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

p. 223



1. 1 Two kinds of robbers who steal the goods of others have to be distinguished, the one kind open, and the other kind concealed. Let a prudent king try to find them out.

* 2. Open rogues are those who forge measures and weights, receivers of bribes, robbers, gamblers, public prostitutes,

* 3. Those who walk in disguise, those who live by teaching the performance of auspicious ceremonies, these and such like persons are considered open rogues.

* 4. Rogues acting in secret are those who roam in the wood, or lie concealed, as well as those who make a profession of stealing. They attack and rob (those who do not beware of them).

5. Those who infest a country, a village, or a house, or disturb a sacrificial act, cut-purses, and

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other persons of this sort have to be considered as concealed rogues also.

* 6. Blameless persons with whom the stolen goods are not found must not be chastised as robbers by the king; but let him quickly punish those robbers as guilty of theft with whom the stolen goods have been found.

* 7. Those (rogues) who ravage in their own country, and those who disturb sacrificial acts, he shall strip of their entire wealth and rebuke them severely.

* 8. Those on whom the stolen goods have not been seized he must examine, when they have been arrested from suspicion. Their fear having been excited, they will give evidence, through anxiety, in accordance with the facts of the case.

* 9. 9 Questions shall be proposed to them antithetically with regard to place, time, region, their caste, their name, their dwelling, and their occupation, in case they happen to be workmen.

* 10. 10 When the face changes colour or the voice falters, or the features look suspicious, when they do not give evidence in public, when they make impossible statements as to place and time, when there exists a doubt as to their place of residence,

* 11. When they indulge in expense for bad purposes, when they have been previously convicted of larceny, when they keep bad company, or when documents speak against them, (by all such circumstances)

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they may be discovered (to be thieves), not by the possession of the stolen goods alone.

* 12. 12 When a ruffian or robber becomes suspected, and (the judge) has found out circumstantial evidence (which speaks against him), he shall be caused to make an oath.

* 13. 13 Those who give food to thieves, as well as those who supply them with fire or water, or who give shelter, or show the way to them, or make their defence,

* 14. Or who buy their goods, or receive (their goods), are held to be equally punishable as they, and so are those who conceal them.

15. 15 Those who in a principality are the governors of that principality, and the neighbours called in (to watch over the safety of life and property) are (reckoned as) equal to thieves, when they stand neutral during the attack (of robbers).

* 16. 16 He on whose ground a robbery has been committed, must trace the thieves to the best of his power, or else he must make good what has been stolen, unless the footmarks can be traced from that ground (into another man's ground).

17. 17 When the footmarks, after leaving that ground, are lost and cannot be traced any further, the neighbours, inspectors of the road, and governors of that region shall be made responsible for the loss.

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18. When a house has been plundered, the king shall cause the thief-catchers, the guards, and the inhabitants of that kingdom to make good the loss, when the thief is not caught.

19. 19 Or, if he is a wicked man and there exists a doubt as to (whether) the robbery (was actually committed or not), the person (alleged to have been) robbed shall be caused to make an oath regarding the robbery, to clear himself (from suspicion).

20. When another person than the thief has been accused of robbery and has been declared thief, because he is unable to prove his innocence, he shall be paid twice as much (as has been stolen), after the (real) thief has been detected.

21. When a man has obtained property stolen by a thief, he must restore it in its pristine shape; if it be no longer in existence, he must make good its value, and must be made to pay a fine to the same amount.

* 22. 22 For stealing wood, cane, grass and the like, (utensils) made of clay, bamboo, utensils made of bamboo, rattan, bone, leather,

* 23. Vegetables, green roots, grass or flowers, cow-milk, molasses, salt, or oil,

* 24. Cooked food (and other) prepared food, spirituous liquor, flesh, and every sort of objects of small value—(for stealing any of these) a fine five times the value (of the article stolen should be paid).

* 25. 25 (For stealing) any articles sold by weight or measure or tale, the fine shall be eight times their amount, in case they are very valuable.

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26. 26 Corporal punishment (or death) shall be inflicted on him who steals more than ten Kumbhas of grain; where the amount is less, he shall be made to pay eleven times as much. Thus Manu has declared.

* 27. 27 (For stealing) more than a hundred (Palas’ worth) of gold, silver, or other (precious metals), or the finest clothes, or very precious gems, corporal punishment (or death shall be inflicted).

28. He who steals a man shall have to pay the highest fine; he who steals a woman (shall be stripped) of his entire wealth; and he who steals a maiden (shall suffer) corporal punishment.

