NCERT Class 8 Civics Chapter 4 - Understanding Laws

Chapter 4 - Understanding Laws

Question 1: How was the Rowlatt Act an arbitrary law?
Answer:
This Act allowed the British government to imprison people without trial.

Question 2: Why do people not accept some laws passed by the Parliament?
Answer:
It is because they feel that the intention behind such laws is unfair and harmful.

Question 3: How can you say that the Sedition Act of 1870 was arbitrary?
Answer:
The Sedition Act of 1870 was arbitrary because under this Act any person protesting or criticising the British government could be arrested without trial.

Question 4: 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.

Question 5: What do we mean when we speak of law enforcement? Who is responsible for enforcement? Explain with an example why is enforcement so important?
Answer:
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. As a lawmaker and enforcer, the government is supposed to ensure that safety laws are implemented.  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 Union Carbide 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.


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