5 Real-Life Courtroom Dramas That Should Be Films

The Courts in India are one place where you can find a lot of bizarre stories as well as people being brought to light. India has seen a lot of significant cases which have resulted in landmark judgments and changes in the judiciary. No doubt, India is a strange land and therefore, the stories here have to be equally weird. Some stories resemble film scripts full of thrills, suspense and twists.

Such courtroom dramas have been portrayed time and again in films with the most recent being Rustom, based on the famed Nanavati case. Also, who can forget the cult film, 12 Angry Men, which saw a jury comprising men with deflecting viewpoints come to a conclusion!

But a lot remains unexplored in this genre. That is why we have listed down 5 legendary cases India has seen, and which we would like Bollywood to adapt into movies.

The Tarakeshwar Case (1874)
tarakeshwar-murder-compressed-compressedThis resembles the famous K. M. Nanavati case in some aspects. It saw Nobin Chandra Banerjee murder his 16-year-old bride who was allegedly having an affair with a local temple’s mahant. The case is perplexing because Nobin, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, was set free after two years while the mahant was arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Set in the British era, this case was also important from the point of view of the 'You vs. They' debate.

Bhawal Case (1921-1946)
bhawal-case-compressedThis sounds like it was taken straight out of a movie script. The case was about an impostor who claimed to be the Prince of Bhawal Estate in modern-day Bangladesh. The Estate`s second Prince, Ramendra, had died in the early 20th century but there were a lot of rumors surrounding his death. Naturally, when a wandering sanyasi resembling Ramendra, returned to claim the throne, many people believed him to be the real Ramendra except for his widow Bibhabati. Following a long legal process, he finally won the case.

State of Orissa vs. Ram Bahadur Thapa (1959)
ram-bahaur-thapa-case-compressedImagine a bunch of superstitious locals accompanied by an outsider who set out to explore ghosts in a haunted place but ended up killing one woman. This is what happened in this case when a certain Ram Bahadur Thapa, under the misconception of attacking a ghost, killed a local woman. The arguments for and against such a disturbing incident will surely keep you bound to your seat, if this case was made into a movie.

Rajan Case (1981)
rajan-caseThis case dates back to the dark days of the Emergency period when a final year Engineering student was taken into police custody and tortured to death. The events following the arrest saw the boy’s father knock on court doors, and ultimately ended with Tamil Nadu’s then Home Minister K. Karunakaran resigning from his post.  A movie on this incident can throw light on how a common man with the help of the country’s laws brought about such a big change.

Vishaka and Others vs. State of Rajasthan (1997)
bhanwari_devi-citizen-mattersThis is a legendary courtroom drama that initially saw the rights of women being trampled upon but ultimately led to a landmark judgment in favor of working women. In 1992, when Bhanwari Devi was gang-raped by upper caste men, there was gross negligence on the part of the investigating officers, and this resulted in her rapists getting acquitted. Widespread outrage led to the creation of the Vishaka Guidelines.

–Gladis Monteiro

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