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Bending the Arm of Law by 15 Degrees
by Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

Aditya was about to fasten his suitcase to the seat with the help of a stout chain, when a fellow passenger said, “Don’t you worry. Your luggage will be safe until tomorrow morning.”

Aditya found these words too assuring to be true. So he asked the interlocutor: “Do you have so much faith in railway security?”

“Not at all. In fact I believe that the chance of theft is higher with police around.”

“Then what makes you so sure about the safety of my suitcase?”

“Perhaps you do not read newspapers or watch TV?”

“I haven’t had a chance to read today’s paper. The vendor didn’t deliver the paper this morning.”

“That is why; you are taking the trouble of using the chain. Don’t you know how easy it is to cut off the chain? The fact is that burglars and thieves of India have struck work.”

What? The thieves are on strike?”

Yes indeed. They have placed a list of demands at the door of the government.

What are their demands? Aditya asked

The first one is that the thief must be allowed to steal anything in cash or kind within 15% of the available booty. If the thief steals within that limit, the victim will either not report the case, or, if he does so, the police will merely inform the matter to the President of the Thieves’ Association.

What are the other demands?

"The second demand is that if a thief is caught red-handed twice or more in the act of stealing in six months, then he has to be sent to Australia for corrective measures. He has to be trained by a team of experts about newer and more sophisticated methods of stealing. Someone from police force has to supervise the training. “

“That might prove to be too expensive. Who will bear the expenses?”

" The government, of course. Not only that. After the thief is fully trained with the new technique of stealing, he will be given a certificate. Their demand also includes a comfortable stay in a five-star hotel during the period of training.”

“Is that all?”

“Why are you getting so impatient? Please listen to me. During these six months, after he obtains the certificate, he will move around scot-free, and cannot be arrested under the new law that they are demanding for their protection. Thieves on the approved list and those who retire will be entitled to allowances and pension. They are also entitled to pursue a parallel career in modeling, 15% of their earning will be available for charity work. There are a whole lot of other demands too, such as 15% reservation in the Rajya Sabha”

“Do you think the Government will accede to these demands?"

“No other way. The politicians are their representatives. They will themselves be benefited.”

“What is this world coming to?”

They went on in this vein, and didn’t know when they fell asleep.

When Aditya got up the following morning, his fellow passenger had got off somewhere. When he opened his suitcase, he saw that the lock is broken, and the suitcase was wide open. He found a note, which said, “Idiot! 15% of zero is zero!”

Aditya exclaimed, “That is not cricket!”  

30-Jun-2006
 
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