420 IPC is a crime drama that follows the simple Bansi Keswani, a middle class chartered accountant who gets involved in a convoluted case of bank fraud and forgery and how he hires a young lawyer to clear his name.
Bansi Keswani (Vinay Pathak) is a chartered accountant who handles the family accounts and income tax returns for his client, Sandesh Bhonsale, the deputy director for the MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Road Development Authority).
After a routine meeting, Bansi heads home, but as soon as he leaves Mr Bhonsale is visited by the CBI at his office. Bansi reaches home where his wife, Pooja (Gul Panag), informs him that the bank collectors arrived again since Bansi hasn’t been able to pay the instalments for his home loan.
The CBI officers soon arrive at Bansi’s house and despite protests from the occupants of the house, they pull out everything in search of any clues as to whether Bansi is involved. When they do not find anything, they take Bansi back to CBI headquarters for further questioning.
At the headquarters, they inform Bansi that his client has been taken into custody for siphoning off almost 1200 crore in government funds that were meant for the Airoli flyover project. Bansi pleads his innocence, and they go over all of his accounts with a fine-tooth comb to confirm.
After a whole day of investigation, Bansi is sent home with a clean chit as they cannot find any evidence against him. He heads back home with his family after this tiring ordeal.
A few months later, Bansi is in the office of another one of his clients, Mr Sinha (Arif Zakaria), who is a builder in the city. In the middle of their meeting, Mr Sinha heads out for a phone call and when he returns Bansi informs him that he is ready to leave.
Soon after he leaves, Mr Sinha takes out his chequebook to write out a particular cheque when he realizes that 3 of his cheques are missing. He locks down the office and calls the police to investigate. They do not find anything in the office, and on checking the guest register, zero in on Bansi as the lead suspect.
The police head over to Bansi’s office and during their search, they find the stolen cheques in one of his folders and written out to him. They immediately arrest him despite his many pleas of innocence.
At the police station, Bansi is informed that his request for bail was denied and that he will be sent to judicial custody for the duration of his court case. Bansi tells Pooja that he knows an effective and cheap lawyer whose services they can call on.
Birbal Chaudhary (Rohan Mehra) is tasked with fighting Bansi’s case for him against the seasoned public prosecutor, Sawak Jamshedji (Ranvir Shorey) who underestimates his fresh-faced colleague. Jamshedji calls on a forensic expert who confirms that the cheques were forged but Birbal carries out his research to refute the accusation.
Using his analysts and research, Birbal confirms that while the cheques were certainly forged there is no guarantee that it was Bansi who carried out the act of forgery himself. Moreover, he proves that the cheques were written while still attached to the chequebook and then folded for an amount of time before being placed in Bansi’s files.
Birbal uses his contacts in the police to get background checks on Bansi’s family and social circle which eventually leads him to Gulab Mane who provides tiffins to both Bansi and Mr Sinha. Gulab also has a history of theft and robbery in his past which makes him a key suspect.
Birbal manages to establish some motive but uses fake CCTV footage to coerce a confession out of Gulab Mane. He’s close to achieving his goal before Jamshedji points out the fake footage for which he is reprimanded and Gulab’s testimony is not considered valid.
Birbal has to go back to square one as Gulab has absconded after his first appearance and even his credibility has taken a hit thanks to his antics.
If you still have questions regarding the ending of 420 IPC, here is a complete breakdown.
420 IPC ending explained in detail:
A suspiscious rendezvous
Pooja asks Birbal whether bribing the judge is an option, putting her desperation on full display. Birbal says that while the judge may be egotistical, he is still an honest judge and a bribe will not solve their problems.
Pooja is then seen visiting Mr. Sinha at his residence. This is caught by the building security cameras and brought to Birbal’s attention. Birbal wants to use this information in court but he’s sure that bringing it up might end up with him losing his client.
Birbal questions Pooja on the stand about the meeting, displaying the security footage in court. Jamshedji brings up Birbal’s history of using doctored footage but Birbal confirms that this time the footage is genuine and can be corroborated by the building security.
While Pooja mentions that she had visited Mr. Sinha to waive off the payment of a loan they had given him, Mr. Sinha claims that Pooja was there to offer her body in exchange for her husband’s freedom. This tactic causes temporary friction between Pooja and Bansi but they make up and agree to let Birbal stay on and work the case despite his insinuations.
Jamshedji puts forward a request for Bansi’s household to be searched for any possible evidence against him in the case with the judge granting the request. When the police look through their belongings, they find a few property documents with Mr. Sinha’s name on them.
These documents are presented in court with the accusations piling on that Bansi had stolen them along with the cheques to falsely put them up for sale and run away with any token advance he might receive. Birbal uses the fact that Mr. Sinha has been in debt for a long while and uses the statement that Bansi had provided to divert the guilt away from his client.
While he does not have any concrete proof, he does manage to sow some doubt in the mind of the judge in favour of his client’s innocence.
The veil is finally lifted
Birbal is contacted by his friend who works with computers who sends him some hidden data. The data shows records of off-shore bank accounts, and undeclared assets in the crores all in the name of Bansi Keswani. Birbal first goes up to Jamshedji with this information as he is also the prosecutor in the Airoliu flyover case.
Then he visits Bansi to tell him that he knows the truth. That Bansi had hidden away the money that his client, Sandesh had siphoned off. He had used some of that cash to provide a loan for Mr. Sinha. When Mr. Sinha found himself unable to pay back the loan, he fabricated the case against Bansi as a means to get his loan waived off.
He had even paid off the CBI inspector during their initial search to ward off any trouble. Using all this information, Birbal is successful in getting an acquittal in this particular case.
Bansi is eventually picked up by the CBI but he turns the state’s witness and relinquishes all the black money in exchange for a milder sentence. Thus ends the peculiar case of Bansi Keswani.
Also Read: 420 IPC review: An underwhelming courtroom drama blighted by several issues