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Hindu Books > Hindu Scriptures > The Institutes Of Vishnu > Witnesses


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1. Now follow (the laws regarding) witnesses.

2. The king cannot be (made a witness); nor a learned Br‚hmana; nor an ascetic; nor a gamester; nor a thief; nor a person not his own master; nor a woman; nor a child; nor a perpetrator of the acts called s‚hasa[1] (violence); nor one over-aged (or more than eighty years old); nor one intoxicated or insane; nor a man of bad fame; nor an outcast;

[VIII. 2, 3, 5. M. VIII, 64-67; Y. II, 70, 71.--4, 5. Gaut. XIII, 5.--6. M. VIII, 72; Y. II, 72; Gaut. XIII, 9.--8. M. VIII, 62, 63; Y. II, 68, 69; ¬past. II, 11, 29, 7; Gaut. XIII, 2.--9. M. VIII, 77; Y. II, 72.--10, 11. Y. II, 17.--14. M. VIII, 81; ¬past. II, 11, 29, 10; Gaut. XIII, 7.--15, 16. M. VIII, 104-106; Y. II, 83.--15. Gaut. XIII, 24.--18. M. VIII, 25, 26; Y. II, 13-15.--19. M-VIII, 87; Y. II. 73; ¬past. II, 11, 29, 7; Gaut. XIII, 12.--20-23. M. VIII, 88.--24-26. M. XIII, 89, 90; Y. II, 73-75.--37. M. VIII, 107; Y. II, 77; Gaut. XIII, 6.--38. Y. II, 79.--39. M. VIII, 73; Y. II, 78.--40. M. VIII, 117.

2. 1 There are three kinds of s‚hasa. (Nand.) They are, in the enumeration of N‚rada, 1. spoiling fruits or the like; 2. injuring more valuable, articles; 3. offences directed against the life of a human being, and approaching another man's wife. See N‚rada XIV, 4-6.]

nor one tormented by hunger or thirst; nor one oppressed by a (sudden) calamity (such as the death of his father or the like), or wholly absorbed in evil passions;

3. Nor an enemy or a friend; nor one interested in the subject matter; nor one who does forbidden acts; nor one formerly perjured; nor an attendant;

4. Nor one who, without having been appointed, comes and offers his evidence;

5. Nor can one man alone be made a witness.

6. In cases of theft, of violence, of abuse and assault, and of adultery the competence of witnesses must not be examined too strictly.

7. Now (those who are fit to be) witnesses (shall he enumerated):

8. Descendants of a noble race, who are virtuous and wealthy, sacrificers, zealous in the practice of religious austerities, having male issue, well versed in the holy law, studious, veracious, acquainted with the three Vedas, and aged (shall be witnesses).

9. If he is endowed with the qualities just mentioned, one man alone can also be made a witness.

10. In a dispute between two litigants, the witnesses of that party have to be examined from which the plaint has proceeded.

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