Once upon a time in one of the princely states of Marwar there ruled a king called Karni Singh. He was famous for his queer judgments. His method of dispensing justice was based on sayings. Consequently most of his judgments were simply ludicrous. One such humorous judgment is related here.
It so happened that in the State of Karni Singh, in a farmer’s field a milkman’s buffalo broke in. After eating her fill, it ruined a large portion of the lush and green standing crop which the farmer had so painstakingly cultivated.
When the farmer spotted the buffalo broke in. After eating her fill, it ruined a large portion of the lush and green standing crop which the farmer had so painstakingly cultivated.
When the farmer spotted the buffalo he flew into a terrible rage and picking up a thick stick he thoroughly beat the animal. He then put a rope round its neck and took it to his hut and tied it to a stump.
When the milkman, looking for his buffalo came to the farmer’s house, the angry farmer told him to get away and never returned the milkman’s buffalo to him. The dejected milkman had no alternative but to appeal to King Karni Singh.
The farmer and the milkman were summoned for judgment.
The King asked, “Who is the owner of the buffalo?”
“I, Sir”, the milkman replied.
“Whose crop did it spoil” was his next question.
“Mine Sir”, said the farmer.
“But what are you holding in your hand?” said the king.
The baffled farmer fumbled: “A stick, Sir.”
“Well” turned the King to the milkman, “The buffalo will not be returned to you because the holder of the stick is the owner of the buffalo.” (A saying equivalent to “Might is Right’).
The milkman felt humiliated but he could hardly say anything against the royal judgment.
Justice By Parables – Rajasthani Folktales