Lawyer Who Lost His Tongue
Lawyer Who Lost His Tongue12 mins 237 12 mins 237
Do you know there are four lakh plus cases pending to be heard and there are only around sixty thousand lawyers to service them? A 10-year experience lawyer should have at least 20 cases in hand. Even if we take averages there should be about 7 cases for each lawyer. Do you know how many I have in hand? One case and I am sure we will lose the case. Everyone in the tea shop outside the high court is laughing their hearts out. Not because they have many, many cases. But they will never take up the case Laxman has taken up.
Urmila who just joined as an apprentice with Laxman was surprised for two reasons. How her boss is confident of losing the case. Second, why did he take the case when he is sure of losing the case? What made her wonder most about Laxman than the two questions was why her father sent her to be an apprentice to this guy. Laxman finished his tea and went back to his lone desk in on an unnoticeable corner in the court. He was as usual lost in his own thoughts and did not give any attention to Urmila or his surroundings. Urmila was waiting for her boss to give her some work but that is not to be. She was bored waiting and asked Laxman whether she can be of any help. He just nodded no. She asked him can you at least tell me what the case is and why we cannot win it.
Laxman started explaining. Our case is not very complicated in the paper. It was a missing CCTV camera. Urmila almost fell off her table laughing. CCTV is installed anywhere to catch a thief, what can anyone do if someone steal the CCTV. Laxman understood what was going on in Urmila’s mind. He continued explaining the case. The CCTV was taken by the police, not by a thief. I can understand your confusion. Let me give you now the whole story.
Our client is from a city named Amayakooru (translates to city of gullible). The city has about 750km square area. The city was a safe place as people are generally innocent and had very few violent elements. About three years ago they had a very bad incident in their neighborhood. One girl was raped and killed very violently. It so happened that the girl was from a well-known family. All the people were angry with police and there was a strike for a few weeks. Police were sincere in their efforts, but they found out the accused guy was from a different city. He was passing by the city and done this atrocious act. They could not find anything more about the case or the person involved in the crime.
The Ex-MLA of the city took this as an opportunity and done a million speeches about the girl and the case. How the government could not do anything etc. After so many speeches people were really bored to go and the whole incident started to fizzle. He need to bring back the attention and announced in one of the speeches he will install CCTV cameras across the city. The speech brought him back as the front runner. He was excited by the response. He continued the line for few days. To add more authenticity to his promise he started announcing he will install one million CCTV cameras across the city. That is the last nail in the coffin for the opposition and he won the election. Before the election is over the city went back to being safe. The people of the city also played a role. They started being attentive to visitors to the city. Police also increased the patrolling. The MLA did not look back to setting up CCTVs. The opposition too kept quiet without much noise as they last all the money in the election and they have no resources to pay the media to create noise.
After about two and a half years of the new government, some NGO activists wrote an RTI application to the government. The RTI application asked how many cameras did the government actually installed and where. In reply, the government said they cannot give the information as this does not come under any public information. Few media showed interest and started asking questions. The activist was not to be kept quiet. He filed another RTI application. If there is some money spent for CCTVs and how much was spent. As money spent cannot be hidden from people the government had to answer. To everyone’s surprise, the RTI response said the 1200 Crores were released for CCTV setup under various tenders. The work is almost completed in all areas.
They started discussing in the city if the 1200 crores was an apt budget for setting up one million CCTV cameras. They started verifying various quotes across places to confirm if that was really okay. There was one set of people who were happy that the government is taking action. They said they cannot speak about the budget as they don’t know about the technology or configurations. The opposition party people started bombarding the news media with how can governments spend that much amount on CCTV cameras when the city has lots of other problems to address. The roads are in bad shape, the public transport is in bad shape are few that need immediate attention and don’t even ask about the poor and homeless said the opposition. The talk of this went on for a while and the activist on his part filed a case in the high court.
The high court in the capital city located about five hundred kilometers away from the city. They did not consider the case as urgent owing to the holidays that were ahead of them. But to the luck of the activist, there was no hot news for the media during that period. People were losing interest in the newborn celebrity kids, even after showing how the kid can show the middle finger to paparazzi even before he was three. One news channel even tried to analyze the kid’s action. They wanted to check if the kid had any superpowers like his father had in movies. They had about 100 news channels and 24 hours to fill. The news of RTI and case came to one new reporter’s desk of an unknown channel. The news channel picked up this news and it became the next hot cake for everyone. They even ran the whole girl being raped and murdered again for additional effect. Now high court had no way but to take the case for an immediate hearing.
In court, the case was called people vs. the government. The judge asked what the case was about. He was surprised to hear the budget. He started digging about the budget and how the tendering is done. Representing the people was the activist and his set of lawyers. First day the government was asked to publish all the budget documents in a month’s time. Government took a total of three months of time and submitted the budget. Judge went through the documents and confirmed they seem to be okay. The activist jumped forward and asked to publish the configurations and tenders that were called. As usual judge gave a stern warning to the government and asked them to submit the records for court in two weeks of time. The government lawyer was very attentive and agreed to follow the rules and conditions set by court and submitted the documents in three months of time without fail.
