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Who is Lawyer Poonam Chand Solanki, Allegedly Played by Manoj Bajpayee in ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai’, And Why is he Miffed?
Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai: Manoj Bajpayee plays a lawyer who gets a godman convicted in the rape case. The actor's character is allegedly based on advocate Poonam Chand Solanki from Jodhpur who got Asaram Bapu convicted in the rape case.
‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai‘, meaning ‘only one man is enough’, is the title of the new film starring Manoj Bajpayee. The actor plays the role of a lawyer who fights against a popular self-styled godman and gets him convicted in a rape case. The ZEE5 film shows the magnitude of the case and highlights how a well-read advocate, with no claim to fame, goes on to beat the biggest lawyers in the country at the Jodhpur court. ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai’ is inspired by real-life events and Bajpayee’s character is allegedly inspired by advocate Poonam Chand Solanki from Jodhpur who fought in 2018 against famous godman Asaram Bapu and got him convicted in the rape case filed by a 16-year-old.
Solanki’s story is as important as inspiring and exciting it seems in the film. It’s not easy to get justice in a court even when the whole world has your back. But, in this case, he was fighting the most powerful men backed by a legion of supporters who would swear by the purity and the god-like soul of the man accused of raping multiple women at his ashram. All this, when he was constantly given death threats and was offered crores of money to back off. Not to mention that during the trial, nine key prosecution witnesses were attacked, three were shot dead, and one was missing after being stabbed right outside the court. Solanki chose to be on the side of the judges, the lawyers, the investigating officers, and the victims who were threatened with the same treatment.
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THE ONE MAN WHO FOUGHT 30 DIFFERENT LAWYERS IN THE ASARAM BAPU RAPE CASE
Though the film refrains from taking names due to obvious reasons, the men challenging Solanki in the court included Ram Jethmalani, Salman Khursheed, KTS Tulsi, and Subramaniam Swamy who filed bail petitions for Asaram Bapu in the case. And it only took one man to stand his ground while fighting around 30 different lawyers – most of them famous for not losing bail petitions.
Recalling an incident from the courtroom, Solanki once told The Asian Age how he never budged or got intimidated. He said, “Jethmalani had objected to the rape victim’s medical examination before the FIR was registered. I told him that either he had not gone through the POCSO Act or had overlooked section 27. After reading it, he was lost for words.” His argument drew jaw-dropping reactions. A lawyer from the lower court had just shushed the man who is known to argue the most sensitive and important bail petitions in the country.
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Later, while arguing the case in the higher court against Khursheed, another prominent face, Solanki didn’t hesitate to prove that Asaram was not suffering from any kind of illness as claimed by him and that a medical board had to be set up to prove the same. His win in the case seemed more personal because it was a story of an underdog, raised amid poverty, by a father who worked as a railway mechanic. He studied law and joined the bar in the year 1996. While recalling how he agreed to come on board the case that put him in the big league, Solanki had once revealed, “They requested me to take on the case but said they did not have any money to pay my fee. That did not matter to me at all. After hearing them out, I became determined to get justice.”
WHY IS POONAM CHAND SOLANKI UPSET WITH MANOJ BAJPAYEE’S FILM ‘SIRF EK BANDA KAAFI HAI’?
In a series of new events following the release of ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai’, Poonam Chand Solanki has now sent legal notices to the film’s team. The lawyer is unhappy over alleged claims that the story of the Apoorv Singh Karki directorial is based on him. Speaking about his objections, he said, “I have taken the legal recourse in this matter. How can it be claimed that the movie is inspired by real-life events involving me when no NOC was collected from me, nor the script was approved by me? Those who signed an agreement with me sold the rights without informing me.”
He told the news agency IANS that he had given his permission to make a ‘biopic’ in June 2021 but the rights were further sold to another party in September the same year. “I have filed a case in the trial court and notices have been served to the producers and others. Imagine, in June 2021, they signed an agreement with me, and in September, they sold the rights to another party… How can they do it,” he said.
The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for May 31 while Solanki maintains that he ‘is not a hero’ and he just did his duty as a lawyer when he fought the Asaram Bapu case.
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