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

p. 207



* 1. 1 Abusive speeches, couched in offensive and violent terms, regarding the native country, caste, family, and so forth (of a man), are termed Abuse, (a title of law.)

* 2. It is divided into three species, called respectively Nishthura, Aslîla, and Tîvra. The punishment for each increases in severity according as the insult is of a more (or less) serious nature.

* 3. 3 Abuse combined with reproaches has to be regarded as Nishthura; abuse couched in insulting language is Aslîla; charging one with an offence causing expulsion from caste is called Tîvra by the learned.

* 4. Hurting the limbs of another person with a hand, foot, weapon or otherwise, or defiling him

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with ashes or other (impure substances), is termed Assault.

* 5. There are three species of that also, as it may be either light, or of a middling sort, or heavy, according as it consists in the raising (of a hand or weapon for the purpose of striking a blow), or in an unexpected attack, or in striking a wound.

* 6. 6 Stealing articles of small, middling, or superior value, is called the three kinds of Sâhasa; there the thorny weeds (sinners) should be extirpated.

* 7. 7 In both kinds (of insult) five cases are distinguished, when the respective innocence or guilt of the two parties has to be established.

* 8. 8 When two parties have been guilty of insult, and both have commenced to quarrel at the same time, they shall suffer the same punishment, in case that no difference (in their respective culpability) becomes apparent.

* 9. He who is the first to offer an insult is decidedly criminal; he who returns the insult is likewise culpable; but the one who began shall suffer the heavier punishment (of the two).

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* 10. When both parties are implicated equally, he of the two shall receive punishment who follows up his attack, whether he was (originally) the aggressor or the defendant.

* 11. 11 If a Svapâka, Meda, Kandâla, cripple, one who gains his substance by killing (animals), an elephant-driver, one deprived of his caste for nonperformance of the ceremony of initiation, a slave, or one who treats a Guru or spiritual teacher with disregard,

* 12. 12 Should offend a superior, he shall be punished by whipping him on the spot. Nor do the sages regard bodily injury done to a man of this stamp as (an offence equal to) theft.

* 13. Should any such low person, abhorred by men, insult another man (his superior), that man himself shall punish him. The king has nothing to do with the penalty (to be inflicted on him).

* 14. For these people are the refuse of human society, and their property is (likewise) impure. The king also is at liberty to whip them, but he must not amerce them with a fine.

15. 15 A Kshatriya who reviles a Brahman must

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pay one hundred (Panas) as a fine. A Vaisya (must pay) one and a half hundred, or two hundred. A Sûdra deserves corporal punishment.

16. A Brahman shall be fined fifty (Panas) for calumniating a Kshatriya; in the case of a Vaisya, the fine shall be half of fifty (i.e. twenty-five); in the case of a Sûdra, (it shall amount to) twelve (Panas).

17. 17 When a twice-born man offends against a member of his own caste, (he shall pay) twelve (Panas as a fine). When he utters calumnies which ought never to be uttered, the fine shall be twice as high.

18. 18 Even he who in accordance with fact (contemptuously) calls another man one-eyed, lame, or the like (names), shall be fined by the king not less than one Kârshâpana.

19. One must not tax with his offence a man who has done penance according to law, or who has received due punishment from the king. By transgressing this rule one becomes liable to punishment.

20. Two persons, a Brahman and a king, are declared to be exempt from censure and corporal punishment in this world; for these two sustain the visible world.

* 21. One who calls an outcast an outcast, or a thief a thief, is equally criminal with those whom he taxes (with their offence). (If he reproaches them) without reason, he is twice as guilty as they are.

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22. 22 A once-born man (or Sûdra), who insults members of a twice-born caste with gross invectives, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.

23. 23 If he refers to their name or caste in terms indicating contempt, an iron rod, ten Aṅgulas long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.

24. 24 If he is insolent enough to give lessons regarding their duty to Brahmans, the king shall order hot oil to be poured into his mouth and ears.

* 25. 25 With whatever limb a man of low caste offends against a Brahman, that very limb of his shall be cut off; such shall be the atonement for his crime.

26. 26 A low-born man, who tries to place himself on the same seat with his superior in caste, shall be branded on his hip and banished, or (the king) shall cause his backside to be gashed.

