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Monday, February 26, 2007

Fight for your rights! - Update 16

Last Thursday, 22nd, the milkman came again to our house late evening. This time he caught us both together and again he apologized profusely to both of us. He said the usual stuff I've posted earlier in Fight for your rights! - Update 13. It was because of the "Cauvery verdict", because of "family problems" that he behaved this way with my wife, etc etc. Its a wonder he didn't blame the phase of the moon for his behavior.

Anyway, at it stands, we are almost certainly not going to pursue the police case against him. I've been getting comments that we "should not discontinue", or "give up", that we "need to teach the milkman a lesson", that we "shouldn't chicken out". But there are valid reasons why we think that we should not take the matter to court. We've given this a lot of thought.

First the lawyer said that our chances of conviction are slim, we don't have direct proof or witnesses.

Second, this guy, for whatever reasons, has come and apologized three times already. He has completely changed his tune from bluster to abject apology. For sure, it was not a change of heart that made him tender an apology... still, how many times does something like this happen? Unheard of. You know the adage, to err is human...

Third, my wife feels that his punishment has already been commiserate with the "crime".

Fourth, we feel that if we refuse to accept the apology and reach a "compromise", he might feel spurned and there's no telling what he might do then. He's humbled himself and if we don't accept the apology, I might risk some harm to my wife. That I'm not willing to do.

Of course this is a good chance that all this is a good bluff, he knows that he will be arrested, he has to spend money on a lawyer, post bail, run to the court, etc. He might even be convicted. So the easiest way out is to apologize. For that we will take our lawyer's help to draft some kind of undertaking, or confession or admission of guilt and get this guy to sign it at the police station with our witnesses. We will have the same filed with the FIR at the police station and another with the complaint we submitted at KMF. This will help the next time anybody makes a complaint about him to the police/KMF/court.

We are still following up on the Consumer Court case, lets see how that goes.

Read Fight for your rights! - Update 15.

28 comments:

Ashish Gupta said...

Let me begin by saying that I perfectly understand your reasons in not pursuing the case. As uninvolved party and distant observer, I (and probably other readers) can be more idealistic in asking to teach milkman a lesson while you will have to do all the work. However, this reasoning of yours is not different from the reasons because of which many people do not even initiate such cases, which you have stated in one of your earlier posts that you are not okay with. That will be perfectly alright as no one should bear the burden of being a hero for rest of onlookers. In any case you are aware of practicality of issues.

Regarding punishment being commiserate with crime, perhaps punishment is commiserate with crime he originally committed, but what about efforts used in getting that punishment? What I am talking is that when someone wins a case of overcharging than he does not seek refund of excess charged only but that plus all other efforts (lawyer fee, time, stress, etc.) vested in getting original refund.

Finally, don't take all this personally. It is all theoretical and ideological speculation on my part as someone who became your fan by following this issue. What you have done so far itself is admirable. Plus you are still continuing to fight on another front. Good luck there. Cheers.

-Ashish

Hawkeye said...

@Ashish: Thanks buddy. We've given this a lot of thought before coming to such a decision. I do not quite agree to "...this reasoning of yours is not different from the reasons because of which many people do not even initiate such cases". What we are doing now should not be seen as backing out and discouraging for someone else. While others might not even initiate such a case, we did. And we have followed it by investing considerable time and effort (but very little money). The milkman's apology has in some way resolved the issue. If he had not apologized, there would have been no question of not pursuing the case. And we were never doing this for revenge, it was simply to show this guy that we would not stand for such behavior and that all his so called connections cannot protect him. We've proved both these things. He will definitely be scared to try this again in the future. Who knows who else might stand up against him and then he might be in big trouble.

Since this part has such an easy ending for him, we are still pursuing the consumer case against the overcharging. Lets see how that goes.

sushruta said...

this is your fight and you and only you get to decide what you should do next. As for people who do not agree with your stance can go and pick a issue and fight in whatever way tehy wih too. What you did and the honesty with which you shared everything is commendable.
cheers!

Hawkeye said...

@sushruta: Wow. Thankoo :)

Anonymous said...

lol....the sissy chickens out as expected! the milkman did put up a show, kudos to him.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ashish, but you know what, this gentleman learnt it the hard way by spending time and effort (and mustbe money) and he did get his ego boosted by the apology!

Hawkeye said...

@anon1: You guys are destined to go through life with blinders on. So be it.

@anon2: Yeah, I'm thinking of running for Parliament now. Do vote for me.

Anonymous said...

hehe ... you will lose your deposit .. save your money ...

Partha said...

Amit, what you did is great... never mind these people who want to criticize anonymously. Given the practical situation what you did is best..
The next time a lady questions on overcharging to this milk guy .. he will know how to behave, and you have helped those people. By not fighting, the culture of "do what ever u want, we won't say a thing" is growing which needs to end, and fights like yours should be encouraged.. for a better future tomorrow. Really appreciate what you did..
Partha

Templar said...

