Perfect Retribution9 mins 152 9 mins 152
Harischandra got up in the morning in a cheerful mood. The reason was the late-night call he had got. It was from the owner of the 100% Driving School (MDS), a famous one, reputed for 100% success rate in obtaining a license for four-wheelers. 100% as is known famously in short form charged double the normal rates for their customers wanting to learn driving and get a license. This meant that they were able to grease the palm at the RTO twice over. It was a win-win for all concerned and everybody was happy to deal with 100%. The owner ironically bore the name Mohan Gandhi. Mohan’s father was a Gandhian and he had named his only son Mohan after Gandhiji’s name. Mohan of course was a man of un-Gandhian principles and he had no scruples in conducting his business. The only thing he believed was “customer is the king.” For him, RTO and his customers were both kings and he ensured that they remained happy in their dealings 100%.
Harischandra, unlike his name’s sake after whom his parents had named worked in the Regional Transport Office as an inspector. He had got his job after paying a hefty bribe to the transport minister through the local MLA. He had broken even with what he had paid through the privilege of the side income that the office of inspector at the RTO conferred upon him. The side income was more than the salary he received and he didn’t have to pay any tax. Harish was smart enough to host a monthly party for the local MLA at the local club. To the MLA, Harish was both his benefactor and mentor.
Mohan had informed that there was a good bunch of applications he was sending the next day and a bonus payment awaited him. Mohan had further mentioned the names Vivek, Suresh as applicants whose license must be sanctioned irrespective of their driving skill test performance. Neither of them cared for the statistics of road accidents climbing high in the city of Bengaluru. At the end of the day, both loved to count the crispy notes, in fact, that is what they insisted to their customers, to provide them with crispy notes. Harischandra and Mohan did not know that their greed for money would abet in someone’s death by accident a week later. Harischandra completed his ritual of morning puja and presented a picture of piousness with his customary tilak on his forehead.
A week later
Rasool in a nearby locality to that of Harischandra got up in a somber mood. That day’s evening at about 4 pm, a prospective groom for his daughter Shaheed was visiting with his family. His wife Nilofar had mentioned a list of things to be procured for the occasion. Rasool also had important things to do at the office that day. He had told the owner of his company that he would come in the morning and finish the task and take half a day's leave in the afternoon. The company owner Shivanesan liked Rasool very much for his diligence in the finance department. Shivanesan had promised Rasool some financial help as a bonus for his exemplary service of nearly 30 plus years. The company had grown in the last 30 years and never had any problem in money matters as Rasool had handled the finance very competently. The company was a supplier of various diagnostics equipment in the local market and had a solid reputation for reliability and quality.
Rasool got ready for the office and told his wife he would be back for lunch. He had no forewarning that he would not make it home that day for lunch.
A few days before Vivek had passed the driving test. Not that it mattered. Mohan of 100% had guaranteed his driving license. He had not taken the lessons seriously. He had promised two of his close friends a drive up to Nandi Hills on Friday. He would get his license by then and got his father’s permission to take the car much against his mom’s wishes.
Friday the 13th September
Rasool had a busy Friday morning. They were expecting a new client with a promise of a big contract. Rasool had diligently worked out the costing and profit margin at various quotes which the owner felt he can inveigle with the client. At the appointed time the client came who represented a new chain of hospitals that were being set up in the city. The deal was successful and the client left with a happy face and promised to send the purchase contract by the following Monday. Shivanesan had handed over a packet of cash as an immediate reward for the diligent work. Rasool then stepped out of the office and waited for the signal to turn green at a busy crossection.
Vivek too saw the signal countdown and knew the signal would turn red by the time he reached. He didn’t want to stop at the signal and stepped up the gas. He didn’t see the man crossing at the signal and hit him head-on and killed the man on the spot but he drove on speedily. He drove straight to their farmhouse and reported the accident to his father at his private mobile. His father, holder of power and position swung into action and barked out a few instructions to his private secretary and right-hand man. The right-hand man knew what he had to do. In the next half, an hour the CCTV recording at the junction was erased and the witnesses were suitably compensated to remain mute.
