This week, The Trial: Pyar Kahnoon Dhoka, starring Kajol as an advocate, hits the streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar. It is the Hindi adaptation of the popular English series The Good Wife. As a legal drama about a wife, it is well known.

The arrival of The Trial is a good excuse for us to collate the best courtroom movies in Hindi that stand out for courtroom battles. It is a genre that is always interesting as it combines both investigations and language histrionics. It is a theme that has the possibility of working well mostly. 

(For the sake of convenience, we have limited our choices to the last 20 years) 

 Shaurya

Release Year: 2008

The Hindi play Court Martial is the inspiration for this scintillating legal drama. In the backdrop of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, the film deals with the court martial of an army officer who stands accused of shooting dead his senior officer. The compelling complexity of the circumstances leading to the killing is unravelled in the court martial. Directed by Samar Khan, the movie stars Kay Kay Menon, Rahul Bose, Javed Jaffrey, Deepak Dobriyal and Minissha Lamba. 

No One Killed Jessica

Release Year: 2011

This was a real-life cause celebre. The killing of the barmaid Jessica Lal by a politician’s son is the story of this film. Despite several eyewitnesses, proving guilt proved tough in the legal system as it operates in India. The film focuses on Jessica Lal’s sister’s fight to nail the killer through law. Rani Mukherjee played the journalist’s role who spearheaded the media campaign against the politico. Vidya Balan played the victim’s sister in this film directed by Raj Kumar Gupta. 

OMG Oh My God!

Release Year: 2012

This satirical film is more than a courtroom drama. It is about our relationship with God. An earthquake destroys a man’s shop, and the insurance company refuses to pay, saying it was an act of God. So the defiant and furious man goes to court and sues God. The story is an adaptation of a very successful Gujarati play, and the template is from the Australian film called The Man Who Sued God. Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal share crackling chemistry as God and the man who learns to accept the concept of God. Umesh Shukla directs the film.

Section 375

Release Year: 2019

The film, as the title suggests, deals with Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The movie Section 375, starring Akshaye Khanna and Richa Chadha in the leads, asks some pertinent questions about the MeToo movement, even while making an uncomfortable but honest study of male privilege, the abuse of power, and the politics of consent. The film is a compelling courtroom drama directed by Ajay Bahl.

Rustom 

Release Year: 2016

This is the cinematic interpretation of the scandalous Nanavati murder case that rocked the nation in the 1950s. Director Tinu Suresh Desai builds a conspiracy theory around it. A navy officer finds his wife having an extra-marital affair with a businessman. He is later charged with the murder of his wife’s lover. Was he framed? The way he defends himself is the story. Akshay Kumar plays the Nanavati figure, Ileana D’ Cruz is his philandering wife, and Arjun Bajwa plays the playboy. Akshay got the National Film Award for Best Actor for portraying the titular character.

Mulk

Release Year: 2018

A poignant and powerful story about an innocent Muslim man: his son joins an extremist group, leaving the dad and wife to face the accusation of having links with terrorists. This sensitive topic is dealt with sincerity. Directed by Anubhav Sinha, the film’s strong point is the performance of Rishi Kapoor as the innocent man and Taapsee Pannu as his advocate. The film makes for a very disturbing watch, but one you must see.

 


Aside from these best courtroom movies in Hindi, you must also check out legal dramas from South India: Jai Bhim (2021, Tamil, Amazon Prime Video), Jana Gana Mana (2022, Malayalam, Netflix), Mukundan Unni Associates (2022, Malayalam, Disney+ Hotstar), Vaashi (2022, Malayalam, Netflix), Nna Thaan Case Kodu (2022, Malayalam, Disney+ Hotstar) and Gargi (2022, Tamil, SonyLiv).

Have you seen any of the movies from our list of Best Courtroom Movies in Hindi? Let us know in the comments below.

Balakumar Kuppuswamy
Balakumar Kuppuswamy

An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.

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