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

11. Witnesses.

* 147. 147 In doubtful cases, when two parties are quarrelling with one another, the truth has to be

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gathered from (the deposition of) witnesses, whose knowledge is based on what has been seen, heard, or understood by them.

148. 148 He should be considered as a witness who has witnessed a deed with his own ears or eyes; with his ears, if he has heard another man speaking; with his eyes, if he has seen something himself.

* 149. 149 Eleven descriptions of witnesses are distinguished in law by the learned. Five of them are termed appointed, and the other six not appointed.

* 150. 150 A subscribing witness, one who has been reminded, a casual witness, a secret witness, and an indirect witness, these are the five sorts of appointed witnesses.

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* 151. 151 The witnesses not appointed by (the party) himself have been declared sixfold: viz. the village, a judge, a king,

152. One acquainted with the affairs of the two parties, and one deputed by the claimant. In family quarrels, members of that family shall be witnesses.

153. 153 They shall be of honourable family, straightforward, and unexceptionable as to their descent, their actions, and their fortune. The witnesses shall not be less than three in number, unimpeachable, honest, and pure-minded.

154. 154 They shall be Brahmans, Vaisyas, or Kshatriyas, or irreproachable Sûdras. Each of these shall be (witness) for persons of his own order, or all of them may be (witnesses) for all (orders).

* 155. 155 Among companies (of artizans, or guilds of

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merchants, other) artizans or merchants shall be witnesses; and members of an association among other members of the same association; persons living outside among those living outside; and women among women.

* 156. 156 And if in a company (of artizans or guild of merchants) or in any other association any one falls out (with his associates), they must not bear witness against him; for they all are his enemies.


79:147 When the plaintiff and defendant in a lawsuit quarrel p. 80 about a doubtful affair of any sort, the truth has to be ascertained by examining the statements of the witnesses, who have seen, or heard, or been present at, the transaction. A.

80:148 Manu VIII, 74; Vishnu VIII, 13.

80:149 Definitions of the eleven witnesses are given in the following paragraphs. A.

80:150 'A subscribing witness,' i.e. one by whom a document is attested. 'A secret witness,' one who concealed in a house or room listens to the discourse of the parties. A. Kâtyâyana defines the technical terms in this paragraph as follows: 'One adduced by the claimant himself, whose name is inserted in the deed, is a subscribing witness. A reminded witness is not entered in a deed. He is called a reminded witness who in order to insure the publicity of a transaction is reminded of it again and again by the claimant. One purposely brought near, and one who happened to be on the spot accidentally, are two witnesses not entered in a deed, by whom a claim may be corroborated. One who standing concealed is caused, for the purpose of establishing the claim, to hear distinctly the statements of the defendant, is termed a secret witness. One who subsequently corroborates the statements of other witnesses, whether from his own knowledge, or from hearsay, is called an indirect witness.'

81:151 151, 152. The village or the co-villagers shall be witnesses in a transaction which has taken place within the village. The testimony of the judge shall be heard in regard to a cause tried in a court of justice. The king shall be witness concerning a transaction which has taken place in his presence. These, and one acquainted with the circumstances of both parties, the agent of the claimant, and members of a family in a lawsuit concerning that family, are the six kinds of witnesses not appointed. A.

81:153 'Of honourable family,' belonging to a noble race. 'Straightforward,' habitually veracious. 'Less than three,' viz. one or two persons may be witnesses if both parties consent to it. In a dispute regarding landed property, more than three witnesses are required. 'Honest,' free from avarice. 'Pure-minded,' imbued with the precepts of religion. A. Manu VIII, 62, 63; Vishnu VIII, 8; Âpastamba II, 11, 29, 7; Gautama XIII, 2; Yâgñavalkya II, 68, 69; Vasishtha XVI, 28.

81:154 Members of these four castes shall be witnesses for members of their own caste only. Or let members of any caste be witnesses for members of any other caste. A. Manu VIII, 62; Gautama XIII, 3; Yâgñavalkya II, 69; Vasishtha XVI, 29; Baudhâyana I,19, 53.

81:155 Companies or guilds are of eighteen kinds. Labourers p. 82 for hire shall be witnesses for other members of the same association. Outcasts shall be witnesses for other low-caste persons. Women shall be witnesses where two women quarrel with one another. In all these cases, the qualities of the witnesses need not be tested. A. Manu VIII, 68; Vasishtha XVI, 30.

82:156 If in a company of traders any one member should contract an enmity towards the other members of it, they are unworthy to bear testimony against or about him, on account of their enmity towards him. Here ends the chapter on witnesses, the tenth section of the law of debt. A.

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