Regmi Research (Private) Ltd,
Kathmandul: March 1, 1979.
Regmi Research Series
Year 11, No. 3
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. Bondage and Enslavement 33
2. Regulations for Khumbu 40
3. The Unification of Nepal 40
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
Compiled by Regmi Research (Private) Ltd for private study and research. Not meant for public sale or display.
Bondage and Enslavement
(''Jiu Masnya bechnya'' (Enslavement and traffic in human beings). Shri 5 Surendrabikrama Shahadevaka Shasanakalama Baneko Muluki Ain (Legal Code enacted during the reign of King Surendra Bikram Shah Dev). Kathmandu: Ministry of Law and Justice, His Majesty's Government 2022 (1965), pp. 335-61).
1. If a father and his son, or daughter, or two brothers, or two sisters, or a brother and his sister, of castes which can be enslaved have worked as bondsmen or bondswomen at the house of any person since before A.D. 1857, and the two agree that one be enslaved and the other obtain freedom, and, accordingly, one of them is enslaved at any government office or court (adalat, amil, thana) the creditor, or the father who permits such enslavement, shall not be held guilty, because this was done at a government office or court.
The other person shall then sign a bond undertaking to work as a bondsman or bondswoman in consideration of himself previously provided to the person who enslaves himself voluntarily in this manner. He shall not be enslaved.
If the chief of any government office or court permits the enslavement of any person after the enactment of this law, he shall be punished with a fine of one hundred rupees. If the creditor has enslaved that person without the permission of a government office or court, his loan shall be appropriated by the chief of such office or court. The father or mother who permitted such enslavement in consideration of money shall be punished with a fine of one hundred rupees. The person who has been enslaved be free.
The enslavement of a child who is below sixteen years of age of making him sign a bond to that effect at a government office or court shall not be held valid. The creditor shall not be permitted to recover his loan; the chief of the government office or court and the relative who permitted the enslavement shall each be punished with a fine of one hundred rupees, and the enslaved person shall be set free.
2. If any person belonging to a sacred-thread-wearing caste, or to a liquor-drinking caste, takes up a his wife a slave-girl owned by another person, and begets children from her, the father or other relatives of such children shall have no right to redeem them if the owner of the slave-girl is not willing to sell or redeem them. If the sells them to other persons, or is about to do so, the father or other relatives shall have the right of preemption at the price offered by the prospective buyer and thus redeem the children from slavery. If they are
unable to pay the full amount immediately, and undertake to sign a bond stipulating payment within a stipulated time, they can obtain redemption only after making payment. No undertaking for the extension of time limit can be accepted.
If the father or other relatives live at a distant place and receive information about the sale only later, and then demand redemption, their demand shall be granted at any time even if the child has been taken away from the home where it was born. If it is a son; if it is a girl, she may be redeemed only before she reaches the age of eleven years. No redemption shall be allowed after she reaches that age. The prachers shall allow the father or other relatives to redeem the child from slavery on payment of the amount that he had actually paid. After the parents, or other relatives redeem the child from slavery and set it free, they shall not be allowed to sell it to others. Such child shall be free. If it is sold, this shall be regarded as the enslavement of a free person. The money paid by the purchase shall be refunded to him, and a fine of Rs 360 shall be imposed.
3. If any person has employed a servant on monthly wages, but no period of days, months, years of service has been stipulated, such servant may leave his service after getting wages for the period during which he has worked. If the period of service has been stipulated, he must work during that period, and shall not be allowed to leave before it expires. He shall not be allowed to do so even if he can get higher wages elsewhere. He may leave after the expiry of the stipulated period. If he absconds before the expiry of the stipulated period, he must work without wages for the remaining period. If the employer does not pay the stipulated wages in due time when asked to do so, and if a complaint is filed, the amount of the arrears, along with an additional payment of one rupee for each month of default, shall be realized from him. it shall depend upon the pleasure of the servant whether to continue working for his employer or quit.
4. Government officers and courts shall realize the value of slave-boys and slave-girls in disputes concerning them at the rates mentioned below:
Slave-boys below three years of age Rs 20
Slave-girls do. Rs 25.
