Lewis-Guilty or Not Guilty

http://www.abhirajgupta.in/lewis-guilty-or-not-guilty.html

Karan who was on the driver’s seat was waiting for his friend Rahul. Rahul was taking his turn for last 10 minutes on the helpless little black girl. The little girl didn’t see at the face. She was crying and bleeding profusely.

Once done, both friends drove towards the isolated part of the highway and threw the girl and the beer cans on the agricultural land along the highway.

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Lewis was busy at work and came late in night at 8.00. His wife Carolina informed him that angel had not come home from tuition. Lewis said, “Don’t worry. She will come back. Must be playing with friends.”

At 8.30 both lewis and carolina were worried. They called the tuition teacher who told them that she had left the tuition centre at 7.00. Tuition centre was 15 minutes distance from their home.

They called all her friends but no one had any clue about her.

Finally at 10.30 they filed complaint at the police station. Inspector assured them that they would start investigation immediately and some positive news should come in next few hours.

On way back home they met a man who came running somewhere from the open fields.

Lewis stopped him and asked him reason for his running. He informed that a little girl was lying unconsciousness in the field.

Lewis asked the man to sit in the car and they all reached the spot where the girl was lying.

They were shocked to see their 12 year old angel lying on the ground with very little clothes on her body. There were few locals who were discussing among themselves if anyone knew her.

Lewis and Carolina were quite for some time as they didn’t know what to do. After sometime Lewis lifted angel in his arms and covered her body with his shirt. He was literally crying and cursing his stars.

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Siddhartha woke up every morning at 5.30 and went to 24×7 restaurant to collect cash from the staff and update records with the total cash collected. It was a part time work of 2 hours. He would come back home, prepare bed tea for himself and his wife Rekha and would leave for his law firm. He was financially not good and hence took up restaurant work to earn extra money.

The law firm was owned by Ranjan Kothari who had built the office about 15 years ago after getting his law degree. But his license was cancelled 5 years back due to his excessive drinking habit. The court had found him guilty. As he couldn’t see his office in ruins he handed over keys to Siddhartha who was working in his firm. Siddhartha, a senior employee was very honest and down to earth. Now Siddhartha had kept a secretary.  Deepti used to handle all office work in the absence of Siddhartha.

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Lewis approached Siddhartha who was his one of the best friend, next morning in his office. Siddhartha was surprised to see Lewis who seemed to be very angry and upset.

Lewis narrated the horrible incident and informed his friend that he would shoot both criminals once he gets a chance.  Siddhartha didn’t like this statement and cautioned his friend not to take law in his hands.

But Lewis was adamant. He repeatedly asked Siddhartha if he would fight his case as he could not afford any lawyer.  Finally Siddhartha agreed.

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Two days later the court date was fixed. Both the criminals were brought to the court. People were sitting on the benches and Lewis was one of them.

After the hearing of the case the police constable brought the criminals to the corridor that led to the exit gate.

Suddenly very loud sound of three shots was heard and both the criminals were lying dead on the floor. They were bleeding profusely. The police constable was also injured as one fire was shot on his leg.

Lewis was standing in the corridor facing both the criminals and the police constable. He had gun in his right hand.  Siddhartha coming out of the courtroom saw all this and was speechless.

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Siddhartha met Lewis same evening in the coffee shop and asked why he did this? It was no point shooting at the criminals in the court premises and that too in front of everyone.  Lewis said he was boiling with revenge and had no choice.

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It was 10.00 in the morning. Deepti informed Siddhartha that Ranjan sir had called just now and wanted him at his residence at 4.00.

Ranjan called Siddhartha every week to take updates on the office functioning and legal cases. Ranjan was not practicing law for some years but being an influential person his legal eye was sharper than Siddhartha. Ranjan on many occasions had advised Siddhartha that won him cases.

Siddhartha reached sharp at 4.00. Ranjan asked, “What is your opinion on Lewis? You will have to prove him insane to win this case. You have no other option.” Siddhartha didn’t get chance to speak.

John Douglas had the same habit as Ranjan and both friends enjoyed drinking the whole day without doing anything. Douglas was a renowned psychiatrist who could do anything to turn legal case in his favour.

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The judge had appointed jury of 12 people who would hear each and every aspect of the case and would decide if Lewis was guilty of murder or not.

After several court hearings the case had become complicated in view of the fires shot by Lewis in front of everyone. State advocate was of the opinion that Lewis was in senses when he shot and he was not insane.

The judge asked the jury if they had arrived at any decision. They said that 6 of them are in favour and 6 are against Lewis.

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Ranjan, Siddhartha and John were sitting at Ranjan’s residence thinking what to do to win this case. Winning this case meant money and fame for them. It meant something for Siddhartha to win this case as winning would have increased his clients base.

Next day the court hearing was started and John was called in the witness box. He looked at the Judge, then at the jury and then at the public. He started speaking by giving his brief introduction and how he had been helping insane patients.

Siddhartha came to the witness box and asked John, “What is your opinion about Lewis?”

John looked at the jury, became serious and said, “if my daughter would have been raped, I had been filled with anger and must have thought of shooting the criminals to take revenge. I believe if your daughter of 12 years would have been raped, you would have done the same.”

On hearing this some of the jury members were sympathetic and their eyes were wet. John saw this and sensed that he was going in the right direction.

He continued, “what Lewis did was absolutely correct. He could not think what was right and what was wrong as his mind was occupied with the image of his daughter who was lying in the hospital crying for his father. He had become insane.”

There was a silence for some time and then there was a loud applause in the courtroom. The judge asked the jury to declare their result by 4.00 in the evening.

The court was resumed at 4.00 and everyone was waiting for the decision of the jury. Now everything depended upon jury’s decision.

At 4.15 the jury confirmed their decision and handed over the piece of paper to the judge. The judge looked at the paper and then at the crowd in the courtroom.

Some people were praying and some were waiting for the result.

The judge cleared his throat and read the decision. “The court finds Mr. Lewis not guilty of murder”.

Within few seconds, the sound of claps could be heard everywhere and everyone thanked God for this positive decision.

The court was adjourned and people started going out of the court.

Lewis and Siddhartha left the courtroom and saw hundreds of people waiting for them to come. Press reporters were also waiting to live telecast interview with Lewis and Siddhartha.

After the interview everyone wanted to meet Lewis who had become a hero. A huge crowd met Siddhartha to get appointment to fight their legal cases.

Lewis reached home and hugged his daughter and wife.

Siddhartha reached office and relaxed. He closed office early as he wanted to enjoy evening with his wife.

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