Phase Ignition!

"Quod Scripsi, Scripsi."

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wrongly provoked?

LLB students (and previous English law students like me) will note with interest that there's a new movie out soon called Provoked starring the ever-luscious Aishwarya Rai and Naveen Andrews (he of the English Patient and recently, Lost fame).

I won't really spoil the movie that much but its based on an actual case in UK about an abused wife who decides to the flames of matrimony again. She gets charged for murder and has her sentence mitigated to manslaughter based on a plea of provocation (hence the title of the movie)

[note: the punishment for murder in the UK is life imprisonment and manslaughter, which is a lesser form of the said crime carries a lower prison sentence]

However a veritable hornet's nest has been violently stirred up in the wake of the movie. The Southall Black Sisters who got involved in the actual case of R v Ahluwalia by helping Kiranjit Ahluwalia defend herself have roundly criticised the film. Apparently, the film is full of "factual and legal inaccuracies".

Now I haven't seen the movie yet and have no idea about these "inaccuracies" but tell the truth, she didn't get a reduced sentence based on a plea of provocation. Take a look at the case summary over here and decide for yourself. At the end it was "diminished responsibility" brought on by "battered wife's syndrome" that mitigated the charge from homicide to manslaughter. I can't wait to see the movie and tho it would have "factual and legal inaccuracies", I couldn't be bothered. Its a retelling of a story that is loosely based on the life of Kiranjit Ahluwalia. Its a movie. Get over it!
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