Topic outline

    • Understanding Laws

      Q1. When was the Hindu Succession Act revised?

      Ans. The Hindu Succession Act was revised in 2005.


      Q2. What was Sedition Act of 1870?

      Ans. According to this Act, any person protesting or criticising the British government could be arrested without due trial.

      Q3. What are the important changes introduced by the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005?

      Ans. According to this new law, sons, daughters and their mothers can get an equal share of family property.


      Q4. Mention the year of Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Who gave the order to shoot the protestors?

      Ans. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919. General Dyer gave the order to shoot the protestors.


      Q5. How is new law introduced in Parliament?
      In what form is the law introduced and where?

      Ans. A Bill is a draft statute which becomes law after it is passed by both the Houses of Parliament and assented to by the President. All legislative proposals are brought before Parliament in the forms of Bills.


      Q6. State one reason why you think the Sedition Act of 1870 was arbitrary?

      Ans. This law was arbitrary because persons were arrested for a variety of reasons that were seldom clarified beforehand as well as because those arrested were often kept in jail without a trial.

      Q7. Mention some of the common laws that govern us.

      Ans. Some of the common laws that govern us are:

                                 i.        Specific age of marriage

                                ii.        The age at which a person can vote

                               iii.        The laws dealing with buying and selling of property


      Q8. Write a short note on Rowlatt Act.
      What was Rowlatt Act?
      Explain the provisions of Rowlatt Act. How did Indians react to it?

      Ans. Rowlatt Act allowed the British government to imprison people without due trial. Indian nationalists including Mahatma Gandhi were vehement in their opposition to the Rowlatt bills. Despite the large number of protests, the Rowlatt Act came into effect on 10 March 1919.


      Q9. How was the system of law during ancient times in India?
      State the procedure of making law in ancient times.

      Ans. In ancient India, there were innumerable and often overlapping local laws. Different communities enjoyed different degrees of autonomy in administering these laws among their own. In some cases, the punishment that two persons received for the same crime varied depending on their caste backgrounds, with lower castes being more harshly penalised.

      Q10. Describe the ‘Rule of Law’.

      Ans. Rule of law means that all laws apply equally to all citizens 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. 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.


      Q11. Describe the ways in which the citizens can express their views in relation to laws made in the Parliament.

      Ans. Citizens can express their views in relation to laws made in the Parliament in the following ways:

                               i.        by holding public meetings,

                              ii.        by writing about it in newspapers,

                             iii.        by reporting to TV news channels etc.


      Q12. Elaborate the arguments given by the historians against the British rule of law in India.
      State two reasons why historians refute the claim that the British introduced the rule of law in India.

      Ans. It is often believed that it was the British colonialists who introduced the rule of law in India. Historians have disputed this claim on several grounds, two of which include: first that colonial law was arbitrary, and second that the Indian nationalists played a prominent role in the development of the legal sphere in British India. One example of the arbitrariness that continued to exist as part of British law is the Sedition Act of 1870.

      Q13. Write in your own words what you understand by the following sentence on page 44-45: They also 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.

      Ans. This line refers to the protests of Indian nationalists against arbitrary use of authority by the British. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Indian legal profession also began emerging and demanded 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. Therefore, there were several ways in which Indians played a major role in the evolution of the rule of law during the colonial period.


    • Download to practice offline.