Dharma And The Law: Pre-Independence Period

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Dharma and the Law

Dharma: Concept and Meaning

Dharma was known as moral laws, customs, and duties or in general we can say what is just or right. This term is generally derived from the root dhri means to sustain, uphold. The Mahabharata describes it as being obtained for the advancement and growth of all creatures ‘for restricting creatures from injuring one another’ and to uphold all creatures. According to S.N. Dhyani, the dharma has been the regulator of all human activities whether social or individual, moral or metaphysical, rational or mystical, mundane or spiritual. Dharma sets a guiding standard for realising Artha and Kama. This has proved to be a guiding factor for realising righteousness and justice.

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Rani Kishori (1898) they came to the conclusion “All those old text-books and commentaries are apt to mingle religious and moral considerations, not being positive laws, with rules intended for positive laws."
There were times in which although the British did not want to interfere with the religious beliefs but concern that was expressed over and again in law reports they, finally, decided “the courts are to enforce only rules of positive law and not religious or moral
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Dharma includes religious, moral, social and legal activities of mankind. It is a much wider connotation. On the other hand, law is basically such obligations which are created by the sovereign or the state. Although sadachar cannot be considered similar to the law but it yet resembles the modern law and legal dynamics. The modern concept of Indian law supposes that a good law always looks up to the demands of justice or morality or man’s notion of “what ought to be”, although the morality is a dynamic concept. The modern conception of Indian Law is based on the reasonableness of Article 19

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