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The Minor Law Books (SBE33), by Julius Jolly, [1889], at



* 1. A series of rules will be stated (next) for the payment and non-payment of labourers’ wages. It is termed 'Non-payment of Wages,' a title of law.

* 2. 2 A master shall regularly pay wages to the servant hired by him, whether it be at the commencement, at the middle, or at the end of his work, just as he had agreed to do.

* 3. 3 Where the amount of the wages has not been fixed, (the servant of) a trader, a herdsman, and an agricultural servant shall respectively take a tenth part of the profit (derived from the sale of merchandise), of the seed of cows, and of the grain.

* 4. 4 Their implements of work, and whatever else

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may have been entrusted to them for their business, they shall employ with due care and not neglect them wantonly.

* 5. 5 If one fails to perform such work as he had promised to do, he shall be compelled to perform it, first paying him his wages. If he does not perform it after having taken wages, he must pay back twice the amount of his wages.

* 6. 6 One who abandons merchandise which he had agreed to convey to its destination, shall give a sixth part of the wages. (An employer) who does not pay the wages which he had agreed to give shall forfeit those wages together with interest.

* 7. 7 A merchant who does not take a conveyance

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or beasts for draught or burden, after having hired them, shall be made to pay a fourth part of the hire; and the whole, if he leaves them half-way.

* 8. 8 And so shall a carrier who fails to transport (the goods entrusted to him) forfeit his wages. He shall be compelled to pay twice the amount of his wages, if he raises difficulties at the time of starting.

* 9. 9 When the merchandise has been damaged by the carrier's fault, he shall have to make good every loss, not including such losses as may have been caused by fate or by the king,

* 10. 10 For (tending) a hundred cows, (a heifer shall be given to the herdsman) as wages every year; for (tending) two hundred (cows), a milch cow (shall be given to him annually), and he shall be allowed to milk (all the cows) every eighth day.

* 11. 11 Those (cows) which a cowherd takes to

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pasture every day when the night is over, he shall take back again in the evening, after they have eaten (grass) and drunk (water).

* 12. 12 If such a cow meets with an accident, he shall struggle to protect her as best he may. If he is unable (to rescue her) he shall go in haste to announce it to his master.

* 13. 13 Should he neither struggle to protect (the cow), nor raise a cry, nor announce it to his master, the herdsman must make good the value of the cow (to the owner), and (must pay) a fine to the king.

* 14. 14 But the herdsman alone shall make good (the loss of an animal) which has strayed, or been destroyed by worms, or slain by dogs, or met its death (by tumbling) into a pit, if he did not duly exert himself (to prevent such accidents).

* 15. 15 So if goats or sheep are surrounded by wolves, and the herdsman does not come (to their assistance), he shall be responsible for any (animal) which a wolf may attack and kill.

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* 16. 16 But for (an animal) seized by robbers, though he raised a cry, the herdsman shall not be bound to pay, provided he gives notice to his master at the proper place and time.

* 17. 17 It is according to these principles that all disputes arising with herdsmen have to be settled. In case of the (natural) death (of an animal entrusted to his care the herdsman) is free from blame, if he can produce the tail, the horns, and the rest.

* 18. 18 If a public woman declines to receive a man after having received her fee, she shall pay twice the amount (of the fee). The same (fine shall be imposed) on a man who does not pay the (stipulated) fee, after having had connexion with a woman (of this description).

* 19. Should a man unnaturally abuse the person (of a public woman) or cause her to be approached by many: he must pay eight times the amount (of the stipulated fee), and a fine to the same amount.

* 20. If a man has built a house on the ground of a stranger and lives in it, paying rent for it, he may take with him, when he leaves the house, the thatch, the timber, the bricks, and other (building materials).

* 21. 21 But if he has been residing on the ground

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of a stranger, without paying rent and against that man's wish, he shall by no means take with him, on leaving it, the thatch and the timber.

* 22. 22 Hired commodities shall be restored (by the hirer), when the fixed period has expired. The hirer must make good whatever may have been spoiled or destroyed except in the case of (inevitable) accident.


139:2 VI, 2. When the amount of the wages has been fixed by an agreement in this form, 'I will give thee thus much,' it shall be divided into three parts, and one part be given on three occasions, viz. at the commencement, middle, and end of the labour. This rule is applicable where the amount of the wages has been fixed. The next paragraph states the rule for those cases where the amount of the wages has not been fixed. Vîramitrodaya, p. 414.

139:3 The strange term 'the seed of cows' denotes cows’ milk according to the commentators. Yâgñavalkya II, 194.

