Law, the Speaker’s decision is final but there, however, is no time limit for him to arrive at any decision. A party can move court, but only after the Speaker has announced his decision. 

Hence Statement 2 is correct.

Additional information:

Scope of judicial reviewRule 7 bars the jurisdiction of the courts in respect of any matter connected with disqualification of a member of a House, which means that it is outside the jurisdiction of all courts including the Supreme Court (under Article 136) and High Courts (under Article 226 and 227) of the Constitution to review the decisions made by the Speaker in this regard. 

The Supreme Court in various judgments has held that the law is valid in all respects except on the matter pertaining to judicial review, which was held to be unconstitutional. However, after several judicial pronouncements favoring the power of judicial review by the Courts, no amendment has been made in the Tenth Schedule in this regard.

07. Consider the following statements: 

  1. Attorney General of India and Solicitor General of India are the only officers of the Government who are allowed to participate in the meetings of the Parliament of India. 
  2. According to the Constitution of India, the Attorney General of India submits his resignation when the Government which appointed him resigns. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only 

(b) 2 only 

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2 

Answer: d

Explanation:

Article 88. Rights of Ministers and Attorney-General as respects Houses.—

Every Minister and the Attorney-General of India shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, either House, any joint sitting of the Houses, and any committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member, but shall not by virtue of this article be entitled to vote. 

Solicitor general’s provision of participating in the parliament is not mentioned. 

Hence Statement 1 is incorrect. 

Article 76: Attorney-General  for  India.—

(1)  The  President shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court to be Attorney-General for India

(2) It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President, and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other law for the time being in force. 

(3) In the performance of his duties the Attorney-General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India. 

(4) The Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine. 

Hence Statement 2 is incorrect.

08. With reference to the writs issued by the Courts in India, consider the following statements:

1. Mandamus will not lie against a private organization unless it is entrusted with a public duty.

2. Mandamus will not lie against a Company even though it may be a Government Company.

3. Any public minded person can be a petitioner to move the Court to obtain the writ of Quo Warranto.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only 

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only 

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Explanation:

Article- 32: Remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights:

(1) The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by Part III is guaranteed.

(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the       nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari.

Article-226: Power of High Courts to issue certain writs.— (1) Notwithstanding anything in article 32, every High Court shall have power, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government, within those territories directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, or any of them, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose.

Writ of mandamus: The term “mandamus is derived from Latin meaning “we command”. It is a command issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in the name of the State or officer, corporation or person requiring the performance of a specific public duty. It is a high prerogative writ of the most extensive remedial nature. Its purpose is to remove the defects of injustice. The objective underlying the mandamus is to render remedy where law fails to provide any specific relief.

Mandamas may lie against any authority, officers, government or even judicial bodies that fail to or refuse to perform a public duty and discharge a legal obligation.

Hence Statement 1 is correct. 

Government company is a separate legal entity and cannot be called either a  Government corporation or an industry run by or under the authority of the Union Government.

Any company being a non-statutory body and one incorporated under the Companies Act but there was neither a statutory nor a public duty imposed on it, then mandamus would not lie against it, even if the company is government company.

But mandamus would lie against a company constituted by a statute for the purposes of fulfilling public responsibilities. 

Hence Statement 2 is correct. 

Writ of quo warranto: The object of this writ is to prevent a person who has wrongfully usurped a public office from continuing in that office. The writ calls upon the holder of the office to show the court under what authority he holds the office. An application for the writ of quo warranto challenging the legality of an appointment to an office of public nature is maintainable at the instance of any private person although he is not personally aggrieved or interested in the matter.

An application seeking such a writ may be made by any person provided the office in question is a substantive public office of a permanent nature created by the Constitution or law and a person has been appointed to it without a legal title and in contravention of the Constitution or the laws.

A public office means an office in which the public has an interest. 

Hence Statement 3 is correct.

09. With reference to Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, consider the following statements: 

  1. As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, the election of Deputy Speaker shall be held on such date as the Speaker may fix.
  2. There is a mandatory provision that the election of a candidate as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha shall be from either the principal opposition party or the ruling party. 
  3. The Deputy Speaker has the same power as of the Speaker when presiding over the sitting  of the House and no appeal lies against his rulings. 
  4. The well-established parliamentary practice regarding the appointment of Deputy Speaker is that the motion is moved by the Speaker and duly seconded by the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 1, 2 and 3 

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 2 and 4 only 

Answer: a

Solution:

Rules of Procedure and conduct of business of Lok Sabha section(8):

The election of a Deputy Speaker shall be held on such date as the Speaker may fix, and the Secretary-General shall send to every member notice of this date. 

Hence statement 1 is correct.

Nowhere has it been mentioned that the deputy speaker has to be mandatorily from the ruling or principal opposition party. Until 10th Lok Sabha, both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker came from the ruling party. From the 11th Lok Sabha, there has been a consensus that the Speaker comes from the ruling party/alliance and the post of deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.

Hence, statement 2 is incorrect.

Rules of Procedure and conduct of business of Lok Sabha section(10):

The Deputy Speaker or any other member competent to preside over a sitting of the House under the Constitution or these rules shall, when so presiding, have the same powers as the Speaker when so presiding and all references to the Speaker in these rules shall in these circumstances be deemed to be references to any such person so presiding.

The deputy speaker has the same powers as of the Speaker when presiding over the sitting of the House and no appeal lies against his rulings. (The Statesman, Oct 24, 2021)

Hence, statement 3 is correct.

Rules of Procedure and conduct of business of Lok Sabha section(8(2)):

At any time before noon on the day preceding the date so fixed, any member may give notice in writing, addressed to the Secretary-General, of a motion that another member be chosen as the Deputy Speaker of the House and the notice shall be seconded by a third member and shall be accompanied by a statement by the member whose name is proposed in the notice that the member proposed is willing to serve as Deputy Speaker, if elected (Provided that a member shall not propose one’s own name, or second a motion proposing the member’s own name, or propose or second more than one motion).

Hence statement 4 is incorrect.

10. If a particular area is brought under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India,

which one of the following statements best reflects the consequence of it?

(a) This would prevent the transfer of land of tribal people to non-tribal people.

(b) This would create a local self-governing body in that area.

(c) This would convert that area into a Union Territory.

(d) The State having such areas would be declared a Special Category State

Answer: a

Explanation: A large number of areas predominantly inhabited by Adivasis had been declared to be Excluded/Partially Excluded Areas during the British period. These areas came under the purview of the Scheduled Districts Act of 1874 and the Government of India (Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas) Order 1936.

Following Independence, these areas were brought under the Fifth and Sixth Schedules respectively, and referred to as Scheduled Areas. Some other predominantly Adivasi areas were declared to be Scheduled Areas by the President subsequently. 

The purpose of Scheduled Areas, as also recognised in several judgments, is to preserve the tribal autonomy, their culture, and economic empowerment, to ensure social, economic and political justice, and preservation of peace and good governance.

Paragraph 5(2) of the Fifth Schedule: The Governor may make regulations for the peace and good

government of any area in a State which is for the time being a Scheduled Area. In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may—

(a) prohibit or restrict the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled Tribes in such area;

(b) regulate the allotment of land to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such area; 

(c) regulate the carrying on of business as money-lender by persons who lend money to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such area.

In compliance of Paragraph 5(2)(a) of the Fifth Schedule, most States have enacted legislation restricting/prohibiting the transfer of land from tribals to non-tribals in Scheduled Areas. 

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