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

14. False Witnesses.

177. 177 Those must not be examined as witnesses who are interested in the suit, nor friends, nor associates, nor enemies, nor notorious offenders, nor persons tainted (with a heavy sin).

* 178. 178 Nor a slave, nor an impostor, nor one not admitted to Srâddhas, nor a superannuated man, nor a woman, nor a child, nor an oil-maker, nor one

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intoxicated, nor a madman, nor a careless man, nor one distressed, nor a gamester, nor one who sacrifices for a whole village.

179. 179 Nor one engaged in a long journey, nor a merchant who travels into transmarine countries, nor a religious ascetic, nor one sick, nor one deformed, nor one man alone, nor a learned Brahman, nor one who neglects religious customs, nor a eunuch, nor an actor.

* 180. 180 Nor an atheist, nor a Vrâtya, nor one who has forsaken his wife or his fire, nor one who makes illicit offerings, nor an associate who eats from the same dish (as oneself), nor an adversary, nor a spy, nor a relation, nor one connected by the same womb.

* 181. 181 Nor one who has formerly proved an evil-doer, nor a public dancer, nor one who lives by

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poison, nor a snake-catcher, nor a poisoner, nor an incendiary, nor a ploughman, nor the son of a Sûdra woman, nor one who has committed a minor offence.

* 182. 182 Nor one oppressed by fatigue, nor a ferocious man, nor one who has relinquished worldly appetites, nor one penniless, nor a member of the lowest castes, nor one leading a bad life, nor a student before his course of study is completed, nor an oilman, nor a seller of roots.

* 183. 183 Nor one possessed by a demon, nor an enemy of the king, nor a weather-prophet, nor an astrologer, nor a malicious person, nor one self-sold, nor one who has a limb too little, nor a Bhagavritti.

* 184. 184 Nor one who has bad nails or black teeth, nor one who betrays his friends, nor a rogue, nor a seller of spirituous liquor, nor a juggler, nor an

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avaricious or cruel man, nor an enemy of a company (of traders) or of an association (of clansmen).

* 185. 185 Nor one who takes animal life, nor a leather manufacturer, nor a cripple, nor an outcast, nor a forger, nor a quack, nor an apostate, nor a robber, nor one of the king's attendants.

* 186. Nor a Brahman who sells human beings, cattle, meat, bones, honey, milk, water, or butter, nor a member of a twice-born caste guilty of usury.

* 187. 187 Nor one who neglects his duties, nor a Kulika, nor a bard, nor one who serves low people, nor one who quarrels with his father, nor one who causes dissension. These are the incompetent witnesses.

* 188. The slaves, impostors, and other incompetent witnesses who have been enumerated above, shall be witnesses nevertheless in- suits of a specially grave character.

* 189. 189 Whenever a heinous crime, or a robbery, or adultery, or one of the two kinds of insult has been committed, he must not inquire (too strictly) into the (character of the) witnesses.

* 190. A child also cannot be (made a witness), nor a woman, nor one man alone, nor a cheat, nor a relative, nor an enemy. These persons might give false evidence.

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* 191. A child would speak falsely from ignorance, a woman from want of veracity, an impostor from habitual depravity, a relative from affection, an enemy from desire of revenge.

* 192. 192 By consent of both parties, one man alone even may become a witness in a suit. He must be examined in public as a witness, though (he has been mentioned as) an incompetent witness.

* 193. 193 One who, weighed down by the consciousness of his guilt looks as if he was ill, is constantly shifting his position, and runs after everybody;

* 194. Who walks irresolutely and without reason, and draws repeated sighs; who scratches the ground with his feet, and who shakes his arm and clothes;

* 195. Whose countenance changes colour, whose forehead sweats, whose lips become dry, and who looks above and about him;

* 196. Who makes long speeches which are not to the purpose as if he were in a hurry, and without being asked: such a person may be recognised as a false witness, and the king should punish that sinful man.

* 197. 197 He who conceals his knowledge (at the time

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of trial), although he has previously related (what he knows) to others, deserves specially heavy punishment, for he is more criminal than a false witness even.


86:177 177-187, 190. Manu VIII, 64-67, 71; Yâgñavalkya II, 70, 71; Vishnu VIII, 1-5; Gautama XIII, 5. Asahâya observes that the rules regarding incompetent witnesses do not relate to cases of assault only, but to judicial proceedings of every sort.