139:4 The phrase 'whatever may have been entrusted to servants for their business' is explained as referring to grain and the like p. 140 used for agriculture. It appears from the preceding paragraph that business of every sort is intended. Yâgñavalkya II, 193.

140:5 Manu VIII, 215; Âpastamba II, 11, 28, 2-3; Vishnu V, 153, 154; Yâgñavalkya II, 193.

140:6 The Ratnâkara refers the second half of this paragraph, like the first half, to the special case of wages or hire promised to the carrier for the transport of goods. See Colebrooke's Digest, III, I, 92. Yâgñavalkya II, 198.

140:7 'A conveyance,' a cart or the like. 'Beasts for draught or burden,' horses or others. When a man hires the conveyance, &c. of another for the purpose of transporting merchandise, and does not transport the merchandise afterwards, because he has promised to pay an excessive hire, he shall pay a fourth part of the promised hire to the owner of the conveyance. When, however, he takes the conveyance and leaves it, after having completed one half of the journey, he shall have to pay the whole of the hire. Vîramitrodaya, p. 420. Yâgñavalkya II, 198. Of vv. 6, 7, the Nepalese MS. has an entirely different version, as follows: ‘* 6. One who abandons his work before the expiration of the term, forfeits his wages. If it is through the fault of his employer that he strikes work, he shall be rewarded for as much as has been finished by him. 7. He who leaves on the road that which he had undertaken to transport, shall give a sixth part of the (stipulated) wages. An employer who does not pay (wages) after having set the workman to work, (shall be p. 141 compelled to pay) the wages together with interest.’ This is probably the true reading, as paragraphs 6 and 7 are quoted in this form in the Vîramitrodaya and in Colebrooke's Digest respectively.

141:8 According to the Mitâksharâ (p. 280), the excessive fine ordained in the second half of this paragraph shall be inflicted when a man raises obstacles on specially important occasions, such as a wedding, or the auspicious time for undertaking a journey. Yâgñavalkya II, 197.

141:9 'Merchandise,' pearls or other commodities which are to be transported. 'Damaged,' i.e. destroyed. In the terms 'merchandise' and 'carrier,' which are successively used in this paragraph, a bull and a husbandman are included by implication. Thus it is declared in the Madanaratna. Vîramitrodaya, p. 418. What the Madanaratna means is this, that the responsibility of a husbandman for a bull used by him for the purposes of agriculture is analogous to the responsibility of a carrier for the goods he has undertaken to transport. Vishnu V, 155, 156; Yâgñavalkya II, 197.

141:10 Manu VIII, 231.

141:11 Manu VIII, 230; Yâgñavalkya II, 164.

142:12 He shall struggle to protect the cow, and if unable to protect her he shall raise an alarm. Ratnâkara. See Colebrooke's Digest, III, 4, 11.

142:13 The second half of this paragraph is read as follows in the Nepalese MS.: 'The herdsman is to blame in that case, and he shall make good the loss.'

142:14 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 232. Read nashtam in the text. The Nepalese MS. here inserts the following paragraph, which is nearly identical with Manu VIII, 234: 'If cattle die, let him give everything to the owner: the tail, skin, the hindpart, the thigh, the bladder, tendons, and yellow concrete bile, and let him point out their particular marks.'

142:15 Identical with Manu VIII, 235. The Nepalese MS. adds the following paragraph, which is nearly identical with Manu VIII, 236: 'If they graze together in the forest, without being kept in order, and a wolf, suddenly jumping on one of them, kills it, the herdsman shall be free from blame in that case.'

143:16 Identical with Manu VIII, 233.

143:17 The term 'the rest' may be referred, in accordance with the analogous rule of Manu, to the 'ears, hide, bladder, tendons, the yellow concrete bile, and the special proofs or marks.' Manu VIII, 234.

143:18 Illness, however, is considered as a legitimate reason for breaking an engagement of this sort. Vîramitrodaya, p. 422, and other commentaries.

143:21 The delivery of the materials, out of which the house has been constructed, to the owner of the ground, has to be regarded as a compensation for the ground having been used without authorisation from the owner.

144:22 This rule applies in the case of water-jars and the like having been injured or destroyed. Vîramitrodaya, p.421. The Ratnâkara refers this paragraph to broken carriages and the like. See Colebrooke's Digest, III, I, 104. 'Spoiled,' i.e. partially disfigured. 'Destroyed,' i.e. entirely ruined. 'Accident,' when the things have been knocked against one another. Vîramitrodaya, ibid.

Next: Seventh Title of Law. Sales Effected by Another Than the Rightful Owner