Judgement day - final chapter
Judgement day - final chapter15 mins 188 15 mins 188
Story so far…
Judge Seetaramayya who is presiding over Mysore Murder case which is being fought by fiercely by prosecution lawyer gets letters with only half completed picture by post from Ernakulam; address written in Marathi. The pictures resembles Naveen Krishna, the prosecution lawyer. Judge, directs defense lawyer Ramayya who enlists Pinto to find out whereabouts of wife and daughter of the accused Mahadevappa and find out the origin of litters from Ernakulam. Pinto sends his assistant Shailesh to Mysore and heads to Ernakulam; he finds out that the letters are drawn by a 8 years old boy called Omman Kutti. Eranna, constable in commissioner’s office who is in Ernakulam, follows Pinto and reports to Naveen Krishna.
Next day, when Pinto went out along with Hari to Ponnappa Kutti’s house – the father of Omman Kutti – without his knowledge, Eranna followed him.
Hari questioned Ponnappa about Satara and where he worked and contacts, if any in that place as directed by Pinto.
Later, Hari translated to Pinto the essence of his discussion with Omman Kutti’s father. Ponnappa, who is a carpenter by profession, went to Satara as requested by his friend who had taken up a large contract in a farm house in Satara. This happened about 18 months or so.
He stayed for over a year and came back.
Omman Kutti started behaving very oddly after coming from Satara; he almost all ways started speaking in an alien language and sat aloof, just drawing meaningless sketches on paper. Every now and then, he would resume talking in Malayalam but very briefly only to return to his aloof self.
Ponnappa showed him to a tantric who opined that Omman Kutti is possessed by a devil and did some puja and administered some native medicine. One day, Ponnappa found his son lying un conscious and tantric’ s whereabouts were not known.
Fearing that he will lose his only son, Ponnappa hid the issue from neighbours and posting letters as requested by Omman Kutti.
The boy does not hurt or even talk to any one, says his father.
Pinto listened to the long explanation by Hari and asked whether they can see other pictures. Ponnappa brought a box full of drawn pictures and Pinto started going through them. Suddenly, he stood up holding a picture.
It was the same man which Pinto had seen in the other letters; but this time, the suit clad man was holding a revolver in his hand and smoke was coming from the revolver as if he has just short some one.!
Pinto took photo of the sketch on his mobile and they left Ponnappa warning him not to talk to any one. They reminded him that they would come back if they needed any more information.
Eranna had the patience of a leopard when hunting; he waited for ours outside Ponnappa’ s house – he had followed Pinto.
When Pinto with another person went and met Ponnappa Kutti, Eranna knew that he had hit the jackpot.
Ramayya sat down heavily on the chair without knowing what to do after disconnecting the phone from Pinto.
After a while, he dialed judge’s number and explained everything and sent the picture he received from Pinto on mobile.
Seetaramayya could hardly believe what he heard from the defense lawyer and was shocked to see the clearly drawn picture of Naveen Krishna holding a smoking gun!
After a while, he discussed few things with the lawyer about the possibility of postponing the judgement. He also asked Ramayya to tell Pinto to extend his stay in Ernakulam and get more information.
Pinto, called Shailesh’s number several times; it kept ringing but no answer.
Worried Pinto called another contact, Suresh and asked him to go the lodge to find out what happed to Shailesh.
After an hour, Pinto got call from Suresh and couldn’t believe what he heard!
Suresh said that he went to the lodge and since the room key was with receptionist, he took another person from hotel to open the door and found Shailesh gagged and tied to the cot; he was almost un conscious.
It seems that two rowdies visited Shailesh, beat him up and tied him with a warning that he should leave Mysore next day otherwise, they would revisit with fatal consequences.
Pinto just listened without speaking for a while; then he decided that this is just not information collecting work and much more serious than he had thought.
He asked Suresh to take Shailesh home and planned his next moves carefully.
Eranna waited for Pinto to come out and then, dialed his inspector friend from local police station. Both of them visited and made Ponnappa provide all the information he had shared with Pinto.
When he came out, Eranna was smiling.
He sent photo on mobile he had taken on Ponnappa’ s house and within seconds, he got the call. Eranna smiled broadly.
“Tell me sir. What do you want me to do. I am sure, the photo is priceless as well as very fatal. It depends upon what you want me to do. Result, what you want and money I specify.”
