In my view, this technique should be followed to answer a case study oriented question:-
1st Paragraph :
Read-lawWhen you read the question, try to recall the relevant provisions/sections of law/Act. In the 1st paragraph you have to write those provisions of law on which the question is based. In case of questions based on Accounting Standards, you have to write the relevant extract/matter of the Accounting Standard. And if you can also mention the paragraph number of Accounting Standard, do mention it. It makes a very good impression.
Many a times, the question is based on a specific case law
e.g. In Contract Act - Balfour vs. Balfour
In Companies Act-Saloman vs. Saloman & Co. Ltd.
In these kinds of questions, our answer remains incomplete till we don’t cite that particular case law.
The aforementioned case laws are landmark case laws which have set some principals. Starting your answer with these kinds of fundamental principals and correlating them to the pertinent sections/provisions, which you are going to mention in your answer, depicts your understanding of the law.
So, in these kinds of questions, you can directly start your answer with a reference to that particular case law, provided you remember it. It will show that you have correctly interpreted/understood the question and the examiner will certainly get impressed. Mentioning the correct case law will surely fetch you high marks. If you don’t cite a case law, your marks won’t be deducted. But if you mention a wrong case law, your marks will be deducted.
Your answer should start like this if you remember that particular case law. The very first line should be” The question is based on the principals set in the case of ____”
Your answer must start like this if you remember the section number
“As per Sec.___of _____Act, ___ (year) “
And your answer should start like this in case you do not remember the section number
“As per the provisions of ____Act, ___ (year)”
Never write wrong section number and never mention a fake/imaginary case law case law because the examiner is not a fool. If you do this, he/she may get angry and you can be the sufferer. Case laws and section numbers should form part of your answer only when you are confident about them. Be extremely cautious about it.
2nd Paragraph :
In the 2nd paragraph, write the facts and circumstances of the given case. Write, what is given in the question.
Your wordings can be-
“In the present case” or “In the given case” or “In the instant case”
Finally, you have to arrive at a decision by comparing 1st paragraph and 2nd paragraph i.e. what is written in law and what is the present case. This is the most important part of the answer.
You should make a right decision.
Support your decision with a case law, if any. This is crucial. Quoting an appropriate case law strengthens the quality of answer and makes the answer elegant and complete. Mentioning a relevant case law also justifies the reached decision.
In nutshell, this is how your answer must be presented:
**1st Para :** Relevant Provisions/Sections and Fundamental principles (You can straight away start your answer with a case law in some cases)
**2nd Para :** Facts and circumstances of the given case
**3rd Para :** Analysis, Decision and Conclusion with a case law, if any.
So this is the manner in which a professional examination question must be answered. If you follow it, you will definitely score high.
SOME GOOD TIPS
- Quoting section numbers and case laws are necessary to secure full marks.
- A good command over English is also a pre requisite for writing a quality answer.
- Law is a scoring paper. And it becomes easier to score when the paper is case study oriented. Because we can’t remember the complete section but we can recall a part of the section and reproduce the same in our answer. If the question paper has flat questions which simply require writing a complete section in the answer, we can’t score as high as we can in case studies oriented paper.
- So don’t think that it is tough to score when the paper is case study based.
- Even if your answer is incorrect i.e. the decision at which you have arrived is not right, you won’t get zero marks. You will be given due credit if you have written the correct provisions and facts of the case.
In **Auditing**, there are certain words/group of words which are used quite frequently like” Sufficient Appropriate Audit Evidence”, “Nature, Time and Extent of Audit Procedures to be performed”, “Material misstatement”, “Compliance and Substantive Procedures” etc. So these words have to be mugged up. **In Auditing there are three leading case laws:**
a) In Re Kingston Cotton Mills (Responsibility of Auditors)
b) London and General Bank (Responsibility of Auditors)
c) Chantry Martyn vs. Martyn (Ownership of Working Papers)
Keep these case laws in mind and write them if something comes on the above topics.
Never think that the papers are lengthy and not manageable. I assure you that if you know the solutions of all the questions, you will definitely complete the paper well within time because when you know the solution, you won’t take time to think. The only thing required to attempt the paper quite comfortably is that you must know the solutions and for that all your efforts ought to be directed towards systematic studies.
Take time to read the question. Understand it properly. Law is all about interpreting, analyzing and then applying the mind judiciously to handle practical situations. So understand the law properly.
I hope it will help you.
I sincerely request everyone to give their valuable suggestions, thoughts and comments. Please do let me know me if I have missed out something.
You can follow this technique for Taxation, Audit and Accounting Standards also