Slave-boys aged between three
years and six years Rs 30
Slave-girls do. Rs 35
Slave-boys aged between six
years and twelve years Rs 50
Slave-girls do. Rs 55
Slave-boys aged between twelve
years and forty years Rs 100
Slave-girls do. Rs 120
Slaves of either sex aged between
forty years and fifty years Rs 60
Slaves of either sex aged between
fifty years and sixty years Rs 50
If any person claims any slave-boy or slave-girl as his property, but fails to prove his claim when required to do so, he shall be punished with a fine at the rates mentioned in this schedule. One-fourth of the fine shall be collected as Jitauri fee.
5. If there is no documentary evidence, but only witnesses, in a dispute concerning slaves, money, goods, jewelry, cattle, grain, etc. and both litigants agree to have the dispute settled on the basis of the evidence of the witnesses, the matte shall be noted accordingly, the witnesses made to take oath on the Harivamsha, and the dispute settled on the basis of their statements. The party which loses the case shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount of the claim, and one-fourth of the fine shall be collected from the winning party as Jitauri fee. In case the fine is not paid, (the losing party) shall be imprisoned at the rate of one month for each five rupees of the fine. The Jitauri fee shall be realized from the goods in which the claim has been unheld.
6. Creditors shall execute deeds stipulating the bondage of individuals, not families, only at courts and local bodies (amal). They shall not be entitled to claim rights over other members of the bondsman's family, even if such bondsman dies in the creditor's house or in his own house. If a complaint is submitted to the effect that any creditor had claimed rights over any member of the family of his bondsman on the letter's death, such creditor shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount claimed by him. if he defaults in the payment of such fines, he shall be imprisoned according to the law.
7. If the debtors are parents belonging to a caste which can be bonded who have both sons and daughter, no daughter shall be bonded in consideration of the loan even at courts and local bodies, because she is not entitled to a share in the paternal property. If any court or local body has witnesses such a transaction, the chief thereof shall be punished with a fine of ten rupees, and the creditor and debtor with a fine of five rupees each. The deed of bondage shall be cancelled and converted into a personal bond in the name of the person who offered a bondsman in consideration thereof. The daughter or sister shall then be free.
8. If a slave commits a crime which is punishable with death of life imprisonment, he shall be sentenced to death or life imprisonment, as the case may be. If the crime is punishable with imprisonment, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment. If he pays money in lieu of the term of imprisonment, action shall be taken according to the law. If a slave commits a crime which is punishable with confiscating of property, he shall not be so punished, because a slave cannot be punished with confiscating of his property.
9. If parents have been freed from slavery, but their sons are still slaves in the same district or elsewhere, and if the parents redeem some of their sons from slavery, leaving others still in the status of slaves, and die in the meantime, their personal property shall be used to meet their funeral expenses. From the balance, an amount equal to what had been spent to redeem some of the sons from slavery shall be given to those sons who are still slaves, and the rest divided equally between the two. If the value of the property (left by the deceased parents) is not equal to the amount spent to redeem some of the sons from slavery, no share therein shall accrue to such sons. The entire property shall then be inherited by those sons who are still slaves. If (the deceased parents) had begotten any son after they were forced slavery, the paternal property left after meeting the funeral expenses shall be divided equally among such sons as well as those sons who are still slaves.
10. If any person who has several members in his family has executed a deed stipulating bondage, and if through mutual consent the bondsman mentioned in the deed has stayed at home and another member of the family has gone in his stead to work for the creditor, or if they work for the creditor by rotation, and if the person who is working for the creditor dies, the creditor may oblige the person whose name has been mentioned in the deed to work for him. if such person dies, the creditor shall not be entitled to claim rights over the person who had been working on behalf of the deceased person, or any other member of (the deceased bondsman's family). In case he does so, he shall be punished with a fine amounting to ten percent (of the amount of the loan).