Eranna listened to Naveen Krishna, nodding his head every now and then and finally, his eye brows went up steeply.
Eranna took his inspector friend aside and told him what he want.
The inspector was shocked to hear about the plan to silence the young boy permanently. He refused to help saying that he too has small children and wouldn’t be able to comply.
Finally, Eranna hatched another plan and this time, after hearing about the money, the inspector agreed.
In Mysore, after filling his stomach and sleeping well, Shailesh was ready for action. Through Suresh, they got hold of an inspector and through him, got information that a girl has been kept in a house for quite some time and she was being guarded 24 hours a day.
The place was close to Kerala border.
Shailesh convinced the inspector about the possible kidnapping and he along with Suresh went with inspector, searching the hideout.
They found that the girl was kept captive in a room and it was not difficult for them to overcome resistance from a door keeper who was alone. What was shocking was, it was not just the girl who was held captive.
They found another middle aged man who was chained to the cot and Shailesh, took photograph of both the girl as well the man and sent it to Pinto and with the help of Suresh, organized transport and awaited instruction from Pinto.
As soon as the judge sat in his chair, all the assembled persons sat and defense lawyer, Ramayya stood up and spoke.
“Sir, I request your good selves to grant me 2 minutes to speak on the Mysore Murder Case. It is very important.”
Judge Seetaramayya looked at Ramayya and then to Naveen Krishna and spoke.
“Both of you have already finished your arguments. What else you want to say, Ramayya? What could be so important?
Ramayya cleared his throat and spoke.
“Yes Sir. I have already completed my arguments. However, suddenly, a new development has taken place in the case and I request your good selves to please allow me to present a new witness”.
Naveen Krishna was immediately on his feet.
“I object Sir. The arguments and cross examinations everything has been completed and now we are expecting your good selves only to proclaim judgement. I request sir, not to waste time and money and prolong the case, any further.”
“I agree with our prosecution lawyer. You were given enough time to present your case but now all of a sudden you are saying that you have a new witness? Why you did not produce that witness all these days? What was the problem?”
Ramayya was ready with his answer.
“Sir. As you are aware, the accused, Mahadevappa has not opened his mouth at all. Now, a new witness is ready to come and depose with a very important fact about the whole affair. We found out about the witness only two days ago. Adding to that, the witness has to come from afar. So, I request you to grant permission to produce the witness.”
Naveen Krishna was once again on his feet, this time, his voice raised. He glared at Ramayya and turned towards judge and spoke.
“Sir, this is unprecedented. The case has reached its final stage wherein, you have fixed today as the day for judgement. Postponing the same would needlessly cause loss of money and time to the exchequer. Hence, I request you to please proclaim your judgement.”
Judge looked without any expression towards Naveen Krishna and spoke.
“I agree with your view point Naveen Krishna. However, there is a point from defense lawyer that the accused has not opened his mouth at all and therefore, we must be fair and allow the defense lawyer to produce the witness.
Mr. Ramayya, please produce your witness on Monday.
Court is adjured till Monday.”
Judge stood up and everyone stood up. Naveen Krishna looked at the departing judge with a worried face.
Pinto looked at the message sent by Shailesh and immediately sent the same to Ramayya. He called Shailesh and asked him to take precaution and proceed towards Bangalore. He also told Shailesh very briefly about what happened in Ernakulam and told him to be extra careful.
Pinto called his contacts in Ernakulam and made arrangement for a van to take Omman Kutti to Bangalore. He had decided to take couple of retired police personnel with him and hence the the van.
He called Hari and both of them went to pick up Omman Kutti.
Ramayya saw that there was a message from Pinto; he went to his room and opened the message. Pinto had informed that they found the girl, Sangeeta, daughter of Mahadevappa and also found one more person.
When Ramayya saw the picture of the man, the mobile phone fell down from his hand.
The photo was very familiar to Ramayya; he had seen it many a times in the court, produced as part of the case.
The photo sent by Pinto was none other than the person who was supposed to have been murdered by Mahadevappa, Chenna!!
When Pinto and Hari reached Ponnappa’ s house, a shock awaited them.
The door was open and the house was in dis-array with things thrown everywhere. The box containing drawings made by Omman Kutti was lying on the floor, empty.
Both Omman Kutti and his father were missing.
Pinto immediately called Ramayya and explained everything.