I do commend what you have done against the doodwallah. And I also read the post you put up with the driver. Not sure if I would agree with the other. The driver is losing his job and he maybe the only source of income to his family. Had the guy tried to talk to the driver instead of going after his job ... wonder would that have changed his attitude towards reckless driving. I think loss of job from his point of view would fall into the rich-poor divide. Guess the doodwallah,though humbled, would be feeling the same. I am happy you did take the fight to him, but arent we fighting the battle against the insignificant, I am sure one would not have gone against a big shark. Anyways, you need a thumbs up for getting to this stage.

Hawkeye said...

@Partha: Thanks. The anon comments are laughable. I wonder if its a culture thing, you know the story about the crabs. Do you know why fishermen never need to cover a basket with live crabs inside? As soon as one tries to crawl up, the others all pull it down. I s'pose that our story as well.

Anonymous said...

it is atrocious you misused scarce govt. resources to bully that milkman into apologising and inflate your stupid ego.

Hawkeye said...

@anon: Ok, this one is so rich I wont even respond to it. Scare government resources, he says. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Templar said...

I feel a rupee or two to the milkman would not have hurt HawkEye's pocket. I hope this is not penny wise, pound foolish example out here.

Templar said...

Whats the culture thing you are refering to in the above post?

Hawkeye said...

@templar: Perhaps, but you of course would never have stopped one of the call center drivers to, ugh, talk to him. What you would have is a string of abuses, uncouth behavior, no remorse or explanation of why he was driving rash, and threats that you can call up whoever you want to, right there in front of him, why he will even offer you his phone to call up the commissioner of police, the inspectors are his personal friends, the do-whatever-you-will attitude that is so prevalent. I have stopped to talk to call center vehicle drivers many times. What Ravi is doing is the right thing. All this talk of livelihood being lost is just an excuse to get away with anything.

Hawkeye said...

@templar again: Duh? Come'n man. The Indian culture of putting others down without shaking a finger oneself.

templar said...

I wonder if you could bracket all call center drivers in such derogatory manner ... I dont think all are bad apples out there ... a few maybe, but not all. Thatz a tall story that they would offer there number and claim inspectors as friends ... it must be a bluff if you believed it. Again, generalizing all call center drivers as uncivilized is uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

it must be a bluff if you believed it.

i am sure this pious hypocrite did the same thing with the milkman. i bet he didn't tell him about the case being weak.

i wonder what perverse pleasure people get by scoring 'moral' victories over the weak with no acess to resources.

templar said...

victories over the weak ...

food for thought ...

Rajat said...

jaanab, aap Feb 26 blog mein comment deejiye ....
huzoor, aap hamar laloo jaise sochiye. roman in rome ... woh soniaji jaise kyon naatak karte hain ... roman in india .. yeh toh nahi chalega, my baap.

Hawkeye said...

@Rajat and Templar: Whatever guys. Happy bitching. I have other fish to fry than carry on these pointless discussions. Further comments will be moderated. I thank you for your time.

Templar said...

Well I did say that one must not generalize the behaviour of a certain group. I do agree you have every right to complain which you deem as unfair.

Looks like you are again bracketing me with Rajat, which I strongly disagree. This is what I meant by generalization of a group.

I am sure you would agree on this.

Hawkeye said...

@templar: BTW, I forgot to say something. Looks like you didn't read the rash driving post carefully or you jumped to your own conclusions. The driver didn't lose his job, he was suspended. Last I knew, suspended means "a temporary debarment", like being suspended from school for bad behavior. So I don't know what the hullabaloo is all about.

Templar said...

Thatz reasonable and good to hear. Tone down the hullabaloo word. Guess we need moderation at your end too if you complain abt anon folks blogging.

Nisho said...

Hey man, I've been reading your blog for quite some time now... I know you've heard this before, but you've done a great thing... That milkman will now think twice before overcharging someone!

I fight for my rights too.. even though I haven't gone to the extent of hiring a lawyer... if an auto guy refuses to ply or charge me excess, I make sure I put up a fight with him and let him know I'm taking down his license details .. I've even called the Legal Metrology @ 22207750 right in front of the driver, but no one has ever picked up the call at the other end.

Anyways, I appreciate what you're doing and it's a great inspiration to small fighters like me :-) Maybe we should form a small non-profit organization to fight stuff like this.

And lastly, your decision on a compromise is indeed the right thing to do.. I would've done the same thing.. I wouldn't risk any harm to my wife or to myself, for that matter..

poupee97 said...

Looks like I've been away from your blog for a while! Well, good to know the milkman apologized, for whatever it's worth. Agree with your reasons for not pursuing it further, though I also feel it is a pity. But, it's good to know that there is someone who makes a fight out of these things - naysayers be damned.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Fab job you guys! To pursue this thing the way you have is admirable. So often women don't get the support they need..
all the best for your hearing..
keep up the good work.
Cheers!!