Dec 25, 2013

The Taught Trouble The Tutor

We needn't believe that our jails abound with the guilty or the criminals alone. You will see from the following account that there must be good many individuals-innocent to the core - yet involved in criminal cases ingeniously levelled against them by the clever - minded schemers.
Kumari Nalini and Narendrakumar-both from rich families were school-mates studying in Matriculation. One Nirdoshkumar, an honours graduate happened to be their teacher in English & History - in the local High school.
Because children from rich families are freely pampered and are allowed to get used to a fast life right from their very childhood, they don't, on the whole, make bright students. Generally, it is through bought favours from the trickish teaching staff that they pass out from the lower classes. As for the University results, which are somewhat hard to purchase they make up their weak knowledge of subjects through private tuitions.
Nalini and Narendra were weak in principal subjects, so, Nirdoshkumar offered to teach them privately.
To vast majority of teachers and tutors at the higher level, private tuition means extra income. Most of them tire and dull themselves running from house to house teaching students, that during the regular classes in the schools, one finds them doing a lot of yawning and dozing.
Nirdoshkumar was different. He rightly felt that he was employed by the institution to give his time and self to train students and sharpen their brains and that if there were any students who didn't catch up with the rest of the class, it was his duty to give such students extra attention and bring them upto the mark without charging them tuition fees.
Because shri Nirdoshkumar's house was near Nalini's bunglow, it was arranged that Narendrakumar should go over to Nalini's place every morning to be coached by Nirdoshkumar there.
Day after day Nirdoshkumarji punctually called at the bunglow of Kumari Nalini to teach her and Narendrakumar. There were six other poor students also benefitting from his free tuition. He never expected or accepted any gifts or favours from them or from any of his other students. Barring the temptable teachers and the leisure-loving lecturers, all admired and adored him.
Annual examinations came and both Nalini and Narendra went through them all-claiming to have done well. During the summer vacation Nalini was to go over to some hill stations with some of her girlfriends.
It was earlier slyly arranged that Narendrakumar should join her at Delhi. With few days left for leaving on the trip, Nalini, who wanted extra money for an enjoyable time in the hill-stations, persuasively planned to pilfer from home.
Pilfering wasn't going to be easy. She needed a big amount and she feared detection. Servants were away on a short leave - otherwise, things could have been easy-for, then, the theft could the pinned on to them and they would be the natural suspects. There were just few days left for her to leave on the trip. She had promised Narendra and now she had to save her face by keeping her word. All the while she was simply pondering as to how to get the amount. Just then, Nirdoshkumar who was all along busy during the annual examination and who because of that could not go to Nalini's place all those days, called on her that day to check up as to how she had fared in her examinations. He remained with her for some time and left.
Now, Nalini grabbed the opportunity which so naturally presented itself. She removed a small jewelry box containing Rs. 5000/- in currency notes and few items of gold jewellery worth about Rs. 1200/- from the cupboard which was in the suite where Nalini and Nirdoshkumar met and passed on the booty to Narendra with hints to visit Nirdoshkumars place and plant the empty box and two gold rings there. Her intentions were plain.
Accordingly, Narendrakumar went to the place of Shri. Nirdoshkumar - casually, as he sometimes used to do and managed to leave behind, unnoticed, the empty jewelry box and the two rings and left as casually as he had gone there. He took care to see that his finger prints were wiped out from the box and the rings.
Nalini desired that the loss of that amount should be discovered by her parents before she left on tour. Her desire came to pass. While rearranging the contents of the cupboard Nalini's mother found the box which contained the amount of Rs. 5000/- and some jewelry missing. Nalini herself began a sham search with her mother. The amount couldn't naturally be found.
Nalini's father was informed of the theft and their suspicion centered around Nirdoshkumar. He consulted his friends and finally reported the case to the Police. Nirdoshkumar's house was searched and the Police recovered the tell-tale empty box and two gold rings from there. He was arrested. It was a strong case for the Police and a sensational one for the local papers.
With the police finding the empty jewel-box and the two gold rings from his room, Nirdoshkumarji openly surmised that it was the frame work of Nalini and Narendrakumar. But the poor fellow couldn't place as to why they should have falsely involved him.
The Police paraded Nirdoshkumar to the Magistrate's residence handcuffed and bound by ropes for securing a remand. Hardened criminals may perhaps need to be handled roughly but, our indiscriminate police force has a common rule for all. They take upon themselves the task of punishing and harassing the accused persons throughout the pre-trial period.
At the material time, I was camping at the place of the local Magistrate who happens to be a good friend of mine. It shocked me to see Nirdoshkumarji being brought before the Judicial officer that way. I knew Nirdoshkumar from his college days and I always had and do have a very high opinion about him. The Magistrate ordered that he be released on bail. The Police took Nirdoskumar away.
After that, my host exclaimed "so, swamiji, you seem to know the accused!. The charge against him is very serious. The Police have booked him for theft."
