Kanoon, India, 22 April 1960

Kalidas (Jeevan) is presented before court for the murder of Ganpat. He pleads guilty, but claims that the court can do him no harm as he has already served a sentence for the murder of the same man. An emotionally overcharged Kalidas asks judge Badri Prasad (Ashok Kumar) what gives law the right to deprive an innocent man of something it cannot return him, before collapsing and dying.

The shocking incident makes its way to the press and becomes a matter of hot debate in the city. Two judges, Mr. Jha and Mr. Savalkar (Iftekhar in a guest appearance), discuss the case. Badri Prasad, who is well known for never having awarded a death sentence, has a friendly argument with Jha, which leads to a wager that it is possible for someone to get away scot-free with murder.

In the meanwhile, romance is blossoming between Badri Prasad's daughter Meena (Nanda) and advocate Kailash Khanna (Rajendra Kumar), one of the rising stars in the legal fraternity and Badri Prasad's protégé. The young couple's visit to a ballet is rather unremarkable, except for the surreptitious appearance of Ashok Kumar, who is seen by the viewer romancing an unknown lady (Shashikala) in a private box. Incidentally the murdered man Ganpat is her husband. She married a rich man during her first husband's (Ganpat) lifetime, and inherited his property. This was an illegal marriage, and Dhaniram was blackmailing her, as he was privy to this information.

Badri Prasad's son Vijay (Mehmood) is heavily indebted to a local money lender Dhaniram (Om Prakash) who, having obtained the former's signature on a blank piece of paper, threatens to have his entire property confiscated. Afraid to face his stern father with the truth, Vijay pleads with Kailash to intercede with the money lender. The later agrees to do so, despite initial reluctance.

Kailash drops in at the money lender's place to have a word with him. Their exchange is interrupted by the arrival of Badri Prasad's look-alike. Kailash does not want to be seen with Dhaniram, so he hides in a sideroom, instructing Dhaniram not to disclose to the judge that he had come there.

  • Genre: Action
  • Runtime: 150 Minutes
  • Director: B. R. Chopra
  • Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, B. R. Chopra Filmfare Award for Best Director, Nana Palsikar Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award


Kanoon (Hindi: कानून, Urdu: قانون ; Title translation: The Law) is a 1960 Indian Hindi film directed by B.R. Chopra. The film stars Rajendra Kumar, Nanda, Ashok Kumar, Mehmood, Shashikala, Jeevan and Om Prakash. The film presents a case against capital punishment, arguing that witnesses may be genuinely deceived, and their consequent inadvertently tendered false testimony may lead someone wrongly to the gallows.

The film was a courtroom drama of a murder case, where the judge's prospective son-in-law (Rajendra Kumar) is the defence lawyer in a case of murder for which he suspects his would-be father-in-law. The film was India's second songless talkie. The first one was Andha Nal, a Tamil movie.