NCERT / CBSE NOTES | Class 8th (VIII) : Chapter Summary

Understanding Laws


The Indian legal system is a set of laws, specified in the constitution, that every Indian citizen must obey.

Citizen participation is critical in law making as they are the best judge on how laws need to evolve. Through the use of TV reports, newspaper editorials, radio broadcasts and local meetings citizens are able to share their views.

In 2005 Parliament passed the Right to Information Act to help citizens openly question what their government was doing. For instance, the Hindu Succession Act was criticized for its bias towards men and disregard for women.

Lobbying another form of protest is the continuous act of trying to influence lawmakers. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 came into effect owing to the increasing domestic violence.

Citizens can publicize the need for new laws and the laws must apply equally to all citizens.

It is only when citizens are willing to fight unfair laws that changes take place. The courts can be approached as they have the power to modify laws that they don’t adhere to the Constitution. During British rule in India, laws were arbitrarily applied. The Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary now work together to create, enforce and uphold Indian laws.

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CBSE NCERT Class VIII (8th) | Social Studies | Civics

Chapter  :  Understanding Laws

CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer

Q1. Who make laws for a country?
Ans.  Our  representative  in  the  Parliament  makes  laws  for  the  country  implemented  by executive.

Q2. How were the laws made in ancient period?
1.      In ancient India, there were innumerable and often overlapping local laws.
2.      Different communities enjoyed different degrees of antinomy in administering these laws among their own.
3.      In some cases, the punishment that two persons received for the same crime varied depending on their caste background with lower casts being more harshly penalized.

Q3. Who introduced the rule of law in India?
Ans. It is believed that it was the British colonialists who introduced the rule of law in India.

Q4. Who made laws for India in colonial period?
Ans. The British made the laws for India in Colonial period.

Q5. Who has the power to modify laws?
Ans. The parliament has the power to modify or cancel laws it it finds that they don’t adhere to the constitution.

Q6. Give one example to show that British law was arbitrary.
 One example of arbitraries that continued to exist as part of British law is the sedition act of 1870. The idea of sedition was understood within this act. Any person protesting or criticizing the British government could be arrested without due trial.

Q7. What did the Indian nationalists do against the arbitrary laws of British?
a)      Indian nationalist began protesting and criticizing this arbitrary use of authority by the British.
b)      They 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 law as including ideas of justice.
c)      By the end of 19th century ,Indian legal profession also began emerging and demanded respect in colonial courts.

Q8. Why were the new laws against domestic violence introduced?
a)     The law recognizes the right of women to live in a shared household,  protection against violence women can get monetary relief to meet their expense  including medical costs.
b)      Women wanted protection against being beaten, and the right to continue living in a shared household. Thus, the law against domestic violence was introduced to address these issues.

Q9. Which groups took the lead of domestic violence bill?
Ans. Lawyers collective, a group of lawyers, law students and activities, after nation-wide took the lead in drafting the domestic violence (Prevention and Protection).
in the following terms
·         Sedition:- This applies to anything that the government might consider as stirring up rebellion against it. In such cases, the government does not need absolute evidence in order to arrest persons.

·         Repressive:- To control severely in order to prevent free and natural development or expression. It refers to laws that brutally control persons and often prevent them from exercising their fundamental rights.

·         Rule of Law:- It means that all laws apply equally to all citizen of the country and no one can be above the law. Neither a government official, nor a wealthy person nor even the president of the country is above the law.

·         Domestic Violence:- It refers to the injury or harm or threat of injury or harm caused by an adult male usually the husband, against his wife. Injury may be caused by physically beating up the woman or by emotionally abusing her. Abuse can also include verbal, sexual and economic abuse.

Q11. What are unpopular and controversial laws?
1. Unpopular laws: - The laws which are constitutionally valid and hence legal but are unpopular and unacceptable to people because they feel that the intention behind it is unfair and harmful. Eg. Municipal laws.
2.   Controversial laws: - The laws which favour one group and disregard the other.

Q12. How can people express their discontent against unpopular laws in a democracy? 
Ans. People can criticize the unpopular law, hold public meetings, and write about it in newspaper report to 74 news channels. In their way, citizens can express their unwillingness to accept repressive laws framed by the Parliament.

Q13. What is the role of citizen in formulation of new laws?
·         The role of citizens is crucial in helping Parliament frame different concerns  that people might have into laws.
·         From establishing the need for a new law to its being passed, at every stage of the process the voice of the citizen is a crucial element. The voice can be heard- through
T.V. reports, newspaper editorials, radio broadcasts and local meetings.
·       We should elect our representatives to Parliament carefully. Then we should use newspapers and the media to chart the work that is being done by our M.P.s and critic their actions when we feel it is required.
·       Our involvement and enthusiasm helps  Parliament  perform  its  representative functions properly.
·       Citizens can oppose the bills introduced in Parliament by organizing a press conference.
·       Citizen can protest, campaign or show solidarity against the laws which they feel are just and unfair.

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