'Marking well all the evils (which are produced) by perjury, declare thou openly everything as (thou hast) heard or seen (it).'
Brahmanas who tend cattle, who trade, who are mechanics, actors (or singers), menial servants or usurers, the (judge) shall treat like Sudras.
In (some) cases a man who, though knowing (the facts to be) different, gives such (false evidence) from a pious motive, does not lose heaven; such (evidence) they call the speech of the gods.
Whenever the death of a Sudra, of a Vaisya, of a Kshatriya, or of a Brahmana would be (caused) by a declaration of the truth, a falsehood may be spoken; for such (falsehood) is preferable to the truth.
Such (witnesses) must offer to Sarasvati oblations of boiled rice (karu) which are sacred to the goddess of speech, (thus) performing the best penance in order to expiate the guilt of that falsehood.
Or such (a witness) may offer according to the rule, clarfied butter in the fire, reciting the Kushmanda texts, or the
Rik, sacred to Varuna, 'Untie, O Varuna, the uppermost fetter,' or the three verses addressed to the Waters.
A man who, without being ill, does not give evidence in (cases of) loans and the like within three fortnights (after the summons), shall become responsible for the whole debt and (pay) a tenth part of
the whole (as a fine to the king).
The witness to whom, within seven days after he has given evidence, happens (a misfortune through) sickness, afire, or the death of a relative, shall be made to pay the debt and a fine.
If two (parties) dispute about matters for which no witnesses are available, and the (judge) is un- able to really ascertain the truth, he may cause it to be discovered even by an oath.
Both by the great sages and the gods oaths have been taken for the purpose of (deciding doubtful) matters; and Vasishtha even swore an oath before king
(Sudas), the son of Pigavana.