Supreme Court ruling rescues ‘Fraud Saiyaan’

Amrita Tanna

Senior Editor


With the verdict that adultery is no longer a criminal offence, ‘Fraud Saiyaan’ con-man can now get away with an affair or two with married women.

Prakash Jha Productions’ upcoming comedy, ‘Fraud Saiyaan’, revolves around a fraudster who has turned marriage into a business. “He has 13 wives and multiple affairs which gets him into scraps with the law,” informs the National-Award winning director. He adds that the idea came from his daughter Disha and her business partner Kanishk Gangwal, and is inspired by a real-life fraudster who wed seven women in different towns and cities, none of them aware of the others.

“It’s a fun-filled con-caper set in the Varanasi, Mathura, Raisen, Bhopal belt with Arshad (Warsi) as a guy who very early in life realises that he can make gullible young women fall in love with him and with the promise of marriage, on occasions even taking the pheras with them, can use them to support his lifestyle without the daily grind of a job.”

His choice of profession, gets him into a lot of problems. For instance, if the woman he is pursuing is already married, her aggrieved spouse can turn up on his doorstep with a cop in tow and threaten to have him thrown behind bars. “But now, thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, he cannot be arrested nor can criminal charges be pressed against him. This ruling has unknowingly come to the rescue of our protagonist though eventually he will have to face the consequences of his actions,” admits the veteran filmmaker.

According to a recent Supreme Court ruling, adultery is no longer a criminal offence. On 26th September, a five-judge bench struck down Section 497 of the IPC and Section 198 of CrPC dealing with prosecution of offences against marriage, arguing that Section 497 is manifestly arbitrary in the way it deals with women and is destructive to their dignity and self-respect. Then CJI Dipak Misra who headed the bench contended that adultery can be ground for civil issues including dissolution of marriage but it is not a criminal offence. Quiz him on his take on the judgement, and Prakash points out that the judiciary must have been taking into account that if a relationship is consensual, it cannot be deemed a criminal act.

In the past, his films like ‘Gangaajal’, women-centric ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, had faced a censor roadblock. Given its controversial content, does he anticipate any trouble for this slice-of-life-comedy from the CBFC? “No, I don’t because there’s nothing derogatory in the film,” he says.

‘Fraud Saiyaan’ is directed by Sourabh Srivastava. The film is produced by Disha Prakash Jha & Kanishk Gangwal. Presented by Prakash Jha Productions in association with Drama King Entertainment and is slated to release on 18th January 2019.