‘As both the accused are under eighteen years of age, this court is bound by the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 and will recommend a specially convened Juvenile Justice board including leading Psychologists, Sociologists, Criminologists and social workers to determine whether the aforementioned accused be tried under the Indian Penal Code as adults.’
The Honorable Judge banged his gavel, ‘The next hearing is set for May 31st, fifteen days from now. Until then, the accused shall be housed at the Juvenile rehabilitation centre. The Police shall not be allowed to meet the defendants without the presence of their lawyers and a member of the Juvenile Justice board. The court is adjourned.’
The two teenagers grinned at each other and looked triumphantly at their families. They were represented by the top most criminal lawyer in the country, who had absolutely no qualms in fighting the cases of known scum as long as the money was right. The defendants had nothing to worry about – their families came from old money and had deep pockets and connections.
Inspector Kuriakose sighed and beckoned his assistant to follow him out.
‘Looks like a gone case, Sir!’ Sub-Inspector Madhu spat into the ground.
‘Looks like it, Madhu! The law is the law. What are we mere mortals before it? Everyone has to obey the words in black and white,’ Kuriakose casually lighted a cigarette for himself and offered one to SI Madhu.
‘Really, Sir? If the law is so impartial, why were those two little pieces of shit grinning and the parents of that little girl crying?’
‘The law is impartial, Madhu. But there are a lot of loopholes and their lawyer sure knows each and every one of them.’
‘So, that is it? Two rich boys rape and murder a little girl and they’ll be tried as juveniles. Three to six months of rehabilitation will be their punishment. Some fair punishment.’
‘Don’t get excited, Madhu. The Juvenile Justice Board is yet to review the case. They can determine that these two may be tried as adults.’
‘Haha! You must be joking, Sir! They already know who’s going to be on the committee. The game is already fixed, Sir.’
‘Yeah! Those two kids, you’ve read their casefile right?’
‘What are their hobbies? Are they members of any clubs? Where do they spend their weekends at?’
‘Typical rich brats routine, Sir. Friday nights at La Sombra Pub, Horse riding every Saturday morning at the Turf Club, Saturday night raves along the coastline, Sunday afternoons at the gun range, Long drives with a bevy of young and drunk girls…’
‘Do you mean to say they can handle a handgun?’
‘Yes, Sir! They are quite good. In fact, they are in the top 1%…’ Madhu let his words trail into silence and grinned instead.
‘This evening, Sir?’
‘This evening!’ Kuriakose flicked his cigarette away, clapped Madhu on his shoulders and walked away.
That night’s news reports flashed the story of how the two teenagers who were implicated in the rape and murder of a thirteen-year-old girl were gunned to death as they tried escaping Police custody. The reporter announced in a somber voice about Sub Inspector Madhu, who was injured in the resulting shoot out.
Kuriakose switched off the TV, lit a cigarette, and sipped his brandy.