Law And Social Justice

The True Meaning of Law and Social Justice

Have you ever felt any shopkeeper or trader being exploited near your surroundings? Everywhere markets are exploitative of people, whether they are workers, consumers or producers. The government makes certain laws to protect people from any kind of exploitation. They try to ensure that the unfair practices are kept at minimum levels in the markets. This comes under the law and social justice. Let us know more!

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How Does the Law and Social Justice Protect the Workers?

It is obvious that all the private companies, contractors, and businesspersons normally want to make as much profit as they can. In this desire for profits, they sometimes deny the workers their rights and do not pay them the desirable wages.

According to the law, it is illegal or wrong to deny workers their wages. Similarly, to ensure that workers are paid fairly, there is a law on minimum wages.  As per this law, workers have to be paid not less than the minimum wage by the employer. The minimum wages are revised upwards every few years.

Social Justice

Not only are there laws to protect the minimum wages, there are also laws that protect the interests of producers and consumers in the market. These help in ensuring that the workers, consumers, and producers work in a manner that is not exploitative.

The government of the country controls the activities of the entities by making, enforcing and upholding these laws. In this way, it checks to confer social justice to one and all. Many of these laws have their basis in the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

For instance, the Right against Exploitation states that no person can be compelled to work for low wages or under bondage. Similarly, the Constitution lays down “no child below the age of 14 shall be employed to work in any factory or mines or any other hazardous employment.”

Worker’s Worth

One of the main reasons why foreign companies come to India is for cheap labour. Wages that the companies pay to workers are much lower in India than other countries abroad. For lower pay, companies can get long hours of work. Additional expenses such as for housing facilities for workers are also fewer. This allows various companies to save costs and earn higher profits.

This is where the Indian worker’s worth comes into place. One worker can easily replace another. Since there is so much unemployment, there are many workers who are willing to work in unsafe conditions in return for a wage. The employers, thus, tend to ignore the worker’s safety in many places and exploit their vulnerability.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy

One such instance where the negligence of the employers led to the death of many employees is the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. However, after so many years even now, this negligence continues. Safety laws enforcement by the Government:

  • The Government ensures that the Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution is not violated.
  • With more industries being set up both by local and foreign businesses in India, there is a great need for stronger laws protecting workers’ rights and better enforcement of these laws.

New Laws to Protect the Environment

Back in the year 1984, there was very less number of laws to protect the environment in India. The environment was treated as a ‘free’ entity and any industry could pollute the air and water without any restrictions.

After the Bhopal gas tragedy, the issue of the environment came to the forefront. Several thousands of persons who were not associated with the factory in any way were greatly affected because of the poisonous gases leaked from the plant. This awakened peoples’ senses about the need for protection of those people who might not be workers but suffer from industrial accidents.

After the years that followed the tragic incident at Bhopal, the Indian government introduced many new laws on the environment. According to some of these laws, the polluter was to be held accountable for the damage done to the environment.


A major role of the government, thus, remains to protect the environment and the workers from the exploitation of the private companies. It must enact and enforce good laws from time to time to counter the negative impacts of these companies on the environment. Besides this, the government must also ensure that the laws abide by the welfare of the labourers and the workers.

Question For You

Q. What was the Bhopal Gas Tragedy?


  • The world’s worst industrial tragedy took place in Bhopal 24 years ago.
  • Union Carbide (UC) an American company had a factory in the city in which it produced pesticides. MIC, a highly poisonous gas, started leaking on 2 December 1984, at midnight from the factory.
  • Within three days more than 8,000 people were dead, Hundreds of thousands were maimed.
  • UC stopped its operations but left behind tons of toxic chemicals.
  • 24 years later, people are still fighting for social justice, for safe drinking water, for healthcare facilities and jobs for the people poisoned by UC.
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  • The True Meaning of Law and Social Justice

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