Monday, February 18, 2013

Pankaj Kapoor and Annu Kapoor were outstanding in Ek Ruka Hua Faisla.

Basu Chatterjee gave many entertaining films in the 1970s including Choti Si Baat, Chitchor, Rajnigandha. He also directed and produced the intellectual film Ek Ruka Hua Faisla in 1986. The film was based on the same story as Hollywood film 12 Angry Men, directed by Sydney Lumet. The story was related to a murder case where the accused had killed his father. The judge asked the 12 jurors to decide about the verdict, come back and let him know. If they decide that the accused was guilty then it should be accompanied by mandatory death sentence. The 12 jurors including Pankaj Kapoor, Annu Kapoor, KK. Raina, Subhash Udghate, Shailendra Goel and others sat in a room, discussed the events and came at a finding. Voting took place about the decision of the jurors. Out of the 12 jurors, 11 of them voted in favour of the accused being guilty. Only KK Raina, had doubts in respect of liability of accused. He did not believe that the pocket knife produced in the court to be conclusive evidence. He brought a pocket knife of similar nature. He then said he wanted to have a secret ballot and if still 11 jurors are convinced then he wanted to agree to them. At that time Annu Kapoor voted in favour of the accused. MK Raina got irritated because he bought tickets to see Dilip Kumar’s film Mashal. Time was wasted according to him. Subhash Udghate also changed his vote. KK Raina raised the question whether it was possible on the part of the old witness in the Court to walk huge distance in 15 seconds and see the accused running out of the house after killing his brother. Pankaj Kapoor accused Subhash Udghate of changing the vote because he lived in slums and had weakness for slum children. Question was raised also of the testimony of a woman witness who was travelling in train and saw the accused killing his father from the windows of the train. It was said that she used to wear spectacles and did not wear it in court, so question of seeing the face of the accused from such a huge distance was impractical. One after the other all the jurors changed stands including Aziz Qureshi, Amitabh Srivastav, Hemant Mishra, S.M. Zaheer, Subbiraj, Shailendra Goel, Deepak Qasir. Only Pankaj Kapoor maintained his stand of voting against the accused. Pankaj Kapoor was adamant due to the fact that his son who went abroad also had not returned within 2 years. He cried at the end of the film. The performances of Pankaj Kapoor, Annu Kapoor, S. M. Zaheer, KK Raina were excellent. Basu Chatterjee gave excellent direction in the film. The film did not have any songs. It was hardcore intellectual film showing the truth that it was very difficult to rely on hearsay evidence. If a murder case was supposed to proved by circumstantial evidence, any doubt in respect of one of the evidences could make the circumstantial chain incomplete and the benefit of doubt should go to the accused.

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