Legal History of Bangladesh

Topics: History of India, Islam, Law Pages: 5 (1536 words) Published: July 18, 2012
Ancient Hindu & Muslim Judicial System


If we glimpse over the world history we can see a lot of civilization existed from the beginning of the mankind. In the initial stage no legal institutions existed in those civilizations. It developed slowly according to their need, safety as well as establishment of humanity.

The people who lived in India till the Muslims invaded India were Hindus and they govern by their personal law and that is called Hindus Law. During the ancient period in ancient India, Hindu society, Institutions and beliefs gradually developed and a definite shape was given to them. Many Important beliefs and doctrines of today are deep rooted in the Hindu ideology.

Islam is the religion that Allah wants for mankind and He sent Muhammad. Islam is the religion of mercy, equality, and justice.  It is the religion that comes to free people from worshipping Creation and bring them to the worship of God.  It is the religion that comes to remove people from oppression and iniquity and bring them to the highest degree of justice and freedom.

Judicial System of Ancient Hindu

Legal system in ancient India was of two kinds, namely religious and secular. In ancient Indian society, crime and sin were distinguished as an offence against the state as well as against God. Legal system in ancient India includes various laws for curbing the violation of certain ethical principles.

Ancient India was divided into various independent states and in each state The King was the supreme authority. The King carried out the administration with the assistance of his chief priest (Purohit) and military commander. Each state was divided into provinces and these into divisions and districts which differed in terminology as well as in area. For each province or district separate were appointed according to their status. Most often they were related to the King and in certain places their appointment was hereditary. Districts officers were entrusted with the judicial and administrative functions. The city was administrated by a separate governor (Nagaraka, Purapla). According to Kautiliya, each town was under the jurisdiction of a Prefect (Nagaraka).

Different Age of Ancient India

The age of ancient India are different according to time and for different ruler. The administration of different King was not same. The different ages are as follows-

a) Early Ancient India. b) Early Vedic Age c) Later Vedic Age d) Sutras Age e) Epic Age f) Period of Dharmashastras f) Mauryan Age g) Gupta age h) Age of Shasanka i) Pala Age j) Sen Age

Early Ancient India:

The early ancient India is the period of pre-historic age to the early vedic age. There is no source of information available about this period. However, it can be said that the political system and institutions were varied and complex in early ancient India. If any offence occurred the village Panchayat solve the dispute between the villagers. The courts were established by the King and court was chosen by the party. All tribunals were practically arbitration tribunals. Appeals were provided to the court of judges appointed by the King and ultimately to the King himself.

Early Vedic Age

The period is approximate from 1500 B C to 1000 B C. During the early vedic age the Aryans lived in small villages. There were two popular institutions called Sabha and Samiti. The Sabha was a house of elders and the samiti was the assembly of whole people. The Sabha enjoyed alia certain judicial functions and acted as the national Hudiciary.

Later Vedic Age

The period is roughly from 1000 B C to 600 BC. In this period the King took more active part in the administration of justice. The King with the help of assessors decided the civil cases. Sometimes the King delivered the power to the Adhyaksha (chief justice)

Sutras Age

The period is from 600 BC to 200 BC. The great grammarian Panini lived during this period. The system of Sabhas continued...
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