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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 4, p. 126.


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CHAPTER V
LEGISLATION AND JUSTICE
Law
Indigenous THE indigenous law of India is persona], and divisible with
lawn- reference to the two main classes of the population, Hindu
Hindu,
Muham- and Muhammadan. Both systems claim divine origin through
madan, revelation and are inextricably interwoven with religion, and
and cus-
toma ry. each exists in combination with a law based on custom. The
Institutes, which Manu declared to be a direct emanation from
the deity, remain to this day the foundation of Hindu juris-
prudence, although the works of commentators, and the
additions necessitated by time and progress, have led to many
changes and the formation of various schools. By this ancient
code the whole body of substantive law is dealt with under the
heads of debt, deposit, sale without ownership, partnership,
resumption of gifts, the non-payment of wages, breach of con-
tract, rescission of sale and purchase, relations between husband
and wife and master and servant, the settlement of boundaries,
inheritance, assault, defamation, theft, robbery, adultery, and
gaming. The interpretation of the sacred writings constituting
it was from the first entrusted exclusively to Brahmans, to
whom a position of extraordinary sanctity was assigned; and
thus the chief part in the work of Hindu legislation was taken
by the Brahmanical order. It must, however, be borne in mind
that the British courts have done a great deal towards making
these Hindu texts generally binding in matters of marriage,
inheritance, and the like.
In like manner the jurisprudence of Islam is based on the
Koran. The Koranic law, supplemented where necessary by
the Suimnat and Hadis, or Sayings and Doings of the Prophet,
as well as by the decisions of his successors and the writings of
the Muftis and Maulvis, who formed a distinct profession and
arrogated to themselves its exposition. is most fully developed
in the departments of family relations and inheritance, in
certain branches of the law of contract. and in the doctrine of
pious or charitable endowment, called wakf.



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