11. In case any person sells free persons (ajaputra) claiming that they are slaves, the person who writes the deed of sale to the effect that they are slaves, even though knowing well that they are free persons, the main person responsible for the sale, and the witnesses shall each the punished with a fine of Rs 100. In case these persons did not know that those who were being sold were free persons, they shall each be punished with a fine of twenty rupees. In case they do not pay the fine, they shall be imprisoned according to the law. If the purchaser knew (that those who were being sold were free persons), the money paid by him as the price shall be forfeited, and a fine of an equal amount shall be collected from him. if the purchaser did not know (that those who were being sold were free persons), the money shall be refunded to him if the seller is able to repay it; otherwise, the seller shall be let off after signing a personal bond for that amount in favor of the purchaser.
12. A person ho offers or accepts children below the age of sixteen years as bondsmen shall be punished with a fine of ten rupees. A person who forcibly offers or accepts persons above the age of sixteen years as bondsmen without having the transaction witnessed by a court, a police station, or a local body shall be punished with a fine of ten rupees. The amali who signs a witness in such a transaction shall also be punished with a fine of five rupees.
13. If a person has only a daughter who is more than sixteen years old, and no son, and if the daughter signs a bond as a court, a police station, or a local body, indicating her willingness to be bonded in consideration of a loan as valid. It shall not to be valid if the daughter who has signed the hold is less than sixteen years of age. In that case, the chief of the court, police station, or local body where the bond was signed, the creditor, and the borrower shall each be punished with a fine of five rupees. The bond shall be cancelled, and the parents shall be made to sign a personal bond for the amount.
14. If slaves of either sex belonging to any person complain before a court, a police station, or a local body that they are freemen, and if any relative confirm this claim, and agrees to undertake liability for any fees or fines, that may be imposed if they win or loss the case, and if, after hearing both sides, it is held that they are freemen, the person who claims that they are slaves shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount paid for them. One-fourth of the fine shall be collected from the plaintiff as Jitauri fee and they shall be set free.
If, however, it is proved that they are actually slaves, and not freemen, the person who claims that they are freemen shall be punished with a fine equal to the amount paid for them. If he does not pay the fine, he shall be imprisoned according to the law.
If no relative comes forward to confirm the claim that the complainants are freemen, and if it is found that slaves have made such a claim of their own accord, and that they have been slaves from the beginning, their complaint against their owner shall not be heard. A Baksauni fee of five rupees per head shall be collected from the owner in considerable of the recovery of his slaves, who shall then be handed over to him.
If any person has wrongly claimed the complainants to be his slaves, so that the letter have been compelled to submit a complaint maintaining that they are freemen, the case shall be disposed of on the evidence of documents and witnesses. If they are found to be slaves, one-fourth of the fine shall be collected as Jitauri free from the owner, and the slaves shall be handed over to him. If, on the other hand, they are found to be freemen, a fine equal to the amount paid for them shall be collected.
15. If one of several brothers who is over sixteen years of age is offered in bondage with is consent by his parents with any court, police station, or local body as witness, and if subsequently the bondage is redeemed by his parents or brothers after repaying the creditor, he shall bear his due share of loans due to other creditors obtained while living in an undivided family. But if he has obtained his freedom through his own personal property or earnings, or by winning the favor of his creditor, he need not pay loans due to other creditors. However, he shall be entitled to his share of the paternal property. Loans due to other creditors shall be repaid by the other brothers who have stayed home. Other creditors shall be no claim against the person who has been freed from bondage as mentioned above.
16. In case any person signs a bond in the presence of witnesses granting personal liberty to his slave, but not freeing him from the obligation to work, such slave shall not leave work and go elsewhere in contravention of the stipulation made in the bond; nor shall the owner be entitled to sell such slave and appropriate the proceeds. In case any person submits any complaint to the court, police station, or local body in such matters, judgment shall be pronounced to the effect that (the owner) cannot sell the slave, nor can the latter leave working for him.
