Business Standard
You are here » Home » K-m-nanavati-case

WHAT IS K M NANAVATI CASE


K M Nanavati case is an infamous 1995 Indian court trial that captured the public imagination. In the case, K M Nanavati, a Naval Commander, was tried for the charge of murdering Prem Ahuja, his wife's lover. Initially declared not guilty by a jury, Nanavati was retried in a bench trial after the jury's verdict was dismissed by the Bombay High Court.
 
On March 11, 1960, the HC found Nanavati guilty of killing Ahuja and sentenced him to life in prison. The sentence was suspended by Governor of Bombay within hours. A few months later, Supreme Court suspended the Governor's order and Nanavati was sent to prison.
 
He was granted parole on health grounds in 1963 and a year later was pardoned by new Bombay Governor and Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit.
 
The incident received unprecedented media coverage and inspired several books and films.
 
This was the last case to be heard as a jury trial in India, as the government abolished jury trials soon after in most cases.
 
Who was K M Nanavati?
 
Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati (1925–2003), a Parsi, was a Commander with the Indian Navy. He lived in Mumbai with Sylvia, his English-born wife and their two sons and a daughter.
 
After receiving pardon in the case, Nanavati emigrated to Canada along with Sylvia and their three children in 1968.
 
Nanavati died in July 2003.
 
The shooting
 
Nanavati's wife Sylvia fell in love with Prem Bhagwan Ahuja, a Sindhi friend of Nanavati. After Sylvia confessed about the affair to her husband, Nanavati confronted Ahuja.  
 
According to Nanavati's account in court, he asked Ahuja whether the latter intended to marry Sylvia. After Prem replied in the negative, he fired three shots and Prem Ahuja dropped dead.
 
After committing the crime, Nanavati headed to the police station and confessed his crime.
 
Ram Jethmalani's first high profile case
 
Eminent Lawyer Ram Jethmalani shot to limelight with his appearance in the Nanavati case.
 
Jethmalani was hired by Prem Ahuja's sister to lead the legal team to help with the prosecution strategy.
 
Though he wasn't representing either of the sides personally, the case helped him establish himself in Bombay after moving from Karachi following Partition.
 

K M NANAVATI CASE NEWS


No article available in this category.