We hold from the God a gift. This gift is life-physical, intellectual and moral life. But life can’t maintain itself alone. The God has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing and perfecting it. For the accomplishment of these, he has provided us a collection of marvelous faculties and he has also given us a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these resources we can convert them into products and use them.
Life, faculties, production or we can say, individuality, liberty, property, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation and are superior to it. Life, liberty, property don’t exist because men have made the laws. On the contrary, it is the life, liberty and property caused the men to make laws. Now question arises, what, then is the law and why do we need it?
“Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social legislation to govern behaviour.”
According to BLACKSTONE, “Law in its most general and comprehensive sense signifies a rule of action and is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of actions, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus there is a law of gravitation, of optics, of mechanics, as well as the law of nature and of Nations.”
If we take the definition of BLACKSTONE, we can say that law touches our life every day. But many of us will not accept it. We’ll ask how this can be. Because we belief that, law is there to punish offenders only. This is far from the truth. Law is more concerned with protecting people than punishing them. The law is constantly working for us that are from the time we wake up in the morning until, we go to sleep. For example going to the toilet, taking bath, having breakfast, watching T.V or being driven to college/office, all are regulated by law in some way or the other way. Going to the toilet or taking bath need sanitation or health law, because if the water is not neat and clean, may cause disease. Similarly having breakfast require food laws or we take example of watching T.V, it also required laws i.e. censorship or Broadcasting laws. Driven to college/office there also law help us, because when someone drive on road he/she must follow the Traffic rules, if someone violate the rules, again laws come into picture like MOTER VEHICLE ACT,COMPENSATION ACT,INDIAN PENAL CODE, Cr.P.C etc. Even laws work for us, when we don’t come in existence or on this Earth, like MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY ACT 1971, THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES ACT 1994, and Trust Laws. It is only because of law i.e. sec 13 of TRANSFER OF PROPERTY ACT 1882; transfer for the benefit of unborn person is valid.
Even if, we take an example of a game we can understand why we need laws. A game is played by some persons .They do’nt know how to play and what to do? In the middle of the game they are told to stop because they are playing wrong. This game can’t be enjoyed by them and they will feel hurt. Similarly in society also if there is not any consistency, or certainty, it will not run smoothly. Only Laws bring consistency uniformly clarity and precision in society.
“If individual knows law before hand, the results of his particular actions on his part thus become predictable”. Like one person enters into an agreement with other. There must be some laws which look into the agreement and here comes the contract Act, Transfer of Property Act, Registration Act, Negotiable instrument Act, Sales of goods Act etc.
In the similar game example, some persons, who were wearing glasses asked not to play anymore only because of they are wearing glasses. This shows unfair behaviour in form of discrimination against those persons. Here again law comes into picture and declares such behaviour unconstitutional under Articles 14, 15, 16 etc of Indian Constitution.
SALMOND’s define law “as the body of principles recognised and applied by the state for the administration of justice.” He further opines that though every man wants others to be righteous and just towards him, he himself being selfish by nature may not be reciprocal in responding justly. This is why some kind of external force is necessary for maintaining an orderly society. And to provide this external force we need the law.
One of the main objectives of law is to balancing the conflicting interest of society. Interest may be private, public or social.
Private interests include interest of physical integrity, reputation, religion, volition, marriage, relation between husband and wife and parents and children, rights of inheritance, freedom of association. These are safeguarded by laws of torts, contract, constitutional law, family laws. For example art.19, 24, 25, 26 etc of Constitution, s 125 of criminal procedure code. s. 494,497,498A etc of IPC
Public interests are interest in the preservation of state & protection of natural environment, territorial waters, and natural resources. These are protected by laws like Environment protection Act, Public liability Act, Maritime laws. Here also we can say that laws not only protect our present generation but also future generation (concept of sustainable development).
Social interests are interests in the preservation of peace, general health, social institutions such as religion, political and economic, protections of weaker sections of society. These are protected by social security legislations like payment of wages Act, minimum wages Act, contract labour Act, Employee insurance Act, Equal remuneration Act, Maternity benefit Act, Consumer protection Act etc.
We need law, to ensure the greater good for the greater number of people. If people are not bound by laws, our society will be full of citizen doing what they like to do for their own needs and desires. This will lead to anarchy and chaos in society. Law ensures a fairly well organized and safe society.
 Luban, Law’s Blindfold,23
 Paranjape N.V,Jurisprudence & Legal Theory( 5th edition)p.132
 3.Sarkar A.K,Summary of Salmond’s Jurisprudence,27
 4. Paranjape N.V,Jurisprudence & Legal Theory( 5th edition)p.164
Prity Pathak is studying LL.M at South Asian University
N.B: The write up has already been submitted as Term Paper.