Muluki Ain, 1910

Introduction to Muluki Ain, 1910

The Muluki Ain, also known as Ain was enacted during the Reign of King Surendra and promulgated on 6th January 1854 or 7th Poush 1910 B.S.

Muluki which means Royal in Nepali, and Ain which is a Persian Word for Law composes its etymology. It was enacted in 1910 B.S. under the leadership of Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana who had recently visited Europe.

For the purposes of Drafting the Muluki Ain, a drafting Council also known as Kausala was established which consisted of 219 Officials. It included Judges, Priests, Government Officers, Diplomats, Educated Men, and the relatives of Jung Bahadur himself.

He understood the need for Nepal and Rana Regime to gain international recognition and acceptance. Therefore, he composed a comprehensive legal framework for governing Nepal.

However, he never used any provisions of such codes. It was a mere inspiration. He used Hindu Jurisprudence as Muluki Ain’s Basis.

He aimed to create a synthesized Uniform Code for the whole of Nepal by blending Western Traditions of Codification with Eastern Traditions and Practices relevant to the Laws.

The Preamble of the Muluki Ain states that the major purpose of its formulation was to achieve uniform punishment in accordance with the crime and delegate duties to every citizen including the Prime Minister.

Hierarchy of Castes

The Muluki Ain of 1910 introduced a hierarchical classification of castes consisting of five main categories. The highest in this hierarchy was the Tagadhari, who was recognized as the Sacred Thread Wearing Caste.

This group mainly included Brahmins and Chetris, who were not distinguished from each other within this system. Both Brahmins and Chetris held esteemed positions in society and were accorded certain privileges and respect.

Below the Tagadhari were the Matawali, who were categorized as both non-enslavable and enslavable. The Matawali were believed to belong to the Mongoloid race and had distinct facial features compared to the Aryans.

They were often associated with alcohol consumption and were therefore considered separate from the upper castes.

The next category in the hierarchy was the Choi Chito Halnu Naparne group, which comprised individuals who did not belong to either the lowest or highest class.

They were considered acceptable within society, but it was believed that one should purify oneself after coming into contact with them. This group included foreigners and individuals who did not fit into the predefined caste system.

The lowest category in the Muluki Ain hierarchy was the Choi Chito Halnu Parne group, also known as the so-called “Untouchables.” These individuals were deemed unacceptable within society, and their contact required purification rituals. They faced discrimination and were subjected to social exclusion.

The Muluki Ain of 1910 not only classified castes into different groups but also established differential treatment for each group. Society and government treated the castes differently, and punishments for crimes varied based on one’s caste affiliation.

Contents of Muluki Ain, 1910

Muluki Ain, 1910 encompasses various aspects of civil and criminal matters, administrative procedures, governance rules, and land management. The law provides guidelines and regulations for the resolution of civil disputes and criminal offenses.

Regarding civil matters, Muluki Ain addresses inter-caste marriages, the relationship between husbands and wives, adoption procedures, property partition, dowry regulations, and inheritance matters. It establishes legal provisions to ensure fairness and justice in these areas although the discriminatory nature of this law made it highly controversial.

In terms of criminal matters, Muluki Ain includes provisions related to illicit sexual intercourse, adultery, molestation, incest, rape, and infanticide. The law unequivocally prohibits such acts and outlines the consequences for those found guilty. It also explicitly criminalizes verbal abuse, brawling, physical assault, murder, and manslaughter.

Muluki Ain further delves into other social issues and crimes, such as witchcraft and forced labor. It seeks to address the prevalence of such practices and provide legal mechanisms for their prohibition and punishment. The law also encompasses administrative matters, revenue administration, land surveying, and the division and categorization of lands.

Civil Law Provisions in Muluki Ain

Marriage holds a pivotal place in society, and the Muluki Ain addresses several key aspects regarding marital unions. According to this law, individuals are allowed to marry someone who is up to seven generations apart in terms of their family lineage. Additionally, the law permits individuals to marry the sister of their wife.

The Muluki Ain also outlines regulations concerning marriage with the daughter of one’s maternal uncle. It states that such a marriage can take place if the daughter is above 12 years of age.

Moreover, in certain circumstances, a girl above 12 years of age can be abducted for marriage with her consent. However, it is important to note that the law allows a female above 14 years old to deny a marriage proposal.

Moving on to the topic of adoption, the Muluki Ain presents guidelines for the adoption process. According to this law, priority is given to the nearest relatives when choosing a child for adoption. If no relatives are available for adoption, the law allows for the consideration of a child from the same clan.