177. 'Associates,' i.e. partners in business. 'Notorious offenders,' persons formerly convicted of perjury or other crimes. A. For different interpretations of some of the terms occurring in this section, see the notes to Professor Baler's Manu, and to Burnell-Hopkins's Manu, VIII, 64, foll.

86:178 'A slave,' one born in the house. 'An impostor,' a p. 87 fallacious person. 'One not admitted to Srâddhas,' one who is not allowed to partake of obsequial feasts. 'A superannuated man,' weak or decrepit persons. 'One distressed,' by a calamity. A.

87:179 'One who neglects religious customs,' one who fails to perform his religious duties. 'A eunuch,' one incapable of begetting offspring. A.

87:180 'An atheist,' a heretic. 'A Vrâtya,' one for whom the ceremony of initiation has not been performed. 'His wife,' his legitimate spouse. 'His fire,' the sacred Vaitâna fire. 'One who makes illicit offerings,' one who performs sacrifices for persons of bad fame. 'An associate who eats from the same dish,' one with whom one keeps up commensality. 'A spy,' employed in the service of the king. 'One connected by the same womb,' a uterine brother.

87:181 'One who has formerly proved an evil-doer,' one afflicted with an ugly disease, the consequence of wicked acts committed in a previous existence; or one guilty of robbery or other crimes. 'One who lives by poison,' one who buys or sells poison. 'A snake-catcher,' one who catches venomous reptiles. 'A poisoner,' one who, actuated by hatred, gives poison to other people. 'An incendiary,' one who sets fire to houses, &c. Kînâsa (a ploughman), 'a Sûdra,' or 'a miser.' A.

88:182 'A ferocious man,' one who perpetrates illicit acts of violence. 'One who has relinquished worldly appetites,' an ascetic. 'One penniless,' one who has lost his whole wealth through gambling or other extravagance. 'A member of the lowest castes,' a Kândâla. 'One leading a bad life,' an infidel. A. The term mûlika denotes 'a seller of roots,' according to A. The Vîramitrodaya interprets it by 'one who practises incantations with roots.'

88:183 A. explains varshanakshatrasûkaka as a single term, denoting 'an astrologer.' The Vîramitrodaya, more appropriately, divides it into two terms: 'one who prophesies rain,' i.e. a weather-prophet, and 'an astronomer,' i.e. an astrologer. The term aghasamsin, 'a malicious person,' is in the Vîramitrodaya interpreted by 'one who makes public the failings of other people.' 'One self-sold,' one who has entered the state of slavery for money. 'One who has a limb too little,' i.e. an arm or a foot. 'A Bhagavritti,' one who lives by the prostitution of his wife, or one who suffers his mouth to be used like a female part (bhaga). A.

88:184 'A cruel man,' a hard-hearted man; or Ugra is used as a proper noun denoting the offspring of a Kshatriya with a Sûdra wife. A.

89:185 'One who takes animal life,' a butcher. 'A forger,' one who falsifies documents or coined money. 'A quack,' one who practises incantations and the like with mysterious formulas, medicines, &c. 'An apostate,' one who has left the order of religious mendicants. 'An attendant of the king,' a menial. A.

89:187 'A Kulika,' a judge; or the head of a caste or guild. 'One who causes dissension,' one who causes friends or others to fall out with one another. Vîramitrodaya.

89:189 Manu VIII, 72; Yâgñavalkya II, 72; Gautama XIII, 9; Vishnu VIII, 6.

90:192 One agreeable to both parties shall be examined in an assembly of honourable men. A. Manu VIII, 77; Yâgñavalkya II, 72; Vishnu VIII, 9.

90:193 193-196. These rules relate to the trial of a cause by the judge. The time for examining the witnesses having arrived, he should examine their miens and gestures. Incompetent witnesses are not only those previously mentioned, but those here described are equally incompetent. A. Manu VIII, 25, 26; Yâgñavalkya II, 13-15; Vishnu VIII, 18.

90:197 One who has made a certain statement in the hearing of others, and makes a different statement at the time of the trial, shall receive specially heavy punishment; for he is a greater criminal than a false witness. A. Yâgñavalkya II, 82.

Next: 15. Exhorting the Witnesses