* 29. 29 On him who forcibly seizes large domestic animals, the highest fine shall be inflicted; the middlemost amercement on him who takes cattle of middle size; and the smallest fine on him who steals small cattle.

30. 30 The first (or lowest) fine to be inflicted on a guilty person shall amount to neither more nor less than twenty-four (Panas). The middlemost fine shall consist of not more than four hundred, and not less than two hundred (Panas).

31. The highest fine should be known to consist of not more than a thousand, and not less than five hundred (Panas). This is the threefold gradation of punishment, which has been proposed by the Self-Existent for robberies.

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* 32. 32 (When the offence has been committed) for the first time, cut-purses shall have their (little) finger and thumb cut off. (When it has been committed) for the second time, the first fine shall be levied on them.

* 33. 33 For (stealing) cows belonging to a Brahman, for piercing (the nostrils of) a barren cow, and for stealing a female slave, (the thief) shall in every case lose half his feet.

34. 34 With whatever limb a thief acts among men, that very (limb) shall be taken from him, this is a law enacted by Manu.

35. Let him inflict a specially heavy punishment on a specially criminal thief, or (a lighter one) on one whose offence is less heavy. But let him not (punish an habitual thief) in the same way as for the first offence.

36. 36 Manu, the son of the Self-Existent, has declared ten places of punishment, which should be (selected) in (punishing members of the) three (lower) castes; a Brahman should remain uninjured always.

37. (Those places are) the privy parts, the belly, the tongue, the two hands, and, fifthly, the two feet; as well as the eye, the nose, the two ears, the property, and the body.

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38. 38 After carefully considering the (nature of the) offence, the place and time, and after examining the ability (of the offender), and the motive (by which he was actuated), he shall inflict these punishments.

39. 39 Neither for the purpose of gaining a friend (in him), nor for the acquisition of large wealth, must a wicked criminal be suffered to go free by the king. Thus Manu has declared.

40. 40 By pardoning an offender, a king commits the same offence as by punishing an innocent man. Religious merit accrues to him from punishing (the wicked).

41. 41 Let him not on any account kill a Brahman, though convicted of all possible crimes. He may at pleasure cause him to be banished, thus has the law been settled.

42. 42 Let the king take his entire wealth from him or leave him a fourth part of it (only he must not take his life), remembering the law promulgated by the Creator. This is just.

43. 43 For four offences of a Brahman, branding him is ordained (as punishment): for violating the bed of a Guru, for drinking spirituous liquor, for theft, and for hurting another Brahman.

* 44. 44 For violating the bed of a Guru, (the brand of) a female part should be made; for drinking

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spirituous liquor, (the brand of) a liquor sign is ordained; for theft, he shall make (the brand of) a dog's foot (on his forehead).

45. The slayer of a Brahman shall have (the brand of) a headless man stamped on his forehead, and it is forbidden to speak to him. This is a law enacted by Manu.

46. 46 A thief must approach the king with flying hair, running, and proclaiming his theft (with the words): 'Thus have I acted. Chastise me.'

47. By so doing he is cleared from guilt, because he has confessed his deed; the king, thereupon, shall touch him (with a club), or dismiss him, if he is innocent.

48. 48 Those men who have received a punishment from the king for an offence committed by them, proceed to heaven, free from sin, as (if they were) virtuous men who had acted well.

49. 49 Whether he be punished or released, the thief is freed from his crime; if, however, the king does not punish him, the crime committed by the thief falls on (the king) himself.

50. Self-possessed men are corrected by their Guru; wicked men are corrected (or punished) by the king; but those who have sinned in secret are corrected by Yama, the son of Vivasvat.

51. 51 The crime of a Sûdra in theft is eightfold (that of a man of the lowest caste) of a Vaisya, sixteenfold; and of a Kshatriya, thirty-twofold.

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52. 52 Of a Brahman, sixty-fourfold; thus the son of the Self-Existent has declared. Knowledge makes a difference also. For knowing persons, (the punishment) is specially severe.

* 53. 53 56 Punishment is pronounced to be twofold: corporal punishment and fines. Corporal punishment is again declared to be of ten sorts; fines are (also) of more than one kind.

* 54. 54 Fines begin with a Kâkanî, and the highest amount of a fine is one's entire property. Corporal punishment begins with confinement and ends with capital punishment.

* 55. 'Fines beginning with a Kâkanî' are declared to amount to no less than one Mâsha. Those are called 'fines amounting to no less than a Mâsha' which amount to one Kârshâpana at most.

