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Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha turn lawyers for next film

The film, titled Section 375: Marzi Ya Jabardasti, will be directed by Manish Gupta.

Sonal Pandya

After a promising return to Hindi films with Mom and Ittefaq in 2017, Akshaye Khanna has chosen his next project, Section 375: Marzi Ya Jabardasti, a suspense drama that will be influenched by 10 real-life cases dealing with Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. Actress Richa Chadha, who will play a public prosecutor, also joins the film opposite Khanna. He is said to play an erudite South Bombay lawyer.

Director Manish Gupta told the daily tabloid, Mumbai Mirror, that he researched several hearings in court and interviewed all those involved (the survivors, the accused and their lawyers) for two years for the film. "In recent times, there have been a number of cases where it’s ambiguous whether it was rape or consensual sex. The law can be misused by both men and women alike. This film is about how a law against rape made to protect women can also be misused by them,” Gupta said.

Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defines rape as "sexual intercourse with a woman against her will, without her consent, by coercion, misrepresentation or fraud or at a time when she has been intoxicated or duped, or is of unsound mental health and in any case if she is under 16 years of age."

The film is due to begin filming this March or April. Section 375: Marzi Ya Jabardasti is produced by Panorama Studios' Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak whose film Raid is due for release on 16 March 2018.

Gupta has written the screenplay for Sarkar (2005) and 'D' (2005). He turned director with a segment for Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) and also directed The Stoneman Murders (2009) and Rahasya (2015). Both film were inspired by real-life incidents.