1. Now follow (the laws regarding) witnesses.
2. The king cannot be (made a witness); nor a learned Brâhmana; 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 sâhasa (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; Âpast. II, 11, 29, 7; Gaut. XIII, 2.--9. M. VIII, 77; Y. II, 72.--10, 11. Y. II, 17.--14. M. VIII, 81; Âpast. 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; Âpast. 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 sâhasa. (Nand.) They are, in the enumeration of Nârada, 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 Nârada 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.
11. Where the claim has been refuted as not agreeing with the facts (as e. g. the sum claimed
[5. According to Nand., who argues from a passage of Nârada (5, 37), the use of the particle ka implies here, that two witnesses are also not sufficient. But the MSS. of Nârada exhibit a different reading of the passage in question, which reading is supported by the Vîramitrodaya.
8. The particle ka is used here, according to Nand., who argues from a passage of Yâgñavalkya (II, 68), in. order to include liberality among the qualities required in a witness.]
having been repaid by the debtor), there the witnesses of the defendant have to be examined as well.
12. An appointed witness having died or gone abroad, those who have heard his deposition may give evidence.
13. (The evidence of) witnesses is (of two kinds): either of what was seen, or of what was heard.
14. Witnesses are free from blame if they give true evidence.
15. Whenever the death of a member of any of the four castes (would be occasioned by true evidence, they are free from blame) if they give false evidence.
16. In order to expiate the sin thus committed, such a witness), if he belongs to a twice-born caste, must pour an oblation in the fire, consecrating it with the texts called Kûshmândî.
17. If he is a Sûdra, he must feed ten cows for one day.
IS. A false witness may be known by his altered looks, by his countenance changing colour, and by his talk wandering from the subject.
19. Let the judge summon the witnesses, at the time of sunrise, and examine them after having bound them by an oath.
20. A Brâhmana he must address thus, 'Declare.'
21. A Kshatriya he must address thus, 'Declare the truth.'
[16. Vâgasan. Samh. XX, 14-16, or Taitt. Ârany. X, 3-5. Nand. considers the term Kûshmândî to be used in a general sense here, so as to include all the other texts mentioned in an analogous passage of Manu (VIII, 106).]
22. A Vaisya he must address thus, 'Thy kine, grain, and gold (shall yield thee no fruit, if thou wert to give false evidence).'
23. A Sûdra he must address thus, 'Thou shalt have to atone for all (possible) heavy crimes (if thou wert to give false evidence).'
24. Let him exhort the witnesses (with the following speeches):
25. 'Whatever places (of torture) await (the killer of a Brâhmana and other) great criminals and (the killer of a cow and other) minor offenders, those places of abode are ordained for a witness who gives false evidence;
26. 'And the fruit of every virtuous apt he has done, from the day of his birth to his dying day, shall be lost to him.
27. 'Truth makes the sun spread his rays.
28. 'Truth makes the moon shine.
29. 'Truth makes the wind blow.
30. 'Truth makes the earth bear (all that is upon it).
31. 'Truth makes waters flow.
32. 'Truth makes the fire burn.
33. 'The atmosphere exists through truth.
34. 'So do the gods.
35. 'And so do the offerings.
36. 'If veracity and a thousand horse-sacrifices
[22, 23. Nand.'s interpretation of these two Sûtras, which has been followed above, does not agree with Kullûka's, of M. VIII, 88. But in another passage of Manu (VIII, 113), where the same terms recur, he interprets them like Nand.
36. This Sloka is also found in the Mahâbhârata I, 3095 &c., in the Mârkandeya-purâña VIII, 42, in the Hitopadesa IV, 129, and, in a somewhat modified form, in the Râmâyana II, 61, 10. See Böhtlinkg, Ind. Sprüche, 731 &c.]
are weighed against each other, (it is found that) truth ranks even higher than a thousand horse-sacrifices.
37. 'Those who, though acquainted with the facts, and appointed to give evidence, stand mute, are equally criminal with, and deserve the same punishment as, false witnesses.' (After having addressed them) thus, let. the king examine the witnesses in the order of their castes.
38. That plaintiff whose statement the witnesses declare to be true, shall win his suit; but he whose statement they declare to be wrong, shall certainly lose it.
39. If there is contradictory evidence, let the king decide by the plurality of witnesses; if equality in number, by superiority in virtue; if parity in virtue, by the evidence of the best among the twice-born.
40. Whenever a perjured witness has given false evidence in a suit, (the king) must reverse the judgment; and whatever has been done, must be considered as undone.