* 56. 'Fines beginning with no less than a Kârshâpana' are those amounting to no less than four Kârshâpanas; or which begin with two, and end with eight (Kârshâpanas); or which begin with three, and end with twelve (Kârshâpanas).

* 57. 57 A Kârshâpana is a silver coin in the southern country; in the east, it is an equivalent for (a certain number of) Panas, and is equal to twenty Panas.

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* 58. A Mâsha should be known to be the twentieth part of a Kârshâpana. A Kâkanî is the fourth part of a Mâsha or Pala.

59. 59 By that appellation which is in general use in the region of the Punjaub, the value of a Kârshâpana is not circumscribed here.

* 60. 60 A Kârshâpana has to be taken as equal to an Andikâ; four of these are a Dhânaka; twelve of the latter are a Suvarna, which is called Dînâra otherwise.

61. Let the king practise the duties of his office, and (follow) the rule of inflicting punishment, faithful to the tenets (of the sacred law). Let him destroy accordingly, as governor, the evil-doers, after having traced them by the application of cunning stratagems and arrested them.


223:1 This section is found in the Nepalese MS. only. See Introduction. The reading of several passages is uncertain, and this circumstance, taken together with the want of a Commentary, renders my translation less reliable than could be desired.

Appendix. Theft. 1-4. Manu IX, 256-260. The technical terms have been translated in accordance with the glosses of Alarm's commentators, as given in the notes to Professor Miler's translation. In par. 4, mushyâm seems to stand for mushtyam.

224:9 'Antithetically' (vinigrahe), or 'when they have been arrested.'

224:10 10, 11. A somewhat analogous description of the signs by which a false witness may be found out, has been given previously: I, 193-196.

225:12 The term lesa has been rendered by 'circumstantial evidence,' because it seems to be synonymous with yuktilesa, I, 236.

225:13 13, 14. Manu IX, 271, 278.

225:15 Nearly identical with Manu IX, 272.

225:16 The term gokara, translated 'ground,' may denote the landed property or pasture ground of a whole village. See above, XIV, 22, 23.

225:17 See XIV, 24.

226:19 The senseless reading of the MS., dâpyaka teshâm, has been conjecturally altered into doshakartaisha.

226:22 22-24. Manu VIII, 326-329.

226:25 Manu VIII, 321.

227:26 Manu VIII, 320.

227:27 27, 28. Manu VIII, 321, 323.

227:29 Manu VIII, 325.

227:30 30, 37. The reading of these two paragraphs is quite uncertain. The rules laid down here apparently differ considerably from the analogous rules of Manu (VIII, 758) and other legislators.

228:32 Manu IX, 277.

228:33 The parallel passage of Manu (VIII, 325) shows that sthûrâyâs khedanam is the correct reading. For the three different explanations of this term, which have been proposed by the commentators of Manu, see the note to Professor Bühler's translation. The translation follows the interpretation proposed by Kullûka, Govindarâga, and Râghavânanda, which appears to be preferable to the others.

228:34 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 334.

228:36 36, 37. Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 124, 125.

229:38 Manu VIII, 126.

229:39 Manu VIII, 347.

229:40 Nearly identical with Manu IX, 249.

229:41 Manu VIII, 380.

229:42 The third Pâda of this paragraph has been conjecturally altered, as it cannot be made out in the MS.

229:43 Manu IX, 236.

229:44 44, 45. Manu IX, 237. The last Pâda in paragraph 44 cannot be made out in the MS.

230:46 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 314.

230:48 Identical with Manu VIII, 318.

230:49 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 316.

230:51 Nearly identical with Manu VIII, 337.

231:52 Manu VIII, 338.

231:53 Manu VIII, 129. See too, above, paragraphs 36, 37.

231:54 Kâkanî or Kâkinî is the name of a small coin. See par. 58.

231:56 53-56. This passage is quoted, in the Smritikandrikâ, with several different readings. One of them, in par. 55, deserves special notice. For mâshâvarah smatah (read smritah), the Smritik. reads mâshaparah smritah, 'are declared to amount to no more than one Mâsha.' This is probably the correct reading.

231:57 According to Manu (VIII, 136), the Kârshâpana is a copper coin. The reading of the second half of this paragraph is quite uncertain.

232:59 The term iha, 'here,' may be either referred to the place of residence of the author of the Nârada-smriti, or it may mean 'in this work.'

232:60 An Andikâ is elsewhere reckoned at four Yavas. In the Vîramitrodaya and other works, this text is attributed to Brihaspati. The coin called Dînâra is the Roman denarius.

Next: I. Judicial Procedure