Society and Legal System in Ancient India

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The Indian Constitution sought to create a State governed by the rule of law that was more equal and just among individuals and groups than that which existed under the traditional authorities of ancient India. The Constitution of India aims to eliminate the humiliation suffered by people under the traditional social system of caste and patriarchy, thus creating new foundations for the realization of human dignity. The achievement of formal and substantive equality that takes place under the rule of law in contemporary Indian society can facilitate a more creative flourishing of a Dharma life or righteous behavior in oneself and in society (Giri 2002). We also saw the courts (Kula, Shrein and Gana) for various crimes and the King`s court for the most obscene and vulgar crimes, and how the punishment is also different and the judges also differ from the seriousness of the crimes, and we also saw how to integrate witnesses and develop due process in India. With three important document criteria for a court to complete its trial, we also see how Kautilya develops the doctrine we developed in the twentieth century, that is, the innocent until proven otherwise to protect a defendant from society. This note on the development of jurisprudence talks about how law and legal institution developed in early India, and it is not a one-day work to develop this kind of advanced system, in this article we first understand what are the things that make Hindu law, what Smritis is, the meaning of the Vedas, In the Hindu religion, what are the rules of Manu, Kautaliya, Gautama to develop jurisprudence and how, with their collective effort, we have seen the oldest and still relevant legal system in the world. One of the first texts to talk about how to resolve the conflict is Apastamba (third century BC). Chr.), speaking of the essential character of a judge, he says: “Men who are older and wise and who have a thorough knowledge of Shastra, who possessed an unshakable faith in their duties,” should follow this noble profession of justice. [2] In ancient India; We have 6 courts with different jurisdictions. These are Kula (family council), Shreni (council of commerce or profession), Gana (village assembly), Adhikrita (court appointed by the king), Sasita (royal court) and Nripa (the king). Kaula helps resolve family disputes, with the help of elderly family members, in Shreni, to resolve the issue of the commercial dispute, we have the mechanism to get the person who knows the profession, who agrees to be impartial and decide the issue. Gana is the trend we follow even in the 21st century, it is like a gram of panchayat that solves the village quarrel.

The Adhikrita is authorized by the ruler, these courts eventually resolve the Pratishtha, Apartishtitha and Mudrita disputes. [3] If we contrast with an old idea of the state how to govern a state, we see two ways of acting. In order to settle disputes between members of different guilders or associations of merchants or craftsmen (sreni), different companies, commercial invoices, guilds, they were allowed to exercise effective jurisdiction over their members. These courts, composed of a president and three or five co-adjusters, were allowed to adjudicate their civil cases on a regular basis like other courts. Undoubtedly, it was possible to appeal from the guild court to the local court, then to the royal judges and finally to the king, but such a situation rarely occurs. Due to the establishment of a common family system, family courts have also been established, “Puga” assemblies, composed of groups of families in the same village, adjudicate civil disputes between family members. Grounds for Dispute: These eighteen “titles” or “causes of dispute” indicated by Manu set out the following grounds for which litigation may be brought: (1) non-payment of debts; (2) deposits; 3) sale without ownership; (4) partnership; (5) non-delivery of gifts; (6) non-payment of wages; (7) Breach of Contract; (8) cancellation of a sale or purchase; 9. disputes between owners and shepherds; (10) the Border Disputes Act; (11) verbal aggression; (12) physical assault; (13) theft; (14) violence; (15) sexual crimes against women; (16) Husband and Wife Act; 17. Division of the estate; and (18) gambling. The Manusmṛti or “Laws of Manu”, Sanskrit Manusmṛti मनुस्मृति; also known as Mānava-dharmaśāstra मानवधर्मशास्त्र, is the most important and oldest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of Hinduism, written by the ancient sage Manu prescribes ten essential rules for the observance of the Dharma: patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self-control (dama), honesty (asteya), holiness (shauch), control of the senses (indraiya-nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (Krodha). Manu continues: “Non-violence, truth, non-desire, purity of body and mind, control of the senses are the essence of the Dharma.” Therefore, the Dharmic laws govern not only the individual, but everyone in society. Sir William Jones assigned Manusmriti to a period of 1250 BC.

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel attributed it in 1000 BC. J.-C. In its current form, Manusmriti is generally dated to the 5th century BC. Some scholars have estimated somewhere between 200 and 200 AD. The Manu smṛti shows the obvious influence of the earlier Dharma Sutras and Arthashastras. In particular, the Manusmriti were the first to adopt the term vyavaharapadas. These eighteen “titles of law” or “grounds of dispute” represent more than a fifth of the work and deal mainly with questions of the king, the state and judicial proceedings. Dharma text courses were notable because they did not depend on the authority of any particular Vedic school and became the starting point for an independent tradition that emphasized the Dharma itself rather than its Vedic origins. The Manusmṛti has recognized bodily and other bodily harm, as well as property crimes such as theft and robbery (Pillai, 1983; Griffith, 1971; Thapar, 1990; Raghavan, 2002). Thus, the concept of Dharma dominated Indian civilization; From the Vedic period to the Muslim invasion of the king to his last servant, everyone was bound by the Dharma.