17. In case any person belonging to the Brahman and other sacred-thread-wearing caste is involved in sexual, or commercial relations, or in the use of water, with a member of any caste which can be enslaved, or is untouchable, or any caste contamination from whose touch must be purified through the sprinkling of water, and in case such person is, consequently, degraded to such caste, and subsequently commits any crime, he can neither be bonded nor enslaved. In case he is enslaved, (the person who has enslaved him)
shall be punished under the law relating to the enslavement of freemen. In case he is bonded, the loan shall be cancelled, and (the person who has bonded him) shall be punished with a fine of an equal amount.
In case the person who has been degraded to a lower caste marries a woman of an equivalent caste, and in case the children born of such a union commit any crime, they shall be punished according to the law relating to the caste of their mother.
18. In case any person has enticed, children of either sex who are below twelve years of age belonging to others to work for anybody without the knowledge of their parents, brothers, sisters, or other relatives, and in case he has denied any knowledge of the matter when such relatives seek information, a fine of fifty rupees shall be imposed if the guilty person is a man. If the guilty person is a woman, she shall be punished with a fine of twenty-five rupees. The child shall be procured and handed over to the relative.
19. In case a son born of a person who belongs to a sacred-thread-wearing caste which cannot be enslaved from a slave woman owned by another person commits adultery or any other crime, and in case his father, uncle, or brother redeem him and give him the sacred thread if his father belongs to a sacred-thread-wearing caste, or sets him at liberty if his father belongs to a liquor-drinking caste which cannot be enslaved, he shall not be regarded as a gharti. Action shall be taken in the matter according to the law relating to the caste to which he belongs. In case (the father, uncle, brother, etc.) has not redeemed him, so that the remains a slave, he shall be regarded as a slave, even though he was born of a high-caste person. Action shall be taken in the matter according to the law relating to slaves.
In case the crime had been committed while such person was a slave, and action has already been taken according to the law relating to slaves, and in case, subsequently, his father, uncle, or brother redeems him and gives him the sacred-thread if (his father) belongs to a sacred-thread-wearing caste, or sets him at liberty (if his father) belongs to any other caste, the office, court, or local body which had previously sentenced him to punishment according to the law relating to slaves while he was yet a slave shall not be considered to have acted in contravention of the law.
Regulations for Khumbu
The following regulations were promulgated under the royal seal in the name of the inhabitants of the Nepal-Tibet border in the Khambu-Ghet region north of Thodung on Baisakh Badi 9, 1867 (April 1810):-
1. The amali shall collect the prescribed taxes, and dispense justice, in the presence of the headman (budhyauli) of the village.
2. The person who is appointed as dware there shall be supplied with provisions (manachamal) and six goats every month.
3. Conduct trade through your regular establishments (kothi) without creating any obstructions (dhesa).
4. The local people shall engage in trade as usually done in that region. The amali shall not impose any restrictions.
5. Charge interest at ten percent according to the system prevalent throughout the country. Do not charge more.
Regmi Research Collection, Vol. 39, pp. 149-50.
The Unification of Nepal
(Shri 5 Badamaharajadhiraja Prithvinarayana Shaha (The Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah). Kathmandu: His Majesty's Press Secretariat, 2024 (1967), pt. 2, chapt. 5. ''Nepalako Ekikaranaka Namitta Mileko Prerana ra Yojana'' (Inspiration and plans for the unifications of Nepal), pp. 201-20).
The exemplary character of King Shivaji of Maharastra, who had died only 42 years before the birth of Prithvi Narayan Shah, had begun to influence Gorkha. This had further influenced Prithvi Narayan Shah during his visit to Banaras. The Peshwas of Poona were spreading the Marhatta glory throughout India by following the path Peshawa by Shivaji. It is the influence of this very Brahman Peshawa that led to Jagatjaya Malla of Kantipur to authorize the Brahmans of Maharstra to become the chief priests of the Pashupati temple.
