The Indian legal Concept
By Ashok Priyadarshi
The Indian courts rely on principles of the interpretation of statutes based on the work of the western jurists. In ancient India, thinkers had developed the Mimansa Principles of Interpretation of Law, accepted universally by the Indians, when there was a conflict in the principles and sources of law.
Scholars believe that the ancient concept of India law was meaningful and tremendous work was done in the ancient and medieval period but the advent of British denied the benefits to the Indians.
Dharma or justice as described in the Vedas, Puranas, Smrities, Shruties and Sutras form the basic concept of the ancient Indian Legal System. The feeling is that the Dharma has no concrete meaning but it could be explained by variety of meanings. Dharma also means justice. It deals with the duty , law usage or customs followed by human beings, having the force of law and enforced by royal edict , to give it importance and sanctity it was made spiritual so as it is acceptable with a religious zeal.
The ancient philosophers believed that the life revolves around the Dharma , Artha and Kama , the 3 aspects of human life and the law generate through them.
The origin of justice is from desire of sexual, emotional enjoyment and wealth. Manu Smriti states that every action of a human being is a desire influenced by anger, passion, greed, infatuation and enmity and that if it is not controlled it will lead to evil thoughts for fulfillment of one''s selfish desire, causing civil or criminal injury to the others, thus dharma was born to solve the problems created by man himself due to his desire.
The law made to curb the civil or the criminal injury caused to another within the three folds explained above and the religious aspect stated , who follows the rules will attain Moksha , eternal happiness.
In the present concept also the law revolves around the three folds and the basic desire is to maintain peace in the society. Manu states that law protects those, who protect it and those who destroy it get destroyed thus the law should be protected.
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan observed that the king is not above the law ,but subordinate to the Rule of law. In Rajadharma, the king was considered the Chief Protector of law and duty bound to enforce it. Thus the law was equal for the king and the subjects. The king can only decide the disputes according to the rules defined in the shastra and the shruti and smrities or customs .In its absence the provision in the text, the king was to use his conscience. Simultaneously the written thought of the hindu jurists were codified ,which took the shape of the present Hindu law, governing the Hindu population of India. The secular trend in the law has been over looked and it has only become the binding force of the Hindu community .
Mimansa Principle of interpretation of law has been only followed in the interpretation of Hindu Law, but its international value can be felt and understood ,when various English Jurists have used it in deciding of cases and disputes. It lost its hold only in the British period as they did not wish to encourage any native or local useful theory.
Mr. M. Rama Jois in Legal And Constitutional History of India has shown that the ancient Indians also followed a legal, judicial and constitutional system. The British understanding it, never allowed it to come in to light by imposing the Anglo-Saxon Law in the legal system.
The studies have proved that the Mimansa Principle is superior to the English Maxwell''s interpretation of law, as it is detailed and systematic and can be used basically in interpreting the statutes and judgements, whereas the English principle is used in the interpretation of statutory law.
The Supreme Court holds  t in India besides having a heritage of literature, it is interesting to note that literature of interpretation has been enunciated in various shloka (verses), which describe these principles with great precision. The concept of law that before drawing a conclusion on a written document, the document should be read as a whole is neither new nor the English have contributed to this interpretation of law but in the ancient verses one has to draw the conclusion by reading from the beginning till the end as without it, it is difficult to understand the purpose, if there is any curiosity or curious problem tackled, it should be noticed and the result there of must be understood. If there is any new innovation it should be taken note of and in the result one should notice such innovation and find out what the author wants to convey in what context.
The Supreme Court has used the ancient Indian principle of interpretation of Vakya principle in its judgments.
The works of Kautilya Arthasastra, the interpretation of Kamsutra by Richard Burton, and the recent work of Sri M. Rama Jois if believed, it cannot be denied that the Indians had a scientific legal system of law.