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By Ludo Rocher

The most assets for an realizing of classical Hindu legislations are the Sanskrit treatises on spiritual and felony tasks, referred to as the Dharmaśāstras. during this choice of his significant experiences within the box, Ludo Rocher offers analytical and interpretive essays on quite a lot of subject matters, from basic subject matters similar to the character of Hindu legislation and Anglo-Hindu legislation to technical concerns together with notice reports and textual content feedback. Rocher’s deep engagement with the language and worldview of the authors within the Dharmaśāstra culture yields precise and corrective contributions to the sector, that are educated by way of wisdom either one of the Indian grammatical culture and of Roman and civil law.

Davis’s creation offers an interpretative account of Rocher’s many contributions to the sector, prepared round the topics that recur in his paintings, and examines his key advances, either methodological and sizeable. Comparisons and contrasts among Rocher’s principles and people of his Indological colleagues serve to put him within the context of a scholarly culture, whereas Rocher’s primary view that the Dharmaśāstra is at first a scholarly and scholastic culture, instead of a pragmatic criminal one, is additionally explored.

This necessary assortment serves either as a precis assessment of the tips of Rocher, a number one authority within the box, and as a severe overview of the impression of those rules at the current learn of legislation and Indology.

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The qualifications, or lack of them, of the plaintiff and the written plaint are followed by equally elaborate discussions of the defendant and his plea. The third section analyzes the various types of evidence, and goes into detail on witnesses, written evidence, possession, oaths, and ordeals. The final section deals, much more briefly, with the verdict, but hardly alludes to its implementation. In most texts the rules of procedure are set forth on the occasion of the treatment of the first vivādapada, literally path or area of dispute.

In the digests there are now separate sections on vivāda, substantive law, vyavahāra, either procedure or procedure and substantive law, and nīti, administrative law. Once again, however, these legal sections are not more important nor are they in any way different from the many other sections which, together with them, make up the nibandha. The basic misunderstanding of these texts, and a total loss of historical perspective, came about during the colonial period, when the legal sections of the commentaries and digests were edited, translated into English, and used as lawbooks, whereas all other sections were left to be studied by historians of religion or totally neglected.

All Dharmaśāstras agree on the normal rate of interest, fifteen percent. If the debtor, however, undertakes a long and, by implication, dangerous voyage, the interest is raised to 120% and in case of a voyage overseas, to 200%. 32 32 Even Sternbach acknowledged that “from the point of view of law, the Indian law-system can be discussed only as static and not as dynamic law, although The Nature of Hindu Law Ù 53 A more elaborate and far-reaching attempt to show the practical use of the dharma compares the legal systems as they emerge from the Dharmaśāstras of Manu and Yājñavalkya, and concludes that they reflect two very different economic and social situations.

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