Law In Early India

1584 Words7 Pages
In making an exhaustive study of the history and precepts of law in Early India, it is of primary importance to ascertain the theory of law that was prevalent and could be adopted in the process of study. A student of legal history is, however faced with many alternatives about defining "Law', some in strictly western sense, and other ways as prevalent in India or in other countries. By laws, we mean today the rules imposed by the supreme political authority of a country and more specifically as laid in the Constitution of a country or designed by the legislature and accepted as statute. In the western conception and more so in the Austinian sense, law is presumed to have originated and been promulgated under the auspices of the supreme political…show more content…
It was a more a comprehensive concept than being merely a set of legal injunctions to be implemented verbatim. Early Jurisprudence seems to have a deeper connect with the concept of dharma which was largely the code of ethical behavior or code of righteousness pertaining to various situations one could face in life.Law and Dharma occurred as simultaneous terms but were Dharma however , was not pure law though laws were supposed to uphold the aims of dharma that is to achieve justice.And as Mm P.V. Kane had said that there is no term in English which corresponds to the meaning of dharma. Dharma can only be explained as a cosmic theory of cardinal importance that prescribed the norms of social and political behavior, according to the four fold aims of Hindu living. It was predominantly conceived by the Brahmana intellectual elite who reigned supreme in a hierarchic society fortified by attaching divine…show more content…
In the codes of Manu and Yajnavalkya, the concept of law evolved to a new stage where the monarch was seen as the upholder or fountain head of justice. The king's relation to law was considered primary, where the king was supposed to protect the subjects to maintain the status quo of varnashrama, punish the wicked and dispense justice to those wronged. Customary laws may have existed separately and did play an important role. It is only in the works of later smrti writers that law emerges in its procedural form and a systematic attempt is made to distinguish various aspects of law and judicial procedure. In other words, Dharma was the composite of social existence that formed the basis of the emergence of legal precepts in India. Three unique features of Hindu concept of law could be probably seen as.- 1. Law existed in some form or the other (as rta or cosmic law, truth, morality or dharma) from the earliest times, independent of the political authority. There is a systematic, evolution of these legal precepts from rudiments to somewhat refined jurisprudence. 2. Law had both the legal and metaphysical aspects which came to be accepted by society at large even though innate with caste distinctions or without egalitarian notions. 3. The Hindu theory did not recognize the human role in the creation of law. Law was deemed to be perfect, divine and

More about Law In Early India

Open Document