This magistrate friend of mine happens to possess not only a high acumen of legal knowledge, but is also a gifted physiognomist well versed in the science of phrenology. So I asked him as to what his knowledge of physiognomy revealed about Nirdoshkumar. He said "swamiji, a man with the dominating features such as that of the accused can never even think of doing any wrong - his case adds to my past surprises of innocent fellows landing in prisons for no crime of their own." When questioned by me, "will not your this observation influence your judgment of this case were it to come up before you for trial?" He said, "no, we, as is expected of us, dispassionately proceed with the case exclusively on the strength of the facts presented in the court at the time of the trial. Giving weight to personal preferences plus prejudices will not only amount to the denial of justice but also decrying it and that isn't the function of an independent and upright judge. "
Shri Nirdoshkumarji had none to stand surety for him, so he had to remain in Court custody for over 2 months. Finally, the case was put up for trial. He wasn't in a position to engage a pleader either. His request to the City Bar Association for a free legal help went unheard.
Unless it is for name and fame, we don't hear of lawyers who lavishly lie for a liberal living going to the aid of the poor accused persons who are falsely charged with criminal cases. With pain plus pride, the puffy pleaders perspire their heads persevering to secure acquittal for seeded criminals. If the legal practitioners all over the country pledged not to defend the habitual offenders, the high incidence of crimes in India could be done away with.
The police, Narendrakumar, Nalini, her father and shri Nirdoshkumars Land Lord were examined by the Court as witnesses for the prosecution.
The police deposed about the recovery of an empty jewel box and two gold rings from the house of Nirdoshkumar-in the presence of the panchas-identified to belong to the complainant. The panchas corroborated the deposition of the police
Narendra was next examined. The questions put to him were of a preliminary nature aimed at identifying the accused as Nirdoshkumar. As he was being examined by the Government pleader, the Magistrate's knowledge of character-reading began to instinctively work-even as he was consciously attentive to the proceedings in the Court. The sweeping gait of Narendra's walking revealed to the Magistrate Narendra's vacillating and untrustworthy nature.
Kumari Nalini next took her stand in the witness box. Her statements were akin to Narendra's. Kumari Nalini's pointing eyebrows towards her nose made it clear to the Magistrate that she was crafty and quarrelsome. He instantly recalled the axiom. ‘Believe not those whose eyebrows meet, for- in their hearts they harbour deceit. 'Her triangular head and dull deep-set eyes openly showed the criminal intention in her. The protruding lips-the sign of cruelty. The shape of her ears indicated selfishness and smallness of nature. The beak nose suggested a natural tendency towards mercenary leaning.
Undoubtedly, human organs unmistakably do reveal a wide range of facts about the taste, temperament and traits of individuals. It is a dependable key to human character confirmed by observations and experiments.
Nalini's father told the Court about his having kept Rs. 5000/- in currency notes at his house a week before and that he positively saw the jewel-box in the cupboard before noon on the day of theft. Asked by the Court if any of his household members were ever suspected of having stolen money or of having misappropriated them, he gave a negative reply with emphasis.
To add to the strength of the prosecution case, the land lord submitted to the Court by supporting evidences that Shri Nirdoshkumar had paid him Rs. 2000/- on the very day in question against the balance payment of his late father's debt.
Now, it so happened that from few years before this incident. Nirdoshkumar used to be attending upon an old invalid lady in the neighbourhood of his locality. When on the day previous to his arrest, he went to her on his usual evening visit, he found her somewhat different. As never before, seated erect, she appeared to be calmly reflecting upon something serious. When she became aware of Nirdoshkumar's presence, slowly yet sweetly, she said, "son, you have all along been very good to me. I can never forget nor can I ever repay your loveful services. Now, please listen, I have something important to tell you. 'DEATH' the eventual exit from this scene of earthly existence is now drawing near for me. I have an inkling that it will be obligatory for me to vacate this worn out physical vehicle in the early hours of tomorrow. "Punctuating here, she brought out a bag and giving it to Nirdoshkumar, informed him that there was Rs. 2001/- in it and that he should spend that sum towards feeding Brahmins in Bodh Gaya during the shraadh month (September.) Indeed, she passed off in the early hours-the next day. Nirdoshkumar collected few people, told them about the amount which the old lady had given him and cremated her according to Hindu rites. Since there were still five months left for him to use the old Lady's money at Gaya, and as by that time he would also receive an equal amount from a pending litigation, he paid off his Land Lord - in full and final settlement of his father's debts. This payment, unfortunately coincided with the theft at the place of Nalini and he could not convincingly explain the source of receipt of that Rs. 2000/-.
When Nirdoshkumar's house was being searched, even those friends of his, who had joined him in the funeral and who were earlier told about that amount from the old lady, were not inclined to believe that the dead old lady who had been subsisting on the favours of the charitable-minded people from the neighbourhood could have owned that big sum.
Summed up, all the circumstantial evidences strongly pointed to the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt, and so, the court had no alternative but to sentence Nirdoshkumar to a term of rigorous imprisonment.
Eighteen months later, I met Nirdoshkumar in Gaya. He was there to feed the poor brahmins according to the wishes of that late old lady. These days he is in Assam-managing one of the tea estates there.
Through unlawful and sinister means alone can people amass wealth. The children of the wealthy who inherit these disgraceful traits are generally criminal-minded. With resourceful ease they manage to escape the consequences of their offences by simply shifting the blame on the poor and innocent persons like Nirdoshkumar.

If all the-Newspapers and Magazines in the country just called for true cases under the caption of 'I AM INNOCENT', lakhs of shocking incidents will flood their offices revealing the hard-hearted tactics of the clever and the rich who are able to pin their crimes on the innocent.

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