Understanding Laws - Solutions

CBSE Class–VIII Social Science
NCERT Solution
Political Science Chapter 4
Understanding Laws

1. Write in your own words what you understand by the term the ‘rule of law’. In your response include a fictitious or real example of a violation of the rule of law.
  1. Law is a system of rules, usually imposed through a Government or Institution and is applied to govern a group of people. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways. The term the ‘rule of law’ means that all laws apply equally to all citizens and no one is above the law, not even the President of India. The law cannot discriminate between the person on the basis of their religion, caste or gender. Any crime or violation of law has a specific punishment as well as a process through which the guilt of the person has to be established. 
  2. Example of violation of the rule of law:
    • The violation of the rule of law can be seen on the roads. Motorists and pedestrians do not follow the traffic rules. Pedestrians rarely use the zebra crossing and cross the road at will causing harm not only to themselves but also to other road users. Motorists do not adhere to speed limits nor do they stop behind the line at traffic signals. By not following traffic rules, motorists are fined or may harm pedestrians or other motorists.
    • Bribing an official is a crime. But it has become a practice nowadays. It is a complete violation of law.

2. State two reasons why historians refute the claim that the British introduced the rule of law in India.
 Historians refute the claim that the British introduced the rule of law in India on several grounds, two of which are stated below:
  1. The colonial rule was arbitrary. The British passed the Sedition Act in 1870. Under this Act, any person protesting or criticising the British government could be arrested without trial.
  2. Indian nationalists played a prominent role in the development of the legal sphere in British India. Indian lawyers began defending Indians and fighting for their rights. Indian judges also played a major role in decision-making.

3. Re-read the storyboard on how a new law on domestic violence got passed. Describe in your own words the different ways in which women’s groups worked to make this happen.
The different ways are described below:
  1. When complaints by the victims of domestic violence increased, the need for a new law began to be felt.
  2. Different forums raised the issue of domestic violence.
  3. Lawyer Collective, a group of lawyers, law students and activists, after nationwide consultations, took the lead in drafting the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill. This draft was widely circulated.
  4. The Bill was introduced in the Parliament in 2002.
  5. The Bill was opposed by the women's group.
  6. A press conference was held in which a decision to start an on-line petition was taken.
  7. Several women's organisations, National Commission for Women made submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
  8. In Dec 2002, the Parliamentary Standing Committee submitted its recommendations to the Rajya Sabha and these were also tabled in the Lok Sabha.
  9. The Committee's report accepted most of the demands of the women's group. Finally a new bill was introduced in the Parliament.
  10. After being passed in both the Houses of the Parliament, it was sent to the President for his consent.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act came into effect in 2006.

4. Write in your own words what you understand by the following sentence on page 44-45: They also began fighting for greater equality and wanted to change the idea of law from a set of rules that they were forced to obey, to the law as including ideas of justice.
 This line refers to the protests of Indian nationalists against the violation of the rule of law by British authorities and the evolution of a strong legal system supporting Indian citizens. Indians were discriminated against in their own country by the British colonists and the Sedition Act of 1870 was the most prolific example of the breach of the rule of law. According to the Act, any person protesting or criticizing British authority could be punished without a trial. This Act was demonstrated against by Indian freedom fighters in favour of a more just set of rules based on ideas of equality.
The Indian nationalists were fed up with the arbitrary use of authority by the British. They wanted to uproot it in order to bring equality. Many Indians began to practice the legal profession and used it to demand and gain equal rights for all. For example, Dadabhai Naoroji, Madan Mohan Malviya and Motilal Nehru, were moderate leaders who were lawyers who believed in the system of constitutionalism. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a lawyer who believed in promoting self-reliance for Indians. Indian judges also played a more significant role in the decision-making process. Thus, Indians played a major role in the evolution of the rule of law during times of colonial rule.