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Report No. 77

3.14. Offences.-

The range of offences itself was surprisingly large. Not only were offences such as murder, rape, dacoity and the like (which may be called conventional offences) punishable, but there were provisions punishing other crimes as well. For example, not running, to the rescue of another person, in distress was an offence.1 This is a surprisingly modem provision, as it should be noted that it is only during the last twenty years or so that the question whether such an emission ought to be made an offence has been seriously debated in common law countries.

1. Kangle Kautiliya Arthasastra, (1965), Part 3, p. 230.

3.15. Punishment is prescribed for causing damage to trees in city parks, to trees providing shade, to trees bearing flowers and fruits to frees which are useful, to trees in holy places, or trees serving as boundary marks.1

Even the giving of a wrong decision, if done corruptly by a judge, was regarded as punishable.2

An interesting provision was that punishing a person who made a breach in an embarkment.3 Equally interesting is the provision punishing a person who, except in case of extreme necessity, drops filth on the king's high road.4

1. Kangle Kautiliya Arthasastra, (1965), Part 3, p. 229, citing chapters 3.18 and 3.19.

2. Kautiliya IV, 9; Kane History of the Dharmasastra, (1972), Vol. 3, p. 271.

3. Manu, IX, 279, Vol. 25, Sacred Books of the East, p. 392.

4. Manu, IX, 282, Vol. 25, Sacred Books of the East, p. 392.



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