Study Material and Notes of Ch 4 Understanding Laws Class 8th Civics

Topics in the Chapter

• Do Laws Apply to All?
→ Rule of Law
→ How Rule of Law established in India?
• How Do New Laws Come About?
• Unpopular and Controversial Laws

Do Laws Apply to All?

• All persons in independent India are equal before the law.
→ The law cannot discriminate between persons 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.

Rule of Law

• Rule of law means is that all laws apply equally to all citizens of the country and no one can be above the law.

How Rule of law established in India?

• It is often believed that it was the British colonialists who introduced the rule of law in India.
→ However, historians have disputed this claim because:
1. Colonial law was arbitrary (dictatorial).
2. Indian nationalists played a prominent role in the development of the legal sphere in British India.

• Nationalists 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.

• By the end of the nineteenth century, the Indian legal profession began to use law to defend the legal rights of Indians.
→ Indian judges also began to play a greater role in making decisions.

• Thus, in several ways, Indians played a major role in the evolution of the rule of law during the colonial period.

• After Independence, the document, Constitution served as the foundation on which our representatives began making laws for the country.
→ Every year several new laws made as well as existing ones revised by elected representatives.

How Do New Laws Come About?

• The Parliament has an important role in making laws.

• There are many ways through which this takes place, often, different groups in society that raise the need for a particular law.
→ As the Parliament is sensitive to people's problems so, the process adopted for this issue to become law.

• From establishing the need for a new law to its being passed, at every stage of the process the
voice of the citizen through various medium such as TV, newspaper etc is a crucial element.

Unpopular and Controversial Laws

• Sometimes a law can be constitutionally valid and hence legal, but it can continue to be unpopular and unacceptable to people because they feel that the intention behind it is unfair and harmful.

• The people might criticize this law, hold public meetings, write about it in newspapers, report to TV news channels etc.

• When a large number of people begin to feel that a wrong law has been passed, then the Parliament has pressure to change the law.

• After electing representatives, it is duty of citizens to keep a check on them.

NCERT Solutions of Chapter 4 Understanding Laws

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