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The Minor Law Books (SBE33), by Julius Jolly, [1889], at

2. Valid and Invalid Transactions.

26. The sages declare that the transactions of a woman have no validity, especially the gift, hypothecation, or sale of a house or field.

27. Such transactions are valid when they are sanctioned by the husband; or, on failure of the husband, by the son; or, on failure of husband and son, by the king.

* 28. 28 What has been given to a wife by her loving

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husband, that she may spend or give away as she likes after his death even, excepting immovables.

* 29. In the same way the transactions of a slave are declared invalid, unless they have been sanctioned by his master. A slave is not his own master.

* 30. 30 If a son has transacted any business without authorization from his father, it is also declared an invalid transaction. A slave and a son are equal in that respect.

* 31. 31 A youth who, though independent, has not yet arrived at years of discretion, is not capable of contracting valid debts. (Real) independence belongs to the eldest son (only); (the right of) seniority is based on both capacity and age.

* 32. 32 Three persons are independent in this world: a king, a spiritual teacher, and in all castes successively a householder in his own household.

* 33. 33 All subjects are dependent; the ruler of the country is independent; a student is pronounced to be dependent; independence belongs to the teacher.

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* 34. 34 Wives, sons, slaves and other attendants are dependent. The head of the family, to whom the property has descended by right of inheritance, is independent with regard to it.

* 35. 35 A child is comparable to an embryo up to his eighth year. A youth, who has not yet reached the age of sixteen, is called Poganda.

* 36. 36 Afterwards he is no longer a minor and independent, in case his parents are dead. While they are alive he can never acquire independence, even though he may have reached a mature age.

* 37. Of the two (parents), the father has the greater authority, because the seed is superior (to the womb); on failure of the begetter, the mother; on failure of the mother, the eldest son.

* 38. 38 All these persons are independent at all times of those who depend on others. They have

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authority in regard to coercion the relinquishment and the sale (of property).

* 39. 39 If a boy or one who possesses no independence transacts anything, it is declared an invalid transaction by persons acquainted with the law.

* 40. 40 That also which an independent person does, who has lost the control over his actions, is declared an invalid transaction, on account of his want of (real) independence.

* 41. Those are declared to have lost the control over their actions who are actuated by love or anger, or tormented (by an illness), or oppressed by fear or misfortune, or biassed by friendship or hatred.

42. 42 That is declared a valid transaction which is done by the senior or head of a family and by one who has not lost the control over his actions. That is not valid which has been transacted by one who does not enjoy independence.


49:28 'Immovables,' such as houses, fields, and the like. A. This rule is frequently quoted in the mediaeval and modern compilations on the law of inheritance, as indicating the extent of a woman's power over her property.

50:30 A son who has not come to a partition of the family estate with his father, continues dependent on him till the father dies. A.

50:31 This rule constitutes an exception to the general independence of the son after the death of his father. During the period of his minority, he is unable to contract a valid debt. A. The rule that seniority is based both on capacity and age, is certainly remarkable. It is, however, in accordance with the view enounced further on (XIII, 5) by Nârada, that the management of the family property may be undertaken by the youngest brother even, if capable, because the prosperity of a family depends on ability.

50:32 The king is independent of his subjects. A teacher is independent of his pupils. The head of a household is independent of his family and attendants. A.

50:33 33, 34. These two paragraphs are intended to show the respective dependence and independence of wives, sons, householders, &c. A.

51:34 Colebrooke (Dig. II, 4, 15) has translated a different reading of paragraph 34, thus, 'A householder is not uncontrolled in regard to what has descended from an ancestor.' See, as to the distinction between inherited and self-acquired wealth, Yâgñavalkya II, 121.

51:35 'Comparable to an embryo' is one who is not yet allowed to perform purificatory and other rites. From his eighth year onwards a boy may perform purificatory ceremonies and commence sacred study. He is called Poganda (a young man), because he is not yet capable of transacting legal business. A. This rule of Nârada has become the foundation of the modern law regarding the duration of minority. A controversy has recently arisen as to whether minority terminates at the end or at the beginning of the sixteenth year. Most, if not all, Indian writers seem to agree in taking the latter view. A. seems to be of the same opinion, though he does not express himself very clearly.

51:36 He remains dependent during the lifetime of his parents, i.e. if he continues to live in union of interests with them. A.

51:38 'Coercion,' i.e. punishment or beating; 'relinquishment,' i.e. renouncing. A.

52:39 Both what a minor does, and the transactions of one grown up but dependent on others, as e.g. of a slave, are declared invalid by those conversant with law. A.

52:40 'One who has lost the control over his actions,' i.e. one whose natural disposition has been perverted, owing to possession by a demon, or to his addiction to gambling or other vicious propensities. A.

52:42 Here ends the second section of the law of debt, which treats of valid and invalid transactions. A.

Next: 3. Property