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Deshmukh, Sadashivrao Nanasaheb (1978) The Doctrine of Tainted Debts in Hindu Law. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The object of thesis is to enquire into various aspects of the doctrine of 'tainted' debts in Hindu law, as found in the dharmasastras, and in the light of their interpretations by the commentators, digest-writers (nibandhakaras) and modern scholars; and to explain its present position obtained at the hands of the modern courts of with an eye on remedies, if any, to rectify the ambiguity which presently surrounds the doctrine. The first chapter begins with a brief survey of the sources of our information. Then, it explains the institution of the Mitaksara joint family, the father-son relationship, the function of the Pious Obligation, and ends with the introduction of the doctrine of 'tainted' debts. The first part of the thesis --- chapters two to four --- enquires into the nature, scope and possible reasons for the exclusion of these debts, except the surety debts, from the son's liability mainly from the point of view of the sastras as expounded by the commentators, digest-writers and modern scholars. In view of their peculiar nature as compared to rest of the enumerated debts, as well as their exceptional treatment in the sastras, the surety debts are discussed separately in Appendix I. In the second part, the fifth chapter is devoted to explaining certain similar but foreign legal concepts already known to the British judges, which seem to have influenced the judical opinion significantly while administering justice in respect of the doctrine of 'tainted' debts. Having this information as a background, the sixth chapter proceeds with the enquiry concerning the case-law on the subject, as developed by the modern courts of law. This, in turn, leads us to the question of 'notice of taint'. The significance of the doctrine of 'notice of taint', and its place in the modern Hindu law of debts is, therefore, discussed in the seventh chapter. The final chapter contains the concluding remarks in respect of the future of the 'Pious Obligation' and the doctrine of 'tainted' debts in modern Hindu law. Throughout the thesis an attempt is made to throw further light on the controversial points of law on the subject.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:13

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