Topic outline

    • Understanding Laws

      Q14. Explain the Domestic Violence.

      Ans. Domestic violence refers to the injury or harm or threat of injury or harm caused by an adult male, usually the husband, against his wife. Injury may be caused by physically beating up the woman or by emotionally abusing her. Abuse of the woman can also include verbal, sexual and economic abuse. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 extends the understanding of the term ‘domestic’ to include all women who ‘live or have lived together in a shared household’ with the male member who is perpetrating the violence.

      Q15. Re-read the storyboard on how a new law on domestic violence got passed. Describe in your own words the different ways in which women’s groups worked to make this happen.

      Ans. Women’s groups worked hard and tirelessly towards the passing of the new law on domestic violence in India. They used different forums like public protests, hearings, meetings with other organizations, press conferences and petitions to the government to introduce a new reformed bill on domestic violence to include demands like monetary relief and protection against being evicted from the shared household. Earlier, domestic violence only entailed “injury or harm or threat of injury or harm” by an adult male against a woman. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 extended to include physical, economic, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse.


      Q16. Mention the ways in which the Indians played an important role in the evolution of rule of law during colonial period.

      Ans. There were several ways in which Indians played a major role in the evolution of the rule of law during the colonial period.

                                i.        Indian nationalists began protesting and criticising this arbitrary use of authority by the British. 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.

                               ii.        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.

                              iii.        Indian judges also began to play a greater role in making decisions.

      Q17. Write in your own words what you understand by the term the ‘rule of law’. In your response include a fictitious or real example of a violation of the rule of law.

      Ans. What the rule of law means is 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.

      For example: Most politicians and businessmen today own property and wealth worth crores but they do not even file tax returns on the same. The assets they declare are probably not even half of what they originally own. However, an ordinary income tax official cannot dare to question them for fear of losing his job, because the former have “power” and “contact” that this official does not possess.

      Q18. Describe the controversial law and unpopular law with the help of an example.

      Ans. 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.

      For example, various municipal laws on the use of space within municipal limits often make hawking and street vending illegal. No one will dispute the necessity for some rules to keep the public space open so that people can walk on the pavements easily. However, one also cannot deny that hawkers and vendors provide essential services cheaply and efficiently to the millions living in a large city. This is their means of livelihood. Hence, if the law favours one group and disregards the other it will be controversial and lead to conflict.

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