Class 8 Civics Chapter 4 Understanding Laws Important Questions and Answers

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 4 Understanding Laws Important Questions cover the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising the questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 4 Understanding Laws Important Questions PDF

Very Short Answer Type Questions

1. Who introduced the rule of law in India – the British or the Indians?  
 The Indians introduced the rule of law in their country.

2. How can you say that the Sedition Act of 1870 was arbitrary? [V.Imp.] 
 The Sedition Act of 1870 was arbitrary because under this Act any person protesting or criticising the British government could be arrested without trial.

3. How was the Rowlatt Act an arbitrary law?
 This Act allowed the British government to imprison people without trial.

4. Is the Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act a civil law or a criminal law?
The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act is a civil law.

5. Why do people not accept some laws passed by the Parliament? [Imp.]
 It is because they feel that the intention behind such laws is unfair and harmful.

6. What do people do to criticise unfair laws of the Parliament?
They hold public meeting, write about it in newspapers, report to TV news channels, etc.

7. What is controversial law? [V. Imp.]
 The law that favours one group and disregards the other is known as controversial law.

8. What does the court do if it finds that laws don’t adhere to the Constitution? [V. Imp.]
 The court has the power to modify or cancel such laws.

Short Answer Type Questions

1. ‘In ancient India, there was no rule of law’. Explain. [V. Imp.]

Answer: In ancient India there were several and often overlapping local laws. Different communities enjoyed different degrees of autonomy in administering these laws among their own people. In some cases, the punishment that the two persons received for the same crime varied judgement depending on their caste backgrounds. The lower castes in such circumstances were more  harshly penalised than the upper castes.

2. How was the Rowlatt Act protested by the Indian nationalists? What was its consequence?

Answer: The Rowlatt Act came into effect on 10 March, 1919. This Act allowed the British government to imprison people without due trial. Indian nationalists began to protest this arbitrary Act. In Punjab, the protest was more intensely carried out. On April 10, two leaders of the movement, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew were arrested. To protest these arrests, a public meeting was held on 13 April at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. General Dyer entered the park with his troops and after closing the only exit ordered them to fire on the gathering. As a result several hundreds of people were killed and many more were wounded.

3. How did the Indian legal profession develop by the end of the 19th century? [Imp.]

Answer: By the end of the 19th century, the Indian legal profession developed enough to demand respect in colonial courts. They began to use law to defend the legal rights of Indians. Indian judges also began to play a greater role in making decisions. In due course, the rule of law evolved during the colonial period.

4. What role do citizens play in the evolution of a new law? [V.Imp.]

Answer: The Parliament plays an important role in making laws. There are many ways through which this takes place and it is often different groups in society that raise issue begins to take root, it is brought to the attention of the Parliament which in due course makes a law to crush it. Thus, the role of citizens is important 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 an important element.

5. Give one example to show that British law was arbitrary.

Answer: One example of arbitrary 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.

6. What did the Indian nationalists do against the arbitrary laws of British?

Answer: (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.

7. Why were the new laws against domestic violence introduced?

Answer: (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.

8. Write a short note on Lady Justice.

Answer: Lady Justice or Justitia is the Roman Goddess of Justice. It is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system. Her blindfolded eyes symbolize equality under the law and impartiality towards all the people who are governed by it. The weighing scales represent the balancing of people’s interests under the law, and her sword denotes the law’s force of reason.

9. How was the system of law during ancient times in India?

Answer: In ancient India, there were countless and overlapping local laws. Different communities were given the liberty to enforce the laws according to their need. In some cases, the punishment that two persons received for the same crime varied depending on their caste. The lower castes were punished more harshly.

Long Answer Type Questions

1. How are unpopular and controversial laws opposed by the people? [V. Imp.]

Answer: Sometimes the Parliament passes laws that turn out to be very unpopular even though they are constitutionally valid. People do not accept unpopular laws because they feel that the intention behind these laws is unfair and harmful. Hence, they criticise such laws, hold public meetings, write about them in newspapers, report to TV news channels etc.

In a democratic country like India, citizens can express their unwillingness to accept laws which, they think, are repressive. When a large number of people begin to feel that a wrong law has been passed, then the Parliament has to change it.

We can cite here an example. Various municipal laws on the use of space within municipal jurisdiction often declare hawking and street vending illegal. No one will dispute the necessity for some rules to keep the public space open. At the same time, one also cannot deny that hawkers and vendors provide essential services to the people. This is their means of livelihood. Hence, if the law favours one group and disregards the other it will be controversial leading to conflict. People who think that the law is unfair can approach the court to decide on the issue.

