Film emerged as an effective medium represent fictional and non-fictional story or play which influence not only to  individual rather society bidirectional or multilateral it means that film  have a positive or Negative impact on people. Several Film have been invented on different institution of society such as Education, Government, Religion, History, Biography, legal aspect; each social institution has different objective, social and legal rules and regulations.

For instance, film based on education concern literacy or illiteracy and if whether film rooted on Legal aspect is certainly formed on court rooms and socio-legal battle. In recent years, a number of Indian film have already been filmed based on legal screenplay likewise present article would interpret one of the thriller film based on socio-legal matter and court room namely ‘Rustam’ inspired by ‘K.M Nanavati v. State Of Maharashtra’ which received unprecedented media coverage and influenced Indian Criminal Judiciary System.

The article confined about the fact of film, Contention or Argument and Judgments. Social-legal impact of movie, Where the film went right and where it went wrong?, Film filmed as original story upto an extent.

‘Rustam’ film based on real incident script written by Vipul K Raval brought from landmark case of  Supreme Court of Indian ‘K.M Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra’ and starts narrating story of a Naval Officer whose wife had an extramarital affair with a businessman and directed the film by Tinu Suresh Desai. Mainly four character highlighted in the film namely ‘Rustam’  (A naval officer), ‘Cynthia’ wife of Naval officer, Vikram Makhija (Business man) and ‘Preeti Makhija’ sister of Vikram Makhija. Rustam was coming back to home before the deadline of his official duty, concealed to his wife about the same in order to surprise her (Cynthia). He buys some flowers on the way and reached home but unfound her. Maid servant (Jamnabai) exclaimed that she is not at home and went out from house yesterday noon. When he entered in his bedroom, found some gift with letter mention V. then he found more love letter in cupboard written by Vikram. In meanwhile, Cynthia arrived as she passed near her room Rust am started narrates the letter, Cynthia shocked. She wants to confess before the Rustam but she has been exposed through the letters mentioned about her extramarital affair and illicit intimacy with Vikram. In the heat of agony, Nanavati went to the ship to procure a loaded revolver and went to the Vikram’s office, asked about Vikram at reception but unfound him there then he drove car toward Vikram’s residence where he shot him and Vikram dead on occasion and had sufficient bodily injury, then he went to police station surrendered himself. Case contended under section 302 (punishment for murder) heard by judge and 8 Jury member. Contention by Petitioner: Rustam planned to find out whether Vikram would marry her? And as he asked the same to Vikram but he mocked at the point and replied “would I marry every women with whom I sleep”?

Rustam asked him to stay in behavior. Vikram, being indignant took out his gun with intention to shoot Rustam. Rustam hit gun and fell the gun down, started quarrel and scuffle between two and during the struggle, rustam was at gun point. Rustam fired but in self defense. Argument by Respondent: Vikram had just gotten out of the shower while wearing a towel. His towel was still on his body when his body was discovered. It hadn’t loosened or fallen off, which was exceedingly unlikely in the event of a scuffle. It was a premeditate murder because he entered into Vikram’s room shot him dead. Judgments: Rustam was initially declared not found guilty by jury with the majority of  8:1.

In some extent, film shown conduct same as real story of K.M Nanavati such as the background of real story followed by film, the name of the character have been changed but the parsi and sindhi identities were remained the same. Nanavati becomes Rustam, Slyvia becomes Cynthia, Prem Ahuja becomes Vikram Makhija. Rustam was a highly decorated and virtuous Indian Naval Officer and a Parsi  who was married to English born Cynthia. 

Rustam found out about his wife’s extramarital affair and illicit intimacy with Vikram. He proceeded to drive to his naval base, withdrew his official pistol and bullets, went to Vikram’s office; not finding him there he went to Vikram’s  home. Vikram came out from the bathroom in just his towel, Rustam asked him if he intended to marry Cynthia. When Ahuja refused, Nanavati fired three shots into his chest and killed him, declared not guilty by Jury. This case received unprecedent coverage of media and huge crowd waited outside the court even inside the court densely during trial. This story got so popular that a magazine of that time whose price was 25 paise was being sold for 2 rupees. Film got right through all the facts mentioned above but it was not complete as compared to real story.

We have also shown the protagonist in his spotless white naval uniform throughout, even when he was in his prison cell while immediate surrender himself after committed murder. He is seen to defend himself in court without any legal counsel. In film caste there were only four mainly character but in reality K.M Nanavati also had two children namely Pharoz (son) and Tannaz (daughter) at that time when he was facing trial. When rustam reached vikram’s house to settle the matter and ask that “would he marry with  Cynthia”? With the question KM nanavati ask about their children that “would he look after their children”?. There are some villian added in the movie who were corrupt naval officers involving in shady and highly deal to sale a cheap air craft purchase by foreigner on same or actual price. This movie did not covered all the reality of KM Nanavati such as in movie shown the Jury declareed not guilty under 302, movie finished but actually this case heard by High Court where Nanavati convicted under section 302 of Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life then Nanavati appealed to the Supreme court by a special leave petition (SLP) the matter came before supreme Court of India. At the same time, he made an application to the governor under article 161 of Indian constitution.

Supreme court upheld SLP and Application for pardoning powers can’t operate together. If SLP is filed then power of the governor in such condition will cease to exist. Here, Supreme court convicted him under section 304 Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder, with the sentence to 10 year imprisonment. Later, Nanavati was pardoned by then Governor Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, after spending 3 years in jail. The jury system becomes controversial after K.M. Nanavati Case, as the government aboilished the jury system as the result of the case.

Films have a greater impact on the society. Several cases have been scene of how ‘teenagers’ get inspired by films to hatch a plan in order to commit a crime. Many popular dialogue or trailers capturing people’s attention through propagation in order to  succeed the film , the way audience see the side of film they sees Actor being the Hero is right whether he played role of murderer (criminal) or conduct as common man. The present Article interpreted the movie ‘Rustam’ extensively, the way male lead character committed murder and jury released him from criminal liability because he was not found guilty in accordance of jury member. In such Creation, individual would be inspired to commit crime, instigate and abet the individual to hatch an idea in order to commit crime. A common individual would think if he committed murder in such circumstances there is high possibility to prevent himself from any criminal liability. But the authentication of fact is opposite as shown in film where accused was found guilty spent three year of imprisonment even after pardoned by Governor.


The article confined about a film rooted on original story or case of  Supreme Court of India which used many times by making films such as the 1973 film Achanak, the 2016 film Rustam, and the 2019 web series verdict etc. The percentage of crime in India increases 1.6% annual in the registration of cases (50.7 lakh cases), the crime rate per 100,000 population has increased from 383.5 in 2018 to 385.5 in 2019 whereas Switzerland, Singapore, Spain like country has lowest crime rate than other country. No clear percentile data of crime committed through inspiration by film but uncountable criminal cases heard through telecommunication whereby offender inspired by fictional thriller film turn them into reality to commit heinous crime. Crime can be controlled by strict laws and surveillance. Film should be based on original judgment if film making on social-legal battle and non-fictional Story, unlike Rustam filmed incomplete and some scenes are opposite from original story in which released him from criminal liability. It would be considered respectful regarding law and justice that films must be as such perspective create a reasonable fear in audience’s mind toward crime and law. But the reason behind produced is only to film is to get huge monetary fund or to make a profit. People should be inspired by positive or virtuous character proving righteousness for society.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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