(Note: the Pashupati sect, which has emerged as a special group among the ancient Shaiva communities, had succeeded the Vaishnava sect in North India by the time the Gupta empire was established there. Pashupatacharyas
used to propagate the Pashupata sect. following the establishment of the rule of the Licchavis in Nepal, the Pashupata community also arrived in Nepal together with the Vaishanava community. At the request of the Pashupatacharyas, an idol and temple of Pashupati was established on the right bank of the Bagmati river during the early part of the fifth century. This community had made special progress during the Licchavi period, and Kings like Amshu Varma of the later Licchavi dynasty had become follower of the Pashupata sect.
The idol and temple of Pashupati was destroyed by the Muslim invasion in 1349 A.D. during the early Malla period. However, the kingdom of Vijayanagar was established in Karnatak, South India, in 1350 A.D. with the responsibility of protecting the Puranic religion. First of all when an exact replica of the old Pashupati idol was installed in 1360 A.D. in the newly reconstructed temple of Pashupati by the Mahapatra of Kathmandu, Jaya Simha, during the reign of Arjuna Malla, the last king of the first Malla dynasty, the tradition must have been laid down appointing the priests of the temple by inviting vegetarian Brahmans from Karntak. Sthiti Malla and other kings of the later Malla dynasty seem to have observed this tradition. The idol of Kritimukha Bhairava south-east of the Pashupati temple seems to have installed by the Brahmans priests from Karnatak during the reign of King Yaksha Malla. That the idol of Unmatta Bhairava in front of Kritimukha Bhairava was established during the reign of the same King in 1468 by the Karnatak Brahman Narayana is stated in the stone inscription that was installed there three years later. King Pratap Malla of Kantipur later seems to have enclosed it in a room because of its obscene appearance. He also constructed [Meuktimandapa] and Yajhashala on the south-eastern side of the Pashupati temple. This kind of idol was not considered obsecene according to earlier Tantrik tradition.
When the destructionof the Kingdom of Vijayanagar in 1565 stopped the influx of Karnatiak Brahmans from there, and their descendants in Nepal degenerated by becoming meat-eater, the Mall Kings of Kathmandu seem to have established the tradition of appointing the priests of the Pashupati temple by bringing in Sanyasis from Banaras. The houses situated on the southern side of the Pashupati temple that have so far remained the residence of the chief priest of Pashupati seem to have been built by King Pratap Malla. It is known from Thyasafu 'A' that Raghavananda Swami had lived in that house during the rule of the Pratap Malla's son King Pathivendra Mala. That Raghavananda Swami had gone to live in Lalitpur when he was insulted by the murderersof Parthivendra is started in the Vamshavali. But other Sanyasi prients remained there this is understood from the accounts heard as the Pashupati temple. However, the Maharastra priests state that when these Sanyasis too became defiled as meat-eaters, and as the Rajopadhyaya and Tirhut Brahmans of Nepal too were meat-eater, Jahajjaya Malla set up the tradition of appointing the priests by bringing in Maharashtra Brahmans from Banaras. Because peace was restored in India after the
establishment of British rule there, and the influx of Karnatak Brahmans resumed, both kinds of Brahmans can now become priests of the Pashupati temple. At the time when the new idol of Pashupati was installed, the Pashupata sect had been uprooted in India. Therefore, Karnatak Brahmans who came from there to become priests belonged to an orthodox Puranic sect. however, owing to the inability of the Shaiva Malla to ignore the Shaiva Bhairava of the Buddhistic Tantrik sect followed in Nepal, the priests of Karnatak also were constrained to install an idol of Shaiva Bhariva. The Sanaysi priests were the monists and were not therefore followers of Bhairava. But in view of the connection that Pashupati had with Kritimukha Bhairava, they could no longer ignore it. In view of the glory attained by Banaras at the hands of Maharashtra Brahmans when Poona had witnessed the ascendancy of the Peshawa dynasty during the reign of the last Mugal Emperor, the appointment vegetarian Maharashtra Brahmans as priests at Pashupati, instead of Sanyasis during the period of the King Jayajjaya Malla of Kantipur, was a timely-step. Although there is some Tantrik influence on the present rituals of worship followed at the Pashupati temple, most of it is purely Puranic. The tradition set by the Maharashtra priests, therefore, seems to have been maintained till now.