K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra
was a 1959 Indian court case
where Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati, a Naval Commander, was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja, his wife's lover
. The incident received unprecedented media coverage and inspired several books and movies. Nanavati was initially declared not guilty by a jury
, but the verdict was dismissed by the Bombay High Court
and the case was retried as a bench trial
. The case was the last to be heard as a jury trial in India, as the government abolished jury trials as a result of the case.
Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati (1925–2003), a Parsi
and a commander
with the Indian Navy
, had settled down in Mumbai
with Sylvia (1931–), his English
-born wife and their two sons and a daughter.
With Nanavati frequently away on assignments for long periods of time, the lonely Sylvia fell in love with Prem Bhagwandas Ahuja, a friend of Nanavati. Prem's sister Mamie Ahuja, in her testimony in court, stated that Prem had agreed to marry Sylvia, provided she divorced her husband. But this was contradicted by the letters written by Sylvia (admitted as Sylvia's testimony), where she expressed her desire to divorce Nanavati and marry Prem, but she doubted whether Prem had the same intentions. In a letter dated May 24,... Read More