The Minor Law Books (SBE33), by Julius Jolly, , at sacred-texts.com
* 1. 1 When property kept as a deposit, or the property of a stranger lost (by him) and found (by another man), or stolen articles, are sold in secret, it has to be considered as a 'Sale Effected by Another than the Rightful Owner.'
* 2. 2 When a chattel, which had been sold by another person than the owner, has been recovered
by the owner, he may keep it. No blame attaches to a sale effected in public, but a clandestine sale is viewed in the same light as theft according to law.
* 3. 3 If a man buys from a slave who has not been authorized (to sell) by his master, or from a rogue, or in secret, or at a very low price, or at an improper time, he is as guilty as the seller.
* 4. 4 The purchaser must not make a secret of the way in which he came by a chattel (purchased by him). He becomes free from blame if he can point out the way in which the chattel was acquired by him. In any other case he is equally guilty with the vendor, and shall suffer the punishment of a thief.
* 5. 5 The vendor shall restore his property to the rightful owner, and shall pay to the buyer the price for which it was sold to him; besides that he shall pay a fine to the king. Such is the rule in the case
of a sale effected by another than the rightful owner.
6. 6 If any one finds a treasure, which had been deposited by a stranger, he shall take it to the king. Every treasure, found by members of any caste, belongs to the king, excepting (those treasures which have been found by) members of the Brahman caste.
7. A Brahman even, when he has found a treasure, must at once give notice to the king. If the king gives it to him he may enjoy it. If he does not give notice, he is (viewed as) a thief.
8. Of his own property also, which he had lost and found again afterwards, a man must give notice to the king. If he does so, he may keep it as his lawful property. It is not his lawful property otherwise.
144:1 VII, 1. The term 'property kept as a deposit' includes by implication a Yâkita and the other species of bailments. Vîramitrodaya, p. 374, and the other commentaries. See II. Title of Law, 14, 15.
144:2 The owner of a chattel, which has been sold by a stranger who has no right to it, may reclaim it from any one who happens to be possessed of it. Vîramitrodaya, P. 375; Vishnu V, 164-166; Manu VIII, 201, 202; Yâgñavalkya II, 168. In the Nepalese MS. the last clause runs as follows: 'The buyer who buys in secret is guilty of theft.'
145:3 'One who has not been authorized (to sell) by his master,' one who has received no special permission from him (to sell the chattel). The term 'a slave' has to be interpreted in a pregnant sense, so as to include young sons and other dependent persons. Vîramitrodaya, p. 375. Vishnu V, 166; Yâgñavalkya II, 168.
145:4 It appears from the detailed provisions of Brihaspati, Kâtyâyana, and other Smriti-writers on the subject of purchase and sale, that every purchase, in order to be legitimate, had to be concluded in open market, on a market day or hour; or that, at least, the purchaser was required to produce the vendor, when the purchase had not been made in open market. Yâgñavalkya II, 168. The Nepalese MS. inserts the following paragraph here: 'Any purchase or sale which has been effected by another than the rightful owner must be known to be invalid; this is a rule in lawsuits.' The quotations in the Vîramitrodaya and other works prove this verse to be genuine. Yâgñavalkya II, 170.
145:5 Yâgñavalkya II, 170.
146:6 6-8. Gautama X, 36-38, 43-45; Vasishtha III, 13-14; XVI, 19, 20; Manu VIII, 30-39; Vishnu V, 56-64; Yâgñavalkya II, 33-35. The position of the two last paragraphs is inverted in the Nepalese MS.