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

p. 233



1, 2. 1 He is called a (Prâdvivâka or) chief judge who—fully acquainted with the eighteen titles (of law) and with the eight thousand subdivisions thereof, skilled in logic and other branches of science, and thoroughly versed in revealed and traditional lore—investigates the law relative to the case in hand by putting questions (prât) and passing a decision (vivekayati) according to what was heard or understood by him.

3. 3 Let not a king actuated by arrogance or avarice promote litigation among persons not engaged in a controversy.

4. 4 The king shall examine judicial quarrels between two litigant parties in a proper way, acting on principles of equity and discarding both love and hatred.

5. 5 (In disputes) among merchants, artizans, or the like persons, and in (disputes concerning) persons subsisting by agriculture or as dyers, it is impossible for outsiders to pass a sentence; and the passing of

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the sentence must, therefore, be entrusted to persons acquainted with such matters (in a cause of this sort).

6. 6 A lawsuit cannot be instituted mutually between a teacher and his pupil, or between father and son, or man and wife, or master and servant.

7. 7 A plaint is declared (inadmissible) likewise by the learned in law, when it has been raised by one against many, or by women, or by menials.

8. 8 He shall be admitted as plaintiff whose grievance is the greater, or whose affair is the more important of the two, and not he who was the first to go to law.

9. 9 Half of the (ordinary) punishment is declared for him who either confesses his deed, after having committed an illicit act of violence, or says of his own accord, 'It is true.'

10. 10 When (an assessor of the court) has recognised the royal mind to swerve from the path of duty, he must not pronounce an opinion which is agreeable to the king. (It is only by declaring what is just that) he becomes free from sin.

11. 11 Transgression of (the king's) commands, killing a female, mixture of castes, illicit intercourse with another man's wife, robbery, pregnancy caused by another man than the husband,

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12. Abuse, insulting language, assault, and procuring abortion, are the ten (principal) crimes.

13. 13 He who arrests (his adversary) by illegal means, such as by stopping his speech (through gagging the mouth), or by preventing him from breathing, and the like practices, is liable to punishment; but one who breaks (such arrest) is not (punishable).

14. 14 When a lawsuit has been judged without any previous examination of witnesses (or other evidence), or when it has been decided in an improper manner, or when it has been judged by unauthorized persons, the trial has to be renewed.

15. 15 Whatever property, whether movable or immovable, has been kept (under the care of the judge, after having become the subject of a dispute), must be handed over afterwards to the victorious party together with the interest (accruing on it) and with a document (attesting his victory).


233:1 I, 1, 2. Smritik. ashtâdasapadâbhigñas tadbhedâshtasahasravit | ânvîkshikyâdikusalah srutismritiparâyanah || vivâdasamsritam dharmam prikkhati prât srutam matam | vivekayati yas tasmât prâdvivâkas tu sa smritah ||

233:3 Vîram. p. 48.

233:4 Vy. K. râgâ dharmasahâyas tu dvayor vivadamânayoh samyak kâryâny aveksheta râgadveshavivargitah ||

233:5 Vy. K.; May. p. 6 ('Vyâsa').

234:6 Vy. K; Vîram. p. 46 ('Brihaspati').

234:7 Vy. K.; Vîram. p. 47.

234:8 Vîram. p. 60.

234:9 Smritik. ayuktam sâhasam kritvâ pratyâpattim vraget tu yah | brûyât svayam vâ sad iti tasya kârthadamah smritah ||

234:10 Vîram. p. 15. 'He must not pronounce an opinion which is agreeable to the king,' i.e. he must not endeavour to please him by what he declares, but must deliver an equitable opinion. By acting thus, he becomes free from sin. Vîram.

234:11 11, 12. Vîram. p. 50.

235:13 May. p. 2. See above, pp. 12-19. This text shows very clearly what is meant by the technical term 'arrest' (âsedha).

235:14 Vy. K. asâkshikam tu yad drishtam vimârgena ka tîritam | asammatamatair drishtam punardarsanam arhati ||

235:15 Smritik. madhye yat sthâpitam dravyam kalam vâ yadi vâ sthiram | paskât tat sodayam dâpyam gayine pattrasamyutam ||, 1-8. Vîram. pp. 65, 66.

Next: II. The Plaint