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


1. 1 The Law of Debt, beginning with the delivery of a loan and ending with its recovery, has been declared. Hear, now, the complete set of rules concerning Deposits.

2. 2 When any chattel is deposited in the house of another man, through fear of the king, robbers, or other dangers, or for the purpose of deceiving one's heirs, it is called a Nyâsa deposit.

3. 3 When a chattel enclosed in a cover and marked with a seal (is deposited) without describing its nature or quantity, and without showing it, it is termed an Aupanidhika deposit.

4. 4 Let a man make a deposit, after duly considering the place, house, master of the house, the power, means, qualities, veracity, and kindred (of the depositary).

5. 5 (A deposit) is declared to be of two sorts:

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attested, or deposited in private; it must be guarded with the same care as a son; for it would be destroyed by neglect.

6. 6 The merit of one who preserves a deposit or one who places himself under his protection, is equal to the merit of one who gives (articles made of) gold, or of base metal, or clothes.

7. 7 The sin of those who consume or spoil (by negligence) a bailed chattel is as great as (the sin) of a woman who injures her husband, or of a man who kills his son or his friend.

8. It is the best course not to accept a deposit; but to destroy it (after having received it) is disgraceful; after having taken it, a man should keep it carefully and restore it when it has been asked for even once only.

9. 9 A deposit must be returned to the very man who bailed it, in the very manner in which it was bailed; it must not be delivered to the successor of that man.

10. 10 When a deposit is destroyed, together with the goods of the depositary, by the act of fate or of the king, (the depositary) is not to blame.

11. 11 If the depositary should suffer the deposit to be destroyed by his want of care or indifference, or should refuse to restore it on being asked for it, he shall be made to pay (the value of) it with interest.

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12. 12 Should any (depositary) procure advantage for himself by an article deposited (with him), he shall be fined by the king, and compelled to pay its value together with interest.

13. 13 He who, after receiving a deposit, denies the fact, and is convicted by (the evidence of) witnesses or ordeal, shall be compelled to give up the deposit and to pay an equal amount as a fine.

14. 14 When a dispute arises with regard to a deposit privately made, the performance of an ordeal is ordained for both parties, to establish the facts of the case.

15. 15 The same set of rules applies in the case of a bailment for delivery (to a third person), a loan for use, an article delivered to an artist (such as gold delivered to a goldsmith to be worked by him into an earring), a pledge, and a person offering himself for protection.


332:1 XII, 1. Ratn. p. 83; Col. Dig. II, 1, 1.

332:2 Ratn. p. 83; Col. Dig. II, I, 6; Vîram. p. 361.

332:3 Ratn. p. 83; Col. Dig. II, 1, 7 (with several different readings).

332:4 Ratn. p. 85; Col. Dig. II, 1, 14.

332:5 5-8. Ratn. pp. 85, 86; Col. Dig. II, 1, 19.

333:6 6, 9. May. p. 115.

333:7 7, 8. Col. Dig. II, 1, 19.

333:9 Col. Dig. II, 1, 18; Viv. p. 51; Ratn. p. 87.

333:10 Ratn. p. 88; Col. Dig. II, 1, 23; Vîram. p. 362; May. p. 116.

333:11 Ratn. p. 90; Col. Dig. II, 1, 34; May. p. 116; Viv. p. 53. The commentators take bheda, 'want of care,' to mean separation of the deposit from the depositary's own property, and bestowing less care on it than on the effects of the depositary.

334:12 Ratn. p. 91; Col. Dig. II, 1, 31. The commentators observe that the use here referred to must have been made without the consent of the owner.

334:13 Ratn. p. 93; Col. Dig. II, 1, 45.

334:14 Ratn. p. 95; Vîram. p. 366. The term 'both parties' is used in order to imply that the ordeal may be performed either by the alleged depositor or depositary. Vîram.

334:15 May. p.116; Ratn. p. 96; Viv. p. 54.

14, 15. Col. Dig. II, 1, 12.

Next: XIII. Sale Without Ownership