Ramayya was furious; he told Pinto that at any cost, Omman Kutti should be traced and brought to Bangalore court directly by 10 am on Monday morning.
Hari called couple of his contacts in police control room and met an inspector friend, who agreed to pass on any information they may get about the missing boy and his father.
As soon as he came out, Pinto observed that Eranna was standing and talking to some one on the phone, his face turned to the other side. Pinto realised that it must be the handiwork of Eranna.
Pinto waited and followed him along with Hari.
Pinto was lucky.
Eranna went directly to the hideout and he was overpowered and gagged by Pinto while Hari called the van driver and gave him the location.
By the time the van left for Bangalore, it was close to mid night
As soon as the van reached the highway, Pinto called Ramayya and told him that they would reach the court by 10 am and Shailesh too would be bringing the girl and Chenna at the same time.
Eranna got freed by a henchman who came to relieve him. It was nearing 2 in the morning. Eranna called Naveen Krishna and briefed him.
Naveen Krishna called a number and asked him to head on his truck towards Tumkur road; a wry smiled crossed Naveen Krishna’s face.
The sound of people talking stopped as soon as judge walked in.
As per the norm, the clerk called out the Mysore Murder Case name.
When judge looked at Ramayya expectantly, Ramayya stood up and spoke.
“Respected Sir, as I had informed the court, the witness related to Mysore Murder Case is on his way and should be reaching the court any time now.
The witnesses when they are produced, will surely, cause lots of surprises, sir. This case has taken a new and un believable turn, based on the events that followed in the last 2 days.
I request the court to please wait for just another 10 minutes as the van carrying the witness in just few kilo meters away from the court and would be here any time.”
Ramayya checked his watch and it was five minutes past 10. Where is Pinto and Omman Kutti? They should have been here by now? And what about Sangeeta and Chenna? The crease on his forehead deepened.
Naveen Krishna stood up, bowed to the judge and spoke.
“Respected Sir. I am surprised that our defense lawyer, despite getting unprecedented extension to produce a new witness when the court was ready for judgment, is till giving lame excuses. Where is the witness? It is past 10, the agreed time. Sir, could you please proclaim the judgement?”
Judge looked at Naveen Krishna and then looked at Ramayya. He was helpless. Naveen Krishna was right. The court can not continue to postpone the inevitable.
He cleared his throat and spoke.
“Defense lawyer Subbayya, I agree with our prosecution lawyer; the court should not be waiting for ever for the witness to come.
I have therefore decided to go ahead and read out the judgment”
While the judge cleaned his specs, and defense lawyer Ramayya looked on helplessly, the judge opened the pages where the judgment was written and started.
“In the much debated Mysore Murder case, I have heard arguments from both defense as well as prosecution and have come to…”
As the van carrying Omman Kutti, his father Ponnappa and Pinto were coming closer to Bangalore, a heavy truck entered the road from the opposite side in full speed.
The impact made the van topple and fell bellow from the flyover, 20 feet below!
Judge cleared his throat and was about to read; his words were cut short by the sound made by the audience.
Judge looked up to see a young boy of about 8 to 9 walking towards the witness box amid commotion.
Judge rapped his hammer and said.
“Order, order.” Then looking at the boy asked, “Who are you?”
The boy started speaking and judge could not understand one word.
Murlidhar, assistant to defense lawyer Ramayya went and spoke in his ear; Ramayya stood up immediately and spoke while looking here there to trace Pinto.
“Respected Sir. This boy is the witness I was taking about. Unfortunately, the boy can only speak Marathi and my assistant, Murlidhar can translate. We can cross check the transcription, later from language experts if there is any ambiguity. Also sir, our prosecution lawyer can understand Marathi very well.”
Judge was dazed. He just nodded.
Murlidhar went to witness box and spoke in Marathi and boy answered.
Murlidhar looked towards judge and spoke.
“Sir, the boy says, he wants justice. He says he has been waiting for almost two year now. A murder took place in Satara, Maharashtra and all efforts was made to completely suppress the truth.”
Judge held up his hand and spoke to Murlidhar.
“First and foremost, ask the boy who he is where he has come from and what is his name.”
Murlidhar, translated the same.
The boy spoke non-stop for few minutes interjected by Murlidhar every now. judge and Ramayya looked without understanding what was being said.
Murlidhar, just stood staring at the boy and did not translate.
