Chapter 10 Law and Social, Justice
What are the advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India?
India provides cheap labour compared to some other countries. Wages paid to workers in foreign countries are much higher than in India. For lower pay, foreign companies can get long hours of work. Additional expenses such as housing facilities for workers are also fewer in India. Thus, foreign companies can save costs and earn higher profits.
Do you think the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy got justice? Discuss.
The victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy did not get justice. The disaster was caused due to gross neglect of safety measures by the management of the factory.
The government of India represented the people to legally claim compensation for the affected people. The government demanded $ 3 billion but had to accept a meager $ 470 million from the Company.
Today, 24 years after the disaster, people of Bhopal are still fighting for justice.
What do we mean when we speak of law enforcement? Who is responsible for enforcement? Why is enforcement so important?
- When we speak of law enforcement, we mean that the provisions of the law must be applied to all and sundry without discrimination.
- Government is responsible for law enforcement.
Rights of workers and citizens to be protected.
- With more industries being set up by both Indians and foreign businesses, there is a greater need for stronger laws.
- It is all the more important to safeguard our environment.
How can laws ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair? Give two examples to support your answer.
Law can ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair by ensuring the enforcement of the law in letter and spirit.
- Law against hoarding and black marketing must be enforced in such a way that stringent punishment is given to the violators of the law and the hoarded goods must be forfeited.
- Anti Child Labour Act must be enforced, not a single child must be allowed to work in shops, tea stalls, and restaurants.
Write a paragraph on the various roles of the government that you have read about in this unit.
The common man is exploited in most societies. When this happens it is the duty of the government to ensure that social justice prevails and all the citizens can establish their rights.
The government has passed many laws to guarantee that workers are not exploited by unscrupulous employers. Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act, 1948; Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 is some of the Acts that ensure that workers are not underpaid and exploited.
The government has passed the Factories Act, 1948. This Act regulates health, safety, welfare, and other working conditions of workers in factories. It is enforced by the State Governments through their factory inspectorates.
The Consumer Protection Act ensures that the consumer is not put to risk by the poor quality of products such as electrical appliances, food, and medicines. The Bureau of Indian Standards is a government organization that oversees the quality of products sold.
The government has also passed laws that ensure that essential products such as food grains, sugar, and kerosene are not highly-priced.
The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, was passed to protect the environment and avert health hazards to human beings.
Prohibition of Employment of Young Children protects children from being exploited. No child who has not completed his fourteenth year shall be required or allowed to work in any factory.
The Trade Unions Act, 1926 provides for registration of trade unions with a view to render lawful organisation of labour to enable collective bargaining.
How was the environment treated earlier? What has been the change in perception?
In 1984, there were very few laws to protect the environment in India. These few laws were not enforced strictly by the government. Industries discharged their waste into water bodies and made it unfit for consumption. The air was polluted with smoke that bellowed from the factories.
This pollution proved to be a health hazard for the people. The Bhopal disaster brought the issue of environmental pollution into focus.
The existing laws did not protect the common man from industrial disasters. Environmental activists insisted on new laws which will protect all the citizens from hazardous pollution of the environment. In response to the demand by the activists and the public, the government introduced new laws on environmental safety.
According to the new laws imposed by the government the polluter will be held accountable for the damage done to the environment.
The Right to Life is a Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution and it includes the right to the enjoyment of pollution-free water and air for full enjoyment of life.
What do you think the famous cartoonist R.K. Laxman is trying to convey in this cartoon? How does it relate to the 2006 law that you read about on page 125?
The cartoon shows a young under privileged boy carrying the books of a well-to-do boy who is off to school. This reveals that the boy who is less than 14 years of age has been employed by the woman seen in the picture.
The cartoon emphasizes that young children are being exploited at workplaces. They are made to work for long hours for very little wages. These children are being denied basic education which is very essential for them.
This is a violation of the Child Labour Prevention Act that was passed by the government in 2006. No child who has not completed his fourteenth year shall be required or allowed to work in any factory. The government has passed certain laws that will protect these children from being exploited.