Understanding Law

NCERT Exercise

Question 1: Write in your own words what you understand by the term rule of law. In your response include a fictitious or real example of a violation of the rule of law.

Answer: Rule of law means that law is same for each citizen. The law does not discriminate on the basis of religion, caste, gender or socio-economic background. Let us take a fictitious example to understand this.

There is a person who is big shot government official. One day, in order to assert his supremacy he ends up thrashing a shopkeeper in the market. He thinks that he is immune to laws by virtue of occupying a high post. But the shopkeepers come out on road to protest the incident and announce a strike. After the markets are forced to come to a standstill for a few days, the police are forced to arrest the officer. Court proceedings start against him. The court finds him guilty on the basis of CCTV footage. The court punishes him four years' jail term.

Question 2: State two reasons why historians refute the claim that the British introduced the rule of law in India.

Answer: Two reasons in favor of historians' claim are as follows:

Question 3: Re-read the storyboard on how a new law on domestic violence got passes. Describe in your own words the different ways in which women's groups worked to make this happen.

Answer: The process of making a new law on domestic violence was a long drawn one. It began in the 1990s, with some women's organizations raising the demand to make a law against domestic violence. After a prolonged struggle, a bill was introduced for this in the Parliament in 2002. There were many lacunae in that bill, so women's organizations and legal luminaries started to raise their voices against the bill. After that, many amendments were made in the bill in 2005. Finally, in 2006, a new law could come into force against domestic violence.

Question 4: Write in your own words what you understand by the following sentence: They also began fighting for greater equality and wanted to change the idea of law from a set of rules they were forced to obey, to law as including ideas of justice.

Answer: This sentence has been written in the context of the Sedition Act of 1870. This law gave arbitrary powers to the British authorities so that they could throttle any act of criticism against the colonial rule. Under this law, anybody could be put in jail without a trial.

The nationalist leaders started to oppose this law because wanted greater equality. They did not want draconian laws which were forced upon the people. They wanted laws which could provide real justice.

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