Judge got irritated and said, “Murlidhar, why are you not translating what the boy has said?”
Murlidhar looked at the judge and spoke in a shivering voice.
“Sir, the boy says his name is Naveen Krishna and he is the murdered person. He says, the prosecution lawyer, is the man who killed him.”
Judge stood up involuntarily and sat down again.
“What is this non sense Murlidhar? What are you talking?”
The boy, continued to speak and Murlidhar just listened with his mouth open.
Murlidhar removed kerchief from his pocket, wiped his sweat, looked at the boy and then looked at the judge and spoke, his voice, still shivering.
“Sir, the boy says, he is Naveen Krishna and around two years back, he was killed. The prosecution lawyer’s name is not Naveen Krishna. His name is Nilesh.
He is the man who killed him.”
There was a commotion in the court and judge shouted for order.
“Order, order. What nonsense is this?”
Naveen Krishna stood up and spoke.
“Sir? What’s happening here? All of a sudden some boy comes and speaking some alien language accuses me of being a murderer? Can we please put a stop to this non-sense Sir? I am being needlessly framed falsely by people supporting the accused. They want to get the accused released by huck or cruck.”
Judge looked at Naveen Krishna and then at the boy and told Murlidhar.
“Ask the boy what proof he has for levelling such a damaging accusation against our prosecution lawyer?”
Murlidhar translated and the boy started laughing loudly.
When he spoke, Murlidhar once again wiped his face and translated.
“Sir, the boy says he is the real Naveen Krishna and he was killed and his body was buried under a mango tree in the farm house owned by Nilesh in Satara, Maharashtra. Nilesh has changed his name to Naveen Krishna. Naveen Krishna’s body can be found under a mango tree. It seems there is only one mango tree in the garden. The body when exhumed, the boy says, you will be able see a ring on his right hand with blue coloured stone. Workers will be there, and same be verified right now.”
Naveen Krishna stood up and in a ranging voice spoke.
“Sir? Why are you allowing some stranger to continue this meaningless monologue? I just can’t understand. He is speaking some non sense and the court is just listening? Please stop this derogatory treatment.”
Murlidhar asked boy something and judge wanted to know what was said.
Murlidhar spoke. “Sir, the boy says there is an witness to the murder and he is here amongst us.”
Judge looked startled and spoke.
“one more eye witness? Here in court? Ask him who is it?
Murlidhar translated and the boy guffawed one again and spoke while pointing his finger towards Mahadevappa standing on the opposite side.
Murlidhar spoke, his voice so low, it could be hardly heard.
“Sir, the boy says, the eye witness for the murder is none other than the accused Mahadevappa standing here. He says,” Murlidhar stopped and looked at the boy before speaking. “Sir, he says, Nilesh framed Mahadevappa falsely for a murder he has not committed and…” Murlidhar’ s voice trailed off. “ he has also cut of Mahadevappa’ s tongue so that he would not speak.”
Again there was commotion and judge had to use the hammer several times.
judge looked at the constable standing near the accused Mahadevappa and spoke.
“Constable, please check whether this is true.”
Every one in the court looked up at the constable who made Mahadevappa open his mouth, stared and shouted.
“Sir, he does not have tongue.”
The boy guffawed and glared at Naveen Krishna aka Nilesh who was looking here and there as if he was trying to escape.
Judge stared at the boy who was laughing and was about to say something when Ramayya’ s phone rang.
Using of mobile phones are prohibited in the court. Ramayya was about to switch it off when he observed that it was from Pinto.
He listened to Pinto and fell down heavily to the ground even as Murlidhar and others nearby rushed towards him.
Judge Seetaramayya stood up and looked as Ramayya who sat down and drank water offered by Murlidhar. He managed to stand up slowly and spoke in a shaking voice.
“Sir, I just got a call from Pinto who was brining Omman Kutti, the boy witness from Kerala who was supposed to depose today. It seems they met with an accident near Bangalore and the boy is un conscious and admitted to hospital and….. Pinto, standing near the boy, just called me.”
Ramayya looked at the boy standing in the witness box and exclaimed.
“Then who is this boy?”
Judge too, with a gaping mouth looked at the boy standing in the witness box.
The whole court heard Ramayya and stood up to watch the boy.
The boy laughed out loudly and even as everyone was watching, disappeared leaving a sheaf of drawings in the witness box.