Courting trouble

Aap Ki Kachehri
Kiran Ke Saath
Star Plus
Mon - Thu, 10:30 pm
Rating**

What's it about? India's first female police officer and Magsaysay Award winner Kiran Bedi has donned a new garb —that of a judge, in a televised people's court. Unlike Rajat Kapoor's famous Aap Ki Adalat, Aap Ki Kachehri does not have a host, with the blessings of the people, subjecting a public personality to the third degree. Here, the people take centre-stage as they bring their disputes before Bedi who plays the mediator and arbitrator. The show also discusses the Indian citizen's rights and the laws of the land and promotes a better understanding of how our legal system works.

Who's in it? Bedi, the Supercop is now poised to be Bedi, the Solon. The plaintiffs and the defendants are ordinary people who, engaged in domestic disputes, seek her intervention. Bedi's years of experience as a police officer and her thorough understanding of the Indian constitution and its laws help her mediate. While the promos and posters of the show have Bedi shaking a highly rebuking finger at the world, on the show, she's much less intimidating. Even as she sits on a high chair, the way she speaks to those before her, is not in the least condescending, nor does she raise her voice.

What's hot? Many people probably expected this show to be a shriller version of Aap Ki Adalat. It should come as a relief that the similarities between the two shows end at the name. While the former was an unprecedented exercise in populism on television, the latter is more of a public settling of disputes. Bedi hosts the show with a firm hand and is fair enough to listen to both sides of the argument. Also, at the end of each episode, there is an explanation of the laws relevant to the case dealt with in that particular episode.

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