Spoiler Alert : If you haven’t watched the movie yet then its a spoiler.
The movie is about a Naval officer who ends up killing his wife’s lover in in Mumbai in 1959.This movie is based on real life incidents of Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati, his wife Sylvia and his wife’s lover Prem Bhagwandas Ahuja.
He was an Indian Naval Officer who had settled in Mumbai with his English wife, Sylvia, and their two children.
It was when K.M Nanavati was away for his assignment, his wife had an affair with his friend ahuja.
When he returned and sensed about this affair and asked his wife about it, his wife confessed of having an affair.
He dropped his wife and children to cinema and did not join them and instead went to Prem Ahuja’s residence and confronted him. Nanavati asked Prem if he was going to marry his wife and take responsibility of the children.
Acc. to court records Ahuja replied “Will I marry every woman I sleep with?” and Nanavati shot him thrice with his revolver, he later went to the police and surrendered himself.
The crux of the was was whether Nanavati shot Ahuja in the “heat of the moment” or whether it was a premeditated murder. Nanavati lawyers argued that it was the heat of the moment.
Nanavati was a patriotic man who had been honestly serving his country and he pleaded not guilty. The case had become a huge media frenzy as the weekly tabloid, Blitz, had openly declared its support for Nanavati. They constantly championed him as the man who had committed a mistake in the moment. This resulted in Nanavati getting a lot of support from the general public.
The Bombay Sessions Court Jury pronounced him not guilty.
But the High Court dismissed the verdict and the case was opened again. The arguments of committing the crime in the heat of the moment from the defence’s side and the premeditation of murder from the prosecution’s side were opened again.
This time, the High Court agreed and Nanavati was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Supreme Court upheld this judgement.
By this time, Nanavati had already spent three years in prison. By now, Nanavati was a loved public figure. Huge rallies were being held in Bombay demanding the pardoning of the convicted man. The tabloid, Blitz, ran this story for more than three years. The Parsi community and the Indian Navy had shown their complete support too.
Prem Ahuja’s sister, Mamie Ahuja, was persuaded to pardon Nanavati and she finally gave her pardon in writing.
After Nanavati was released; he along with his wife and children moved to Canada.
This was the last case that was tried under the jury trial method in India. It is believed that the abolishment of this method happened mainly because of the way the public perceived the accused as the media was highly supportive of him.
Nanavati passed away in 2003
Movies Inspired by this case
The case has inspired several Bollywood movies, plays and books including R K Nayar’s Ye Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (1963) starring Sunil Dutt and Leela Naidu, Gulzar’sAchanak (1973) starring Vinod Khanna and Lily Chakraborty and Indra Sinha’s bookThe Death of Mr Love (2002). And now, Akshay Kumar and Neeraj Pandey’s latest offing Rustom, is based on the case.
[Source/ Cover Image : scoowhoop,quora//businessinsider]