When Shivanesan visited Rasool’s house in the evening he was in for a shock. He was unaware of the accident that had taken place near his company and as promised to Rasool he had dropped in for the occasion. Shivanesan promised retribution to Noorjahan. He immediately called his friend Peter, a journalist of sniffer dog quality with a dogged approach, and asked him to find out the facts of the situation. Peter had his friends in the police circle and he was informed that the hit and run case would be hushed up at all cost. Peter was not the one to take things lying down and had his heart for the under-dogs. He told Shivanesan that he has to investigate the case on his own using his resources and see what he can do. Shivanesan asked Peter to leave no stone turned and he would cover the expenses.
A week later Peter met with Shivanesan at his office after office hours and presented the facts of the case he had managed to gather. The vehicle that hit Rasool was being driven by Vivek, the only brat of a son of the transport minister. He had obtained his license a few days before courtesy M/S 100% Driving School. The driving test was conducted by one inspector called Harischandra a few days before. That particular day Harischandra had handled clients of 100% Driving School and had passed all of them. Vivek was one such client. Peter through his ingenious ways had obtained footage of the said SUV from a different signal a couple of kilometers away from the scene of the accident. It indirectly proves that it was the same SUV that was involved in the accident. There was also a witness (anonymity promised) who had recorded the license plate of the SUV. Peter had prepared a report. Then they both decided to release the report on social media and the video went viral instantly.
In a drama of sorts, the transport minister offered to resign which the CM declined. The CM announced in a hastily called press conference that he has ordered the crime branch to investigate and that law would take its own course. Opposition parties called for a city bandh which received a huge response thanks to the outrage that the accident had created.
Surprisingly within a few days, Vivek had surrendered. Peter called up Shivanesan and said that something fishy is going on regarding the case. His intuition turned out to be right. Veera Swamy, the city’s foremost criminal lawyer had taken up the case on behalf of Vivek and he had argued in the District Court that Vivek was a juvenile and he had forged his certificate of birth to show him as an adult above 18 years of age to obtain the license. He had provided documents to show that Vivek was only 17 at the time of the accident. This was a sensational twist to the hit and run case but Veera Swamy had irrefutable evidence of Vivek’s actual date of birth. Vivek was awarded one year of confinement in a juvenile home.
Shivanesan told Peter that he had promised Noorjahan retribution and said the case is not over as yet.
One year later
Peter received a call from a pub owner at the upmarket location. There was an incident of brawl and a young fellow was grievously wounded by a strike of a bottle. Peter rushed to investigate. He later met with Shivasesan in their usual club in the evening and narrated the story.
The young fellow who was grievously wounded on the head was none other than Vivek who got released recently. The perpetrator of the crime Arumugam according to his sources was mentally unstable. His mother has been admitted to a cancer hospital and was receiving financial support from an unknown well-wisher. The same well-wisher had arranged for a job for his father at a local factory.
The next day the news reported that the criminal lawyer Veera Swamy would be taking up the case on behalf of Arumugam. Veera Swamy refused to answer questions as to why or whose behest he was taking up the case of Arumugam.
Once again Veera Swamy rose to the occasion and defended Arumugam successfully. He had a psychiatrist present the evidence that Arumugam was Schizophrenic and cannot be punished for causing grievous injury to Vivek. Arumugam was ordered to be remanded to a home for mental juveniles for treatment.
The news also reported that the transport minister had resigned citing personal grounds. Unconfirmed sources said Vivek’s mental ability was significantly damaged due to the head injury received.
Peter, while attending Shaheeda’s wedding, along with Shivanesan, informed Noorjahan about the recent incident involving Vivek and wondered if it was the same well-wisher who persuaded Veera Swamy to take up the case. Shivanesan reminded Noorjahan of his promise and said that this was a case of perfect retribution. Noorjahan with tears in her eyes said it was all Allah’s gameplay. That left Peter while driving back home, wondering if it was Shivanesan who had played the game of retribution.
If you wondered whatever happened to Harishchandra and Mohan Gandhi, this was it.
Harishchandra was handed a district posting in North-West Karnataka. At the time of writing, he has bribed his way back to the original posting. 100% Driving School received good publicity because of the case as it was found that the majority in this god-fearing society had no qualms about getting their license to drive (or kill) by hook or by crook.