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


1. 1 This (aggregate of rules concerning) lawsuits instituted by litigants has been briefly declared; I will declare (next the law concerning) Miscellaneous Causes instituted by the king (in person).

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2. 2 In the case of a conflict between two Smritis (texts of law), equity should be resorted to; when the law-books are inapplicable, that course should be followed which is indicated by a consideration of the circumstances of the case.

3. 3 (However) the first rank (among legislators) belongs to Manu, because he has embodied the essence of the Veda in his work; that Smriti (or text of law) which is opposed to the tenor of the laws of Manu is not approved.

4. 4 When he has discovered a man to be an offender, (the king) should inflict (one of the various sorts of punishment) on him, (gentle) admonition, (harsh) reproof or corporal chastisement, or one of the four gradations of fines.

5. (Let him inflict) a (gentle) admonition, when the offence is very light; (harsh) reproof, for a crime in the first degree; a fine, for a crime in the (second or) middlemost degree; and arrest, in the case of high-treason.

6. Banishment also may be resorted to by (a king) desirous of promoting his own welfare in order to meet opposition, and all (the various) sorts (of punishment) should be united in the case of one who has committed a mortal sin.

7. (The king) should punish elders, domestic priests, and persons commanding respect, with (gentle) admonition only; other litigants he should amerce in a fine, when they are found to be guilty;

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and on the perpetrators of a heavy crime he should inflict corporal punishment.

8. 8 (Gentle) admonition and (harsh) reproof are declared to be the privilege of the Brahman (appointed as chief judge); but both fines and corporal punishment may be inflicted by the king only.

9. 9 Both hands, both feet, the male organ, the eye, the tongue, both ears, the nose, the neck, one half of the feet, the thumb and index, the forehead, the lips, the hindpart, and the hips:

10. These fourteen places of punishment have been indicated. For a Brahman, branding him on the forehead is ordained as the only kind of punishment.

11. 11 A Brahman, though a mortal sinner, shall not suffer capital punishment; the king shall banish him, and cause him to be branded and shaved.

12. 12 That man who deserves capital punishment shall be compelled to pay one hundred Suvarnas; one deserving to have a limb cut off, half as much; and one deserving to have the thumb and index (cut off), half of that.

13. 13 The eighteen titles of law have been explained, together with the particulars of plaint and answer. Learn now (the law regarding) the relative validity of transactions.

14. That transaction which has been prior in time (to another) shall be upheld. If it is departed from, that is (called) an alteration of a transaction.

15. If a creditor or debtor revokes a previous

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agreement and makes another contract of the same description, (in which a) greater or less (amount is stated), it is termed an alteration of a transaction.

16. When (a debtor) having received a loan at the rate of two per cent. (in the month) promises to pay five per cent., that subsequent agreement is valid.

17. Between two successive transactions, the first is (rendered) void (by the second); a subsequent agreement prevails over the one preceding it in time.

18. When a man first makes a deposit and converts it into a pledge afterwards, after receiving money (for it), or sells it, the second transaction prevails over the first.

[19. 19 Forbidden practices are found among the Southerners in the present day, (such as) matches with a maternal uncle's daughter, in spite of the prohibited degree of relationship on the mother's side (causing such unions to be illegal).

20. The highly reprehensible custom of a brother living with his deceased brother's wife, and the delivery of a marriageable damsel to a family is found in other countries.

21. What is more, matches with a mother occur among the Pârasîkas. The inhabitants of some countries do not allow the presentation of fresh gifts (of food) at a Srâddha offering to those Brahmans who have been fed at a Srâddha held on the eleventh

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day (after the decease of a person) or at some other Srâddha.

22. Others, after lending grain, take twice as much back in the autumn season and occupy the embanked land, after having received twice the amount lent,

23. Though the principal has been repaid. This is reprehensible also. Such forbidden practices (the king) should check (when they are resorted to) through folly.

24. Such customs as are not opposed to the laws of particular countries and castes or other (corporations), every king should establish in accordance with the sacred law, after consulting the law-books.]

25. 25 Thus let the king every day examine, in common with learned Brahmans, both the suits proffered by litigants and those instituted by the king (himself).

26. 26 When the safety of many may be effected by destroying a single offender, his, execution is productive of religious merit (even).


386:1 XXVII, 1. Vîram. p. 722; Ratn. p. 621.

387:2 Vîram. p. 119.

387:3 Col. Dig. V, 5, 333, vedârthopanibaddhatvât prâdhânyam tu manoh smritam | manvarthaviparîtâ yâ na sâ smritih prasasyate ||

387:4 4-7. Ratn. p. 629.

388:8 Ratn. p. 630.

388:9 9, 10. Ratn. p. 631.

388:11 Ratn. p. 634.

388:12 Ratn. p. 656.

388:13 13-18. Ratn. pp. 618-620.

389:19 19-24. These texts will be published elsewhere. They have been taken from the Samskâra Kânda of the Smritikandrikâ, where they are quoted from an uncertain author. 20 has been printed, as a text of Brihaspati, in Professor Baler's Uggvalâ, p. 101. The term 'Pârasîkas' denotes the Persians, or perhaps the Parsis of India.

390:25 Ratn. p. 618.

390:26 Smritik. ekasmin yatra nidhanam prâpite dushtakârini | bahûnâm bhavati kshemas tasya punyaprado vadhah ||

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