Bollywood relives model murder that transfixed India

Wed Jan 5, 2011 5:28am EST
 
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - A Bollywood film opening this week will relive a landmark murder trial involving a powerful politician's son who killed a model for refusing him a drink, a case that was seen as a test of Indian judiciary's impartiality.

"No One Killed Jessica" is based on the murder of Jessica Lall and the fight to bring to justice the son of an influential member of India's ruling Congress party.

Lall, 34, was tending the bar at an exclusive party in New Delhi when she was shot dead by Manu Sharma in 1999, apparently for refusing to serve him a drink after the bar had closed.

Now, more than a decade after the incident, Bollywood is ready to re-tell the story.

"My film is about the 10 percent of India which is good, as opposed to the 90 percent which is bad and that we crib about every day," director Raj Kumar Gupta told Reuters.

Gupta said his film, opening on Friday, was about the efforts of Lall's sister, Sabrina, after witnesses in the case turned hostile and powerful influences appeared to subvert justice.

The film opens at a time when India is going through what the country's media has called a "season of scams" after a slew of corruption cases broke out, including an alleged $39 billion fraud in allotting telecom spectrums to private firms.

Gupta said he was hoping to cash in on a popular sentiment against corruption and misuse of power.   Continued...