In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India

In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India

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In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India

By Bachi Karkaria

At lunchtime on 27 April 1959, the handsome naval commander Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati was told by his English wife Sylvia that she was having an affair with their flamboyant businessman-playboy friend, Prem Ahuja. Later that evening, armed with a revolver, Kawas Nanavati stormed Ahuja’s bedroom and shut the door behind him. 3 gunshots were heard going off inside. Ahuja was dead.

The incident received unprecedented media coverage and inspired several books and films such as the 1973 film Achanak and 2016 film, Rustom.

Prem Ahuja’s murder set in motion an extraordinary public frenzy – thousands descended on the streets of Bombay chanting in favor of the hero Kawas Nanavati and the jury, swept off their feet by the dazzling naval officer in the dock, returned a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict.

This trial was the death knell of the jury system in India. It hurtled a judiciary keen on preserving justice into the confrontation with an executive bending to the will of hysterical crowds and tabloids and Nanavati’s powerful friends in the establishment.

In this laboriously researched book, “In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India” – part courtroom drama, part thriller, and legal history and the part social portrait of post-Independence Bombay – the author Bachi Karkaria gives a most comprehensive account of the Nanavati case and the Constitutional crisis to which it gave birth.

Akshay Kumar’s Rustom and KM Nanavati: 10 things you need to know about the sensational case. Read the full – In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India book to know about this case.

About the Author




Bachi Karkaria is a veteran journalist and columnist with the Times of India. She also curates the Times of India Litfest.

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