2: What are the advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India? 

Answer: Advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India are: 
Cheap labour- Wages that the companies pay to workers say in the U.S.A. are far higher than what they have to pay workers in India. 
For lower pay- Companies can get longer hours of work.
Additional expenses such as housing facilities for workers are also fewer. Thus, companies can save costs and earn higher profits. 
Cost cutting can also be done by other more dangerous means. 
Lower working conditions including lower safety measures are used as ways of cutting costs. 

For Example- 
At West Virginia (U.S.A.) computerized working and monitoring systems were in place, whereas the UC plants in Bhopal relied on manual gauges and the human senses to detect gas leaks. At the West Virginia plants, emergency evacuation plan were in place, but non-existent in Bhopal.

2: Do you think the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy got justice? Discuss. 

Answer: The victim of the Bhopal gas tragedy didn’t get justice. 
1. Despite the overwhelming evidence, pointing to UC as responsible for the disaster, it refused to accept responsibility. 
2. In the ensuring legal battle, the government represented the victims in a civil case against UC. It filled a $3 billion compensation case in 1985, but accepted a lowly $470 million in 1989. 
3. Survivors appealed against the settlement but the Supreme Court ruled that the settlement amount would stand. 
Even if the UC pays the full compensation set, the lives of the innocent would not come back or they won’t come back. 
4. Money cannot be everything or compensation against a life. Neither the government nor UC has provided the survivors safe drinking water for health care facilities and the jobs. The contaminated water is still the same  after 24 yrs. 

3: What do we mean when we speak of law enforcement? Who is responsible for enforcement? Why is enforcement so important? 

1. Law enforcement means that to make sure a law or rule is obeyed. If there is a certain law, it is meant for being obeyed and followed. 
2. As a lawmaker and enforcer, the government is supposed to ensure that safety laws are implemented. 
3. It is also the duty of the government to ensure that the Right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution is not violated.  Enforcement is so important because as seen in the example of the UC plant in Bhopal-

  • Government officials refused to recognize the plant as hazardous and allowed it to come up in a populated locality. 
  • When some municipal officials in Bhopal objected that the installation of an MIC production unit in 1978 was a safety violation, the position of the government was that the state needs the continued investment of the Bhopal plant, which provides jobs. 
  • It was unthinkable, according to them, to ask UC to shift to cleaner technology or safer procedures. 
  • Government inspectors continued to approve the procedures in the plant, even when repeated incidents of leaks from the plant made it obvious to everybody that things were seriously wrong. 
  • Instead of protecting the interests of the people, their safety was being disregarded both by the government and by private companies. 

4: Explain the various roles played by the government?

Answer: 1. The government has to ensure that all the laws are implemented. This means that the law must be enforced. Enforcement becoming even more important when the law seeks to protect the weak from the strong. 
2. Through making, enforcing and upholding these laws, the government can control the activities of individuals or private companies to ensure social justice. 
3. As the lawmaker and enforcer, the government is supposed to ensure that safety laws are implemented. 
4. It is also the duty of the government to ensure that the Right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution is not violated. 
5. A major role of the government, therefore, is to control the activities of private companies by making, enforcing and upholding laws so as to prevent unfair practices and ensure social justice. 
6. This means that the governments has to make appropriate laws and also has to enforce the laws. 
7. Laws that are weak and poorly unforced can cause serious harm as the Bhopal gas tragedy showed. 
While the government has a leading role in this respect, people can exert pressure so that both private companies and the government act in the interests of society. 

5: How can laws ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair? Explain with the help of an example? 

Answer: Laws are very important in a market situation. 

  • Private companies or individuals to make maximum profit may deny workers their rights and not pay them wages. 
  • In the eyes of law, it is illegal to deny workers their wages. 
  • To ensure that workers are not underpaid, there is a law on minimum wage. A worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage by the employer. 
  • Laws help ensure that the relations between these three parties in the market – the worker, consumer and producer are governed in a manner that is not exploitative. 
  • There are also laws to protect the interests of procedure and consumes in the market 
  • Shops should sell goods only at MRP price by the producer. 
  • Unadulterated products should not be sold. For this a quality mark fixed by the government should be put on every product. 

Example – Right against exploitation says that no one can be forced to work for law wages or under bondage. The constitution also lays down “no child below the age of 14 shall be employed to work”. These laws are made to minimize the unfair practices in the markets