TV Media got new hot news. A movie celebrity couple was found to be applying for a divorce in less than thirty days of marriage. It was found that the lady was not pregnant as she suspected before. She wanted to go back to doing movies, so she applied for a divorce. The activist started arguing in the court the budgets, how there was very little time before tender and finishing of work etc. After too much here and there he asked a question. Till now all the evidence given by the court is only on paper. Can we have any physical evidence in this case? Government lawyer asked for time to produce the proof. Judge gave another ultimatum to the government to bring some kind of physical evidence to prove their case in three weeks of time. This time government was quick to respond and brought a CCTV camera with all the setup and memory cards for last one year to court in about two and a half months of time. The judge was ready to close the case. The activist meanwhile did his own digging and brought his own proof. He brought the pictures of the city as proof. You know what. There is not a single CCTV camera in the whole of the city.
The activist thought he finally had his cake and he can eat it to. The judge had no mood for surprises or ready to close the case that day. He had an urgent business to finish, an appointment to the bathroom. He had a very spicy Andhra tandoori chicken and stomach was not able to process it. He turned to government lawyer, as usual he asked for time. He gave government one month more to come with reasons of missing cameras. The government was ready with proof this time in six months of time. The media completely lost interest in the case as there was election coming up in the state. The government response was new set of budgets and tenders. The judge did not understand and asked government what is this?
Government lawyer started replying. Recently the government authorities started canvassing across the city and also reviewed the footage. The government authorities have gone through hours of clips. For about 60% are more the footage was not very clear. As a next step the police authorities were made to review. The police could not recognize many of the individuals in the video. They tried to search for the individuals in their entire database and also compared the aadhar database pictures. They did not find match for many. The people of the city also felt the configuration of the CCTV was old and they gave suggestions for the new technology to be used. So we allocated new budget and floated tenders for new set of CCTV cameras.
Judge was angry, but how is this related to missing CCTV. The lawyer replied, that is very simple your honor. The government authorities removed the current CCTV cameras and made space ready for the new CCTV cameras and rolled out new tenders. The activist had no money or energy left in him. He doesn’t know how to fight this anymore. The judge closed the case.
Urmila understood the case, but what she did not understand was what they have to do in the case that was already closed. She then felt may be the activist is trying some last effort and asking Laxman for help. As the case was already lost once, Laxman might be feeling they will lose. She was waiting for Laxman to say something. He did not say anything for a while. She waited a little longer for him to respond. It did not seem like he will continue or finish the cas. She could not wait any longer and asked him what does this story has to do with the case.
Laxman was all grumpy and started explaining. In the earlier case I explained there was a CCTV that was brought in as physical evidence. Do you remember that? Yes, said Urmila the government case was hanging on that. That CCTV does not belong to the government but our client. The government did not even buy a single camera the whole budget allocated went into coffers of the MLAs and ministers. When government was asked to bring physical proof they brought our client’s CCTV which was outside his house. Not many knew who installed it and felt government installed it. The CCTV is now in some archives of the police station as proof. Our case is to somehow get it back, which won’t happen. We spoke to the police officer of the area. He was all ears to our request and was in pity for the loss of our client. But he could not do anything. He said that for any reason if anyone comes to know the truth, the case won by government will be reopened. So we are stuck from all sides.
Urmila got a brilliant idea after listening to the case. She told her plan to Laxman. Laxman was surprised by the intelligence of Urmila. He gave his plan to Police officer. He was not happy but he agreed to the idea. Now in court Laxman, known as Lawyer who lost his tongue, has to actually speak and execute the idea.
In court Laxman started speaking. O dear god, this case… Sorry, your honor this case is about how the accused is at loss. Sorry again your honor. The case is all about how my client is at loss because of the actions of the government and stopped for about a minute. The judge was angry and restless and asked Laxman is there anything else you want to tell the court. Urmila realized why Laxman got the nickname and handed him the notes they both prepared. Laxman started to read from it.
Laxman: The government told the court earlier they will replace the CCTV at our client’s house with the newer configuration and an advanced one. But the government has changed and the new government is in no mood to do that.
Judge: What can the court do today for that? The government has not taken any decision for or against it yet. That is currently with the legislative and awaiting the next steps. There is not much we can do to change anything about that.
Laxman: Your honor, we have a simple request at this point. We want the CCTV that is available with the police to be restored at the location it was earlier, that was our client’s house. Once new decisions are finalized the government can execute their plan.
Judge: Called the related police officer who was already in the court. Are you okay with this? Is this really possible to be executed? Police officer responded in the positive.
Judge: Now turning to government side lawyer asked. If they are okay with this
Government Lawyer: The government is ready to agree to this if the client is ready to bear the expenses of installation and transportation, as the government cannot be burdened.
P.S: The client won the case after paying the lawyer, and transportation costs. He won back the CCTV camera which he bought 2 years ago with his hard-earned money.