This provision acknowledges the importance of maintaining cultural and ancestral ties. In the absence of both relatives and clan members, the law permits the adoption of a child from the streets.

Furthermore, Muluki Ain addresses the issue of property partition. According to the law, the division of property should be carried out in accordance with the decision and will of the parents. However, if the mother is alive then the law prohibits the partition of property.

In cases where a husband leaves the family, the Muluki Ain safeguards the rights of the wife by stipulating that a share of the husband’s property should be provided to her as living expenses.

Additionally, Muluki Ain is entitled Property Rights of a widow to her deceased husband’s property. However, if a widow is found to be unfaithful, she may be deprived of this entitlement.

Furthermore, a widow is not allowed to sell her property until she reaches the age of 45 years.

The Muluki Ain, 1910 A.D. also encompasses several other provisions. It introduces the role of Dharmadhikari. Dharmadhikaris are responsible for deciding cases and determining whether laws have been violated.

Moreover, the law imposes fines for certain offenses, such as gambling. Individuals involved in gambling activities are required to pay a fine of Rs. 10 or Rs. 100, depending on the specific circumstances.

Criminal Law Provisions of Muluki Ain

The Muluki Ain, 1910 A.D. incorporates various provisions under its criminal law section, addressing issues such as incest, enslavement, sexual intercourse, caste, and other matters.

The law recognizes that certain matters related to incest, enslavement, sexual intercourse, caste, and other issues prevalent in the Madhesh region can be dealt with within that region.

Regarding adultery and sexual intercourse, the Muluki Ain establishes punishments for such acts. Adultery, which refers to engaging in a sexual relationship with someone other than one’s spouse, is deemed punishable.

If a person commits adultery with the wife of a husband who is abroad, they shall face legal consequences. If individuals from the enslavable caste commit adultery, they may face the extreme punishment of death.

The law also addresses illicit and forced sexual conduct. If someone engages in sexual acts against the will of a married woman, widow, or unmarried girl under 11 years of age, they are liable to face punishment under the law.

Infanticide, the act of intentionally killing an infant, is considered a grave offense under the Muluki Ain. Any person found guilty of committing infanticide can face imprisonment for a period of six years.

Muluki Ain 1910 prohibits sexual intercourse with animals also known as Bestiality and other forms of Unnatural Sexual conduct. The punishment for infanticide remains the same, with the guilty party facing imprisonment for a period of six years.

The law also imposes fines for the killing of cows. Depending on the circumstances, the fine for cow slaughter can range from Rs. 1 to Rs. 100 or Rs. 60. Lastly, if slaves are forced to eat semen or excrement, they are to be freed from their enslavement.


The Muluki Ain, enacted in 1910, shaped Nepal’s legal system. Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana introduced it in Nepal by making Dharma Shastras the major source of Inspiration. It created a caste hierarchy, with the highest caste enjoying privileges and the lowest caste facing discrimination.

The code covered civil and criminal matters, governance, and land management, and addressed social issues like inter-caste marriages, adultery, and forced labor.



When was the First Muluki Ain issued in Nepal?

The First Muluki Ain of Nepal, known as only “Ain” at the time was issued on 6th January 1854 or 7th Poush 1910 B.S. under the initiative of Jung Bahadur Rana.

What is the History of Muluki Ain in Nepal?

Three Muluki Ain’s have been promulgated in Nepal to this Date. The First was Muluki Ain 1910 by Jung Bahadur, the second was Muluki Ain 2020 by King Mahendra, and the third was Muluki Civil Code and Muluki Penal Code in 2075 B.S.

What is the Muluki Ain by Jung Bahadur Rana?

Muluki Ain was a comprehensive enacted during the Rana Regime to bring uniform punishment for crime and create a strict social hierarchy. It comprises both Civil and Criminal Law.

What were the impacts of Muluki Ain on Nepalese Society?

Muluki Ain 1910 had significant Social, Political, and Legal impacts in Nepal such as it being the legal basis for the Rana Regime, the foundation of social hierarchy, and the abolition of several malpractices.

Who enacted the First Law in 1910 B.S. in Nepal?

Jung Bahadur Rana took the initiative of drafting the first law, Muluki Ain 1910 B.S. in Nepal. It was signed by King Surendra, Prince Trailokya and imprisoned King Rajendra Bikram Shah.