Supreme Court Judicial Clerkship Examination: Analysis of May 2015 Question Paper

By Dipti Sawant

The procedure of appointment of Law Clerk Cum Research Assistant is done in two phases. The first screening phase is done through a written examination which is of 150 marks divided into two sections.

Minimum qualifying marks for the Written Test has been prescribed as 60% in aggregate with minimum 50% marks for each of the two Sections.

Upon qualifying the written examination the candidate would be called in for a personal interview The Interview will carry 30 marks with 15 marks being minimum qualifying marks.

Written Examination for appointment of ‘Law Clerk Cum Research Assistant on Short Term Contractual Assignment in the Supreme Court of India’ was held on 31st May 2015 at four centres across India- Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

The Written Examination was divided into two sections:

Section I – 50 Marks

• General English and

• General Aptitude/Awareness

Section-II – 100 Marks

• Indian Constitution Indian Penal Code,

• Criminal Procedure Code,

• Civil Procedure Code and

• Indian Evidence Act etc.

May 2015 paper was moderate as they stuck to the syllabus and asked general questions amongst each category.

There were four sets of paper hence the order of questions mentioned below would not particularly be the same for all the papers.

Each question carried 1 mark and there was negative marking of 0.25 marks for every incorrect answer.

Section I – 50 Marks

English – 25 Marks

Questions under the English section can be termed under the level of difficulty as Easy. They stuck to Basic English which is asked in most of the competitive exams.

Following were the kind of questions asked under English. Not particularly in that order due different kinds of sets:

i. Synonyms
Eg: Ludicrous etc.

ii. Antonyms
Eg: Zenith, Anomalous etc.

iii. Choose the correct spelling.
They had different spellings of the word independence, maintenance, advantageous etc. and you had to pick up the correct spelling.

iv. Pick one word for the phrase.
Eg: Set off, Fall out etc

v. Describe the sentence in one word
Eg: What is the person called who does not believe in God?

vi. Choose the correct sentence.
There were four sentences given in each one and you have to pick up the grammatically correct sentence amongst them.

General Awareness – 25 Marks

Questions under the General Awareness were mostly the incidences that happened in the last one year.

If you happen to follow news or read newspaper daily then this section would be a cake walk for you.

There were 25 questions for 25 marks which were mostly general and rarely legal.

Following were the kind of questions asked under this section:

i. Who is the leader of ISIS?

ii. Who is the current secretary of the Prime Minister?

iii. With which country did India sign a civil nuclear deal in 2014?

iv. Who amongst the following was awarded Bharat Ratna in 2015?

v. Who amongst the following is the sitting Judge of the Supreme Court.

vi. Which Book was withdrawn by the Penguin Publications due to a controversy in 2014?

vii. Name of the Singapore Leader who died in March 2015

viii. Who is the current Attorney general of India

ix. Which Amendment is known as the mini Constitution of India?

x. Which amongst the following case law made lethal injections legal in United States of America?

xi. Who challenged the election of Presidential position of Sh. Pranab Mukherjee?

Section-II – 100 Marks

Under this section they stuck to the syllabus.

The confusion during preparation for the exam was the insertion of term ‘etc.’ in the legal section of the syllabus as it could be assumed that there would be questions regarding other subjects of law as well.

As I gathered after giving the examination was that the ‘etc’ was referred to the kind of question which varied but they happened to not go beyond the four subjects mentioned.

The questions under the section can be said to be of four kinds:

a. General Legal questions


• Which amendment removed the right to property as a fundamental right?

• What does preamble of Evidence Act state?

• Who is the higher most in the hierarchy amongst the following posts? (a)Chief Judicial Magistrate (b) Additional Sessions Judge (c) Metropolitan Magistrate (d) None of the above

• Who does not have to power to award death sentence?

b. Section/ Provision based


• Under which Order and which Rule can Injunction be filed.

• 5-6 questions were regarding Reference, Review and Revision

• After how many days does a Caveat expire?

• When can a Judge ask questions during the trial?

c. Case law based


• Which case law laid down ‘curative petition’?

d. Problem based


• A hit her husband with a rolling pin and he fell unconscious. Assuming him to be dead A hanged her husband to the ceiling fan which led to his death. What offence would she be tried for? (a) Hurt (b) Grievous Hurt (c)Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder (d) Murder

General Review:

Over all the questions were basic which a student of law after graduating LL.B is assumed to know.

Apart from brushing up your concepts in each subjects and going through important provisions in the bare text there is nothing more you could’ve done to prepare for an exam like this.

Considering they mentioned the subjects within which they would ask the legal questions it becomes considerably easier to prepare for this exam.

But an overview of the examination would tell you that it was set up just to test the basic knowledge of the student for an appointment which would assist the stalwarts who would interpret and make law for the country in future.

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