An advocate's world

Updated: 14 March, 2020 20:13 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

What's it like to be a lawyer defending an accused in a molestation case? A play in Bandra this weekend explores the delicate subject

Ravi Kant Nirala and Gourav Dubey
Ravi Kant Nirala and Gourav Dubey

The event has been rescheduled to April 26 as a precautionary measure to fight coronavirus.

Balli Sharma is a lawyer who is fighting to defend his client Pankaj Shukla, accused of molestation by his neighbour Maya Chakroborty. While the case itself has several twists and turns, director Gourav Dubey in his play Lawgically Speaking, chooses to look at story from the lawyer’s perspective. “The idea was to focus on the life of an advocate, the threats they face and the flaws of the judiciary that affect them,” says Dubey who first performed this as a 20-minute piece in February 2019 at What Next?, a programme by city-based Rangshila Theatre for students to showcase their talent.

The software engineer-turned director was then invited to perform a full-length play produced by the theatre company as part of their Bookmarks wing. Self-admittedly fascinated by courtroom plays and Hindi films like Shahid and Jolly LLB, Dubey spent months poring over case files and chargesheets, taking inspiration from many, to get his courtroom scenes right. “For instance, there was a case in Indore where a man’s ear was bitten off in a squabble. I’ve used that in the play,” he explains.

In the play, the audience hears both sides to the story only to discover that Shukla is actually innocent. “It is inspired by stories I heard and data of sexual harassment cases and other non-cognisable offences where the conviction rate is low. I had also seen and heard cases in my hometown Jabalpur and done my share of Internet research. The problem is, as a society, we pass judgment much before the court,” he says.

AT The Cuckoo Club, 5AA Pali Hill, Macronells Compund, Bandra West.
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First Published: 14 March, 2020 07:00 IST

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