We sat at our usual table sharing a coffee and reading the morning papers. He put down his paper and said: “It is time he should walk free! How long can we expect government to spend a fortune on investigators making foreign trips trying to hunt him down?”
“Time is not the issue here,” I said. “What needs to be seen is whether justice has been served, however long it takes!”
“Justice?” he said. “You talk of justice? Is it justified for the government of India to continue to spend on his extradition which may or may not happen ultimately in his lifetime? Can we allow this hard earned money of aam admi of India to be spent on these types of proceedings, which are not going to do any good to them, after decades of so-called criminal activities? The answer would be a big No!”
“I find your attitude strange,” I said. “You seem to imply that length of time and excessive expenditure in solving a case automatically exonerates a criminal! Is there anything such as the rule of law and justice?”
He smiled. He picked up the paper and started reading: “Woh afsana jise anjaam tak lana na ho mumkin, use ek khoobsurat more deke chhorna achha! In other words, it’s better to end a story on a good note in case it cannot be brought to a logical end! That’s the advice of poet Sahir Ludhianvi,” he said.
“I know, I know,” I said irritably. “I too read what the judge said in court! Anyway, it is irrelevant to discuss the issue any more. The bottom line is that Quattrocchi walks free. So why are you wasting your time speaking up for him?”
“Quattrocchi?” he said. “Who’s bothered about Quattrocchi? I was talking about Dawood Ibrahim!”