One law of the panchayat is singular in its difference from the custom of any other native community in Asia; nobody who has a wife living shall marry another, except under peculiar circumstances, such as the barrenness of the living wife, or her immoral conduct.
The secular affairs of the Parsees are managed by an elective committee, or panchayat, composed of six dasturs and twelve mobeds, making a council of eighteen.
Yet violations of these rules are jealously watched by the other members of the sept, and are liable - in accordance with the general custom in which communal matters are regulated in India - to be brought before a special council (panchayat), originally consisting of five (pancha), but now no longer limited to that number, since it is chiefly the greater or less strictness in the observance of caste rules and the orthodox ceremonial generally that determine the status of the sept in the social scale of the caste.
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