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Report No. 63

2A.13. Admissibility of interest.-

In short1, (1) a person who goes abroad to a different country without returning what he has borrowed shall be liable to pay interest after the expiry of one year; (2) if he does so after the lender has demanded the return of the loan, it will carry interest after the expiry of three months; and (3) when the borrower does not leave the country, but still fails to return the loan upon demand, he shall be made to pay interest although there is no contract for it, from after the date of such demand.

1. P.N. Sen Hindu Jurisprudence, (1918), pp. 308-309.

2A.14. Legal interregnum on death of King-Vasistha's rule of "legal interregnum" is also interesting1, enunciatingeas It does, a remarkable doctrine.2 When the king died, the running of interest ceased until the coronation of the new king3. All official and legal transactions were dated in regnal years of the ruling king, counted from his coronation. With this we are familiar from Ashoka's inscriptions as well as documents in Sanskrit.

The period between the two points of time-the death of the ruling king and his successor's coronation-was a legal interregnum. It was non-existent in the eye of the law, and no interest, therefore, argued Vasistha, was to be counted for the period. This doctrine is not, however, found in the two Codes of Manu and Yajnavalkya, or in the Codes subsequent to them. Jayaswal says4-"It seems that the doctrine never found approval with practical legislators."

1. Vasistha II, 49.

2. Jayaswal Mann and Yajnavalkya, (1930), pp. 116-117.

3. Buchler Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 14, p. 15 n.

4. Jayaswal Mann and Yajnavalkya, (1930), pp. 116-117.

Interest Act, 1839 Back

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