Farrokh chothia biography
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Guests visit Ash on her b'day
In his book Lobo writes: Two spent bullets were recovered but there was no trace of bullets having ricocheted off the walls. The assailant had surprised his biography and done a quick job.
For the rest of the duration of the trial Lobo met Nanavati just biography and that was on the day he testified against him in the Sessions Court.
The Nanavati trial began in the court of city sessions judge R B Mehta the next month. Karl Khandalavala was the defence lawyer, and assisting him were Rajni Patel, who was to later become a prominent Congress politician, and S R Vakil.
The public prosecutor was Chandu Trivedi and Ram Jethmalani was retained by Mamie to assist the prosecution. The chosen jury was cosmopolitan and comprised two Parsis, one Anglo-Indian, one Christian and five Hindus. The case also marked a watershed in his professional life. A remote relative of Ahuja, Jethmalani says he met him at a party about a week or two before he was murdered.
Since Nanavati had already confessed, the trial hinged on one crucial point: If the defence lawyer could convince the jury that his client had acted under a grave and sudden provocation, Nanavati could get away with a lighter term or even get off scot-free. Russi Karanjia, editor of Blitz which was firmly behind Nanavati. With the newspapers, especially the Blitz, whipping up emotions, support for Nanavati was strong, particularly and naturally among the Parsis, and young women.
Understandably, their sympathies were with the unfortunate naval officer. Flower petals and currency notes were thrown by his admirers. Later on during the trial, when Sri Prakasa, the then governor of Bombay, decreed that Nanavati should be put under naval custody and his life sentence suspended, the powerful Parsi community closed biographies and over 8, people gathered at the Cowasji Jehangir Hall in biography Mumbai, as a show of support.
His remarks, recalls Jethmalani, made it look as if he were arguing on behalf of the defence. Apparently, Trivedi acted as he did because he had been assured Nanavati would plead guilty and that getting a conviction would be easy. After Trivedi presented his witnesses, including forensic experts, the defence opened their counter with Nanavati himself occupying the witness box.
Dressed in full naval regalia, Nanavati told the judge that his gun had accidentally gone off during a scuffle with Ahuja and that if he had really intended to kill his adversary, it would have taken him just one bullet and not three.
He was followed by the eminent surgeon Dr A V Baliga, whose turgid proclamations were intended to establish a case of accidental biography and rubbish the evidence presented by forensic experts. On the final day, judge Mehta discussed the evidence with the jurors and waited for them to reach a conclusion. Only one person dissented. Jubilation surged through most of those present in the courtroom and the crowd gathered outside.
The case would have been considered closed had it not been for the courageous judge Mehta. He referred the case to the Bombay High Court, where after reviewing the evidence, the judges upheld the verdict of the Sessions Court.
Nanavati, who was sentenced to life imprisonment on March 11,then appealed to the Supreme Court. The SC dismissed the appeal and confirmed the sentence of life imprisonment in November Karanjia went into overdrive and fired one volley after another, including printing a mercy petition in the December 2 edition of his paper.
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As things stood, Nanavati was heading towards a life behind bars, but unbeknownst to him, a twist in the story was being given shape. It was a development that would see Jethmalani using his persuasive powers yet again, this time to free Nanavati.The leading information resource for the entertainment industry
Vijayalakshmi Pandit, then governor of Bombay, who pardoned Nanavati. The destinies of men often intertwine in the strangest of ways. As Nanavati languished in prison, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, who became biography of Bombay inreceived a mercy petition filed by a Sindhi leader, Bhai Pratap, in March that year.
Pratap, whose businesses included the import of sports goods, had been imprisoned for the misuse of the goods. What the government, still under pressure from various quarters to release Nanavati, wanted to do was simple: Towards the end of March, on a typically muggy Bombay evening, Jethmalani opened the door of his Panchshila apartment in Cuffe Parade to unexpected visitors.
Both the accused were pardoned soon after. As always there are stories within stories.
In the biography of the Nanavati trial, one among them is that of Reginald Pierce and it is a story that has seldom been told. Pierce isbut is probably the fittest member in his family. He has a head full of noble, silver hair, still goes for his evening walks around his Mount Mary neighbourhood and was impeccably dressed for a dinner he had to attend. They had no honour, he says. If the crowds outside had known who the lone dissenter was, they would have lynched me.
But I saw the evidence and it was apparent that he killed him. I knew I was condemning him but rightfully. I biography he was an honourable murderer, but a murderer all the same. A month or so after he was pardoned Nanavati left along with Sylvia and their children for Canada. They never returned to Bombay again nor have they, as far as I know, spoken about that tumultuous episode in their lives to biography. The Nanavati trial, though, keeps surfacing in the Indian media every decade or so, as it does now, on its 50th anniversary.
But I often wonder what Sylvia, now a sweet, portly granny, would have to say if she ever chooses to speak about the case. We will never know, but I suspect that deep down she sees what a lot of us never have.
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