27. If through arrogance he spits (on a superior), the king shall cause both his lips to be cut off; if he makes water (on him), the penis; if he breaks wind (against him), the buttocks.

28. 28 If he pulls (a superior) by the hair, (the king) shall unhesitatingly cause his hands to be cut off, likewise (if he seizes him) by the feet, beard, neck, or scrotum.

29. 29 If a man breaks the skin (of his equal) or

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fetches blood (from him), he shall be fined a hundred (Panas); if he cuts the flesh, six Nishkas; if he breaks a bone, he shall be banished.

* 30. If a man censures a king devoted to the discharge of his duties, he shall have his tongue cut out or his entire property confiscated, as an atonement for such crime.

* 31. When an evil-minded man assails a wicked king even, he shall be (fastened) on a stake and burnt in fire; (for he is) more criminal than one who has committed a hundred times the crime of killing a Brahman.

* 32. A father is not liable to be punished for an offence committed by his son; nor is the owner of a horse, dog, or monkey (responsible for any damage caused by one of these animals), unless he should have set them to do it.


207:1 XV, XVI, 1. Thus, e.g. when a man says, 'The Gaudas (Bengalis) are quarrelsome,' he abuses another man's native country. When a man says, 'Brahmans are very avaricious,' he abuses another man's caste. When he says, 'The Visvâmitras are a ferocious race,' he abuses another man's family. The clause 'and so forth' is added, in order to include abusive speeches levelled against learned men, artizans, or the like persons, whose learning or art has been abused. 'Violent terms,' i.e. terms which ought never to be used. Mitâksharâ, p. 285; Vîramitrodaya, p. 482.

207:3 'Abuse combined with reproaches' is when e.g. a man says, 'What a fool,' or 'What a rascal.' 'Abuse couched in insulting language' is when a man says, 'I will visit your sister,' or the like. 'Charging one with a mortal sin causing expulsion from caste,' such as e.g. the drinking of spirituous liquor. See loc. cit.

208:6 The above translation of this paragraph follows the reading of the MSS. If that reading be correct, this paragraph contains a rule relating to the subject of theft or Sâhasa. The quotations have a different reading, under which this paragraph has to be closely connected with the preceding one, and has to be referred equally to the three degrees of assault.

208:7 The Nepalese MS. and the commentaries insert the following paragraph here: * 'When an insult has occurred between two men engaged in a violent quarrel, he who suffers the insult patiently is struck, but the offender is punishable.'

208:8 8-10. The one who has first commenced a quarrel shall receive the heavier punishment of the two. That man is liable to punishment who persists in hostility. When it is impossible to ascertain any p. 209 difference in the culpability of the two parties, their punishment shall be equal. Vîramitrodaya, p. 472. Read pûrvam.

209:11 Svapâka, literally 'dog-cooking,' is the name of a particular degraded tribe, whose only office is to act as public executioners. Meda is the name of another mixed caste. Kandâlas are the lowest caste of all, see XII, 113. The Nepalese MS. and the commentaries read shandha, 'a eunuch,' instead of Meda.

209:12 12-14. When a Svapâka or the like should have insulted an Ârya or member of the three higher castes, honourable men shall be entitled to punish them in person. When the (honourable men) are unable to do so, the king shall punish them; but he must not confiscate their property. Vîramitrodaya, p. 472.

209:15 15-17. Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 267-269.

210:17 According to the commentators of Manu, the term 'calumnies which ought never to be uttered' has to be referred to insinuations against the honour of a man's mother, sisters, or other female relatives. See Professor Bühler's note on Manu VIII, 269.

210:18 Manu VIII, 274; Yâgñavalkya II, 204.

211:22 'He is of low origin,' because the Sûdra caste has been produced from Brahman's feet. Identical with Manu VIII, 270.

211:23 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 271.

211:24 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 272.

211:25 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 279.

211:26 26, 27. Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 281, 282. In paragraph 27 the Nepalese MS. has 'the nose' instead of 'the beard.'

211:28 Identical with Manu VIII, 283.

211:29 According to the majority of the commentators of Manu, p. 212 this rule has reference to an equal in caste. Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 284.

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