Class 8 SST chapter on Law and Social Justice focuses on the laws and regulations of justice set by the government to protect people from various forms of exploitation. It also covers the drastic Bhopal Gas Tragedy and its impact along with elaborating on public laws and access to public facilities. This blog brings you the summary of Law and Social Justice Class 8 along with its NCERT solutions.
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Table of contents
Let’s first understand how laws and regulations are specified by the government of India as mentioned in Law and Social Justice Class 8:
- The government establishes certain regulations to protect citizens from slavery. These rules attempt to keep unfair business practices to a minimum in the market. In addition, there is a minimum wage to ensure that jobs are not underpaid nor are equally paid.
- There are rules in place to safeguard the needs of both suppliers and consumers in the industry. The government is responsible for ensuring that all rules are followed, ensuring that they must be executed.
- When the government can regulate the actions of individuals or private corporations to ensure social justice, regulation becomes much more important. The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights such as the ‘Right to Exploitation,’ which states that no one should be made to labor for poor wages or under slavery.
- The Constitution states that “no person under the age of 14 years shall be hired to work in any factory or mines, or any other dangerous occupation.”
- If an individual violates this restriction, he or she can face a prison sentence of six months to two years, a fine of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000, or both. The Central Government has also requested state governments to develop policies to rescue and rehabilitate children who have been found living in such circumstances.
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Bhopal Gas Tragedy
The disaster of Bhopal Gas Tragedy led to the loss of many lives with several victims left with severe burns and side effects to bear for their whole lives. Class 8 Law and Social Justice elaborates on this man-made in disaster in further detail, here is a summary to refer to:
- Bhopal was the location of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters 35 years ago. Union Carbide (UC), an American corporation, had founded a factory on the outskirts of Bhopal. It was in charge of producing pesticides. On December 2, 1984, a highly toxic gas known as methyl-isocyanate (MIC) began leaking from this plant.
- Following this, the surrounding areas were covered with white clouds, and residents began leaving their homes. About 8000 victims died over the next three days, and thousands more sustained severe burns and side effects. The aftereffects can still be observed in individuals today, with over 50,000 people unable to function.
- This tragedy, according to many sources, was not an accident. UC purposefully neglected essential protection precautions to save money. A gas-leaking incident occurred in the plant several years before this accident, killing one worker and injuring many others.
What is the worth of a Worker?
Labour Laws form a pivotal part of the laws put forward by the Indian government and here are some of the major pointers on labour laws as mentioned in Class 8 Law and Social Justice:
- The availability of cheap labor is one of the primary reasons why international companies establish plants in India. As a result, wages in developing countries are higher than in poor regions of India.
- These employers often obtain long hours of work by paying these minimum-wage employees low salaries. As a result, businesses can save money while also making a lot of money.
- Since India has a high unemployment rate, Indian employees are willing to work in inhumane conditions for even low salaries. Employers cleverly abuse employees’ insecurity and disregard safety precautions.
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Enforcement of Safety Laws
The next section of Class 8 Law and Social Justice talks about safety laws and the Right to Life as mentioned in the Indian Constitution. Take a look at the important pointers to remember under this section:
- As the enforcer and lawmaker, the government must ensure that workplace safety rules are followed. The Government of India should also ensure that the Right to Life, as enacted in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, is appropriately implemented.
- When the UC accident happened, India’s safety regulations were not taken seriously. Also, the existing, weak protection regulations were not followed. The government permitted the plant to be built in a densely populated area of Bhopal and also failed to recognize the plant’s potentially hazardous implications.
- This case goes against the position of a law-making and legislation body. Instead of protecting the needs of those who work there, both the private sector and the government ignored the public’s welfare. This is utterly unacceptable. As both local and foreign ventures are setting up factories in India, there is a need for stronger laws to protect the rights of workers and enforce these laws in a better manner.
New Laws to Protect the Environment
In 1984, India had very few laws regulating the environment, and these laws were rarely enforced. The environment was regarded as a ‘free’ body, with industry free to pollute the air and water. Whether it was our waterways, air, or groundwater, the climate was being contaminated, and people’s safety was neglected. The polluter had to be held responsible for the environmental harm. Class 8 Law and Social Justice chapter notes that the government is in charge of enacting laws and policies to control waste, clean up wetlands, and impose heavy fines on polluters.
Environment as a Public Facility
Here are some important pointers mentioned under the section on environment being used as a public facility in Class 8 law and social justice:
- In recent years, Indian courts have issued strict orders concerning environmental concerns. Such orders have also had an effect on people’s livelihoods. For example, a Court Order in Delhi directed that factories located in Delhi’s residential areas relocate. The majority of these factories polluted the surrounding areas and even the Yamuna River.
- Many employees were laid off when plants closed down. Others were forced to move too far locations where these factories had been moved. Also, in new areas, factories allowed pollution to continue forever, and workers’ safety was not given priority.
- The government should devise strategies to ensure that every person benefits from a safe climate. Cleaner processes and technologies should be implemented in the plants. The government should also support this initiative. Those that pollute the atmosphere should face severe consequences. It will ensure that workers’ living areas are secure.
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- In a variety of cases, rules are required to shield the public from unfair practices. For example, to make a profit, business owners, private businesses, and contractors engage in unethical practices such as hiring minors in dangerous activities, paying low salaries to employees, ignoring environmental risk, failing to provide workers with safety protocols, and so on.
- To prevent injustice, the government should make, maintain, and enact rules to regulate the actions of private corporations. Weak laws have the potential to do substantial damages.
In other countries like the United States, companies must pay a fair salary that reflects manufacturing costs. However, since the rate of jobs in India is higher, these firms can easily hire employees at low wages while reducing safety costs. Also, since employment in India is quickly replaceable, a bad worker would not hesitate to accept such a low-paying job.
The victims of the Bhopal gas disaster were not fully compensated. This accident occurred as a result of the plant management’s blatant disregard for safety precautions. The Indian government represented the people in order to legally claim compensation for the injured people, and they requested $3 billion in compensation. The victims of the Bhopal gas disaster received only partial compensation. They were paid poorly of compensation. Radiation continues to cause havoc on survivors even now. To date, not a single person liable for this incident has been sentenced by a judge.
The application of the rule is referred to as law enforcement. Laws enacted by the legislature must be applied in order for residents to benefit from them. The government is in charge of enforcing the laws.
Citizens’ rights must be enforced in order to be protected. When the law tries to protect the vulnerable from the powerful, enforcement is much more necessary. Controlling the actions of individuals or private businesses is often important to ensure a peaceful working atmosphere and full social justice.
Laws maintain the economies easily understand by shielding citizens from unethical practices. Here are two examples:
The Child Labor Prevention Act: This act provides that no child under the age of 14 shall be working in any occupation, including domestic help.
Right Against Exploitation: According to this rule, no one should be made to labor for poor pay or under slavery.
The government has implemented legislation to ensure that employees are not abused or forced to work excessive hours by the businesses that employ them. It also monitors the market prices of important commodities such as kerosene, food grain, sugar, and so on.
We hope the notes and NCERT solutions provided on “Law And Social Justice Class 8’’ were helpful to you. Here are some more study notes for Class 8 subjects that can help you prepare for your exams. Keep watching this space at Leverage Edu for more such awesome and educational reads!