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The attorney was unable to understand the logic behind this argument. He said, "Your Honour, witness hostile! Give me permission to cross him."
Kamalakanta feigned anger and came out of the witness box; the peon, however, made him re-enter the box.
"Your Honour, this witness appears to be mentally incompetent; there is no need to cross-examine him. His testimony shall be withdrawn. He may be allowed to leave," the attorney told the Court.
The judge would have been only too happy to see Kamalakanta leave and was about to issue the necessary orders when Prasanna pleaded, "Your Honour, with your permission, I would like to ask the witness few questions. After that you may send him off."
The judge, his curiosity piqued, gave his consent.
Prasanna addressed Kamalakanta, "Thakur isn't it time for your daily dose? Do you want some?"
Kamalakata: Give me.
Prasanna: First, answer a few questions; then, we will get that.
Kamalakanta: Hurry up then; ask me what you want to know and I will answer as quickly as possible.
Prasanna: I ask you, to whom does that cow belong?
Kamalakanta: To whoever drinks its milk.
Prasanna: Does that cow belong to me?
Kamalakanta: Lass, you have never drunk a drop of that cow's milk; you only sell it! How can the cow be yours? If you claim that the cow belongs to you, then I will say that all the money in the bank is mine. Lassie, let the cow thief go free - let the poor fellow survive by drinking the cow's milk.
The judge observed that the two were making a mockery of the Court. He admonished them, and took up the enquiry himself. "Does Prasanna sell this cow's milk?" he asked.
Kamalakanta: Yes, Your Honour.
Judge: Does she keep this cow in her shed?
Kamalakanta: She keeps this cow in her shed, and sometimes also allows me to stay in the shed.
Judge: Does she feed the cow?
Kamalakanta: She feeds us both.
At this point Prasanna's counsel said, "That proves what I had set to prove. I have nothing more to ask."
The defence counsel now stood up and approached the witness, at which Kamalakanta exclaimed, "Now then, who are you?"
Defence counsel: I represent the accused, and will cross-examine you on his behalf.
Kamalakanta: One person has already "crossed"; now, you too want to cross!
Defence counsel: Let's talk only on matters of importance. You say you recognize the cow; how do you recognize it?
Kamalakanta: Sometimes from its horns, and sometimes from its colour.
The defence counsel slapped his hand on the table in anger and yelled, "Stop talking nonsense; how do you recognize this cow?"
Kamalakanta: From its moo sounds.
The defence counsel was disappointed. "Hopeless!" he blurted out and took his seat - he did not wish to cross examine the witness any further.
Kamalakanta looked at him and asked courteously, "Why do you give up so easily?"
The judge, finding that the defence counsel did not wish to question the witness, allowed Kamalakanta to leave; Kamalakanta left the courtroom in a hurry.
I had some work in the court which I attended to and, then, walked out. I found Kamalakanta sitting outside with a hookah in his hand. He was surrounded by a curious crowd. Prasanna was there too, and Kamalakanta was rebuking her and pouring forth a volley of ill omen that would befall her if she did not surrender the cow to the thief.
I asked, "Mr Chakraborty, why should she give away the cow to the thief?"
Kamalakanta replied, "The current international law in Europe recognizes the Right of Conquest; if you wish to be acknowledged as civilized and progressive, you must learn to snatch from others. If Right of Conquest is a right, then why shouldn't the Right of Theft be a right too? Therefore, Prasanna, you must act lawfully and deliver the cow to the thief."
Thus advising Prasanna, Kamalakanta picked himself up and went his way. The man must indeed be crazy!
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu