"Delhi Crime" is an Indian crime drama series created and directed by Richie Mehta. The show is produced by Golden Karavan, Ivanhoe Productions, Film Karavan, and Poor Man's Productions and features a talented cast, including Shefali Shah, Rajesh Tailang, Adil Hussain, and Rasika Dugal. The first season centers on the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gang rape, while the second season explores the Chaddi Baniyan Gang. Filming for the first season commenced in Delhi in January 2018, lasting 62 days, with permission from the Delhi police and the victim's family. The series offers a gripping narrative that spans six days, from December 16 to December 21, 2012, authentically portraying the events from the incident to the final arrest. Delhi Crime received critical acclaim for its performances, writing, and depiction of the real-life case. It made history by becoming the first Indian series to win the International Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in September 2020. The show was renewed for a second season, which premiered on August 26, 2022.
Delhi Crime is an Indian crime drama streaming television series created, written, and directed by Richie Mehta. It is managed by Chirag Shah and produced by Golden Karaven, Ivanhoe Productions, Film Karavan, and Poor Man’s Productions. The series features a talented cast including Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, Adil Hussain, and Rajesh Tailang. The first season centers around the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gang rape, while the second season shifts its focus to the Chaddi Baniyan Gang.
Production for the first season commenced in Delhi in January 2018, wrapping up within 62 days. The narrative spans from the incident’s occurrence to the eventual apprehension of the suspects. Notably, the first two episodes premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the Indie Episodic category.
‘Delhi Crime’ debuted on Netflix on March 22, 2019, earning widespread acclaim for its performances, writing, and portrayal of the real-life case that served as its inspiration. In a historic achievement, the series won the Outstanding Drama Series award at the International Emmy Awards in September 2020, marking the first Indian series to receive this accolade. The show was subsequently renewed for a second season, with the original cast returning, and it premiered on August 26, 2022.
Delhi Crime is grounded in the real-life events of the 2012 Delhi gang rape incident that occurred in the Munirka neighborhood of South Delhi. The narrative delves into the aftermath of this horrific incident, with Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Vartika Chaturvedi leading the charge to apprehend the perpetrators responsible for the assaults and the tragic demise of the female victim.
- Shefali Shah as DCP Vartika Chaturvedi IPS
- Rajesh Tailang as Inspector Bhupendra Singh
- Rasika Dugal as Neeti Singh IPS
- Adil Hussain as Kumar Vijay (CP)
- Kuldeep sareen as Inspector Viren Chaddha (season 2)
- Denzil Smith as Vishal Chaturvedi, Vartika’s husband
- Yashaswini Dayama as Chandni “Chandu” Chaturvedi, Vartika and Vishal’s daughter
- Abhilasha Singh as Deepika, the victim of a brutal gang rape and murder
- Sanjay Bishnoi as Akash Kumar, Deepika’s friend who was also a victim of the attack
- Vinod Sharawat as SHO Vinod Tiwari
- Anurag Arora as Sub-Inspector Jairaj Singh
- Gopal Datt as Sudhir Kumar
- Sidharth Bhardwaj as SHO Shubhash Gupta
- Aakash Dahiya as Devinder
- Avijit Dutt as Gururaj Dixit
- Jaya Bhattacharya as Vimla Bharadwaj (Season 1)
- Swati Bhatia as Ira
- Mridul Sharma as Jai Singh
- Ayush Sehgal as Arunesh
- Rhea Bedi as Smriti
- Gaurav Rana as SHO Rakesh Verma
- Govind Singh as Amar Singh
- Vipin Katyal as Arif
- Ashok Mehta as Lead Protester
- Danish Husain as Advocate Vineet Singh (Season 2)
- Tillotama Shome as Lata Solanki/Karishma (Season 2)
- Jatin Goswami (Season 2)
- Vyom Yadav (Season 2)
- Ankit Sharma (Season 2)
Mehta’s decision to craft a script rooted in the events surrounding the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case stemmed from a conversation with Neeraj Kumar, the former Commissioner of the Delhi Police. Kumar introduced him to the investigative team and granted access to a trove of legal documents compiled during the investigation. Initially resistant to the idea of making a film about the case, Mehta changed his stance after delving into the meticulously solved case details and meeting the dedicated officers involved.
He also sought permission from the victim’s family and cited inspiration from films like ‘The French Connection’ (1971) and ‘Zodiac’ (2007). Mehta meticulously shaped the character portrayals of the police officers based on his personal observations. He described the journey of creating the series as a profound transformation for him, involving in-depth conversations with the police personnel and retracing their investigative steps.
Mehta dedicated six years to research, with more than four years dedicated to writing, starting in 2014. His commitment to understanding the case led him to realize that the content couldn’t be condensed into a feature film due to its extensive depth.
The series’ casting was overseen by Mukesh Chhabra. Mehta chose to focus on actors with a background in theater, without feeling compelled to feature familiar faces from the Hindi film industry. Key cast members, including Shefali Shah, Rajesh Tailang, Adil Hussain, and Rasika Dugal, had previously collaborated with Mehta in their debut feature film, ‘Amal’ (2007). When discussing casting with Chhabra, Mehta emphasized the importance of not rushing the process, which allowed Chhabra’s creativity to flourish. He also acknowledged that the rise of streaming platforms had brought recognition to some of India’s finest acting talents.
The character of Vartika Chaturvedi (portrayed by Shefali Shah) was inspired by Chhaya Sharma, the former Deputy Commissioner of Police in Delhi. Mehta engaged in extensive conversations with Sharma, a member of the team that apprehended the perpetrators, to gain her unique perspective on the case. Shefali Shah accepted the role after a five-minute narration by Mehta and also met with Sharma for role preparation. Rajesh Tailang’s character was a composite of various investigating officers, but he consulted with one specific police officer and drew inspiration from their experiences.
The series unfolds over a six-day period, spanning from December 16 to December 21, 2012, encapsulating the events from the initial incident to the eventual arrest. Production commenced in Delhi in January 2018, following approvals from the Delhi police and the victim’s family. The shooting process extended over 62 days. Notably, the decision was made not to depict the rape on screen, with the aim of avoiding any potential exploitation.
Director Richie Mehta intentionally employed handheld cameras to create a more immersive experience for the audience, seeking to involve them as participants in the narrative. The shooting primarily took place on Delhi’s streets without the use of constructed sets. Mehta was cognizant of the sensitivities involved and opted not to involve his successors in the police force, understanding that they might not endorse the project due to its association with their predecessor. Therefore, much of the filming took place without formal permissions.
Prior to filming, Neeraj Kumar, the former Commissioner of Delhi Police, conducted comprehensive briefings with the entire cast, including Shefali Shah, to provide insights into police hierarchy, rank structure, body language, and responsibilities. These briefings were aimed at ensuring an authentic portrayal of the police in the series. Kumar refrained from visiting the shooting locations, except for one scene at India Gate, as he wished to avoid any misconceptions that the series was being made to glorify his role.
The first two episodes of the series had their premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the Indie Episodic category, which took place from January 23 to February 3, 2019. Subsequently, Netflix secured the streaming rights for the show. On February 14, during the official announcement of their new original content lineup for 2019, which encompassed both series and films, the creators confirmed the release date for March 22, 2019. The official trailer for the series was unveiled on March 11, 2019, ahead of its release on Netflix on March 22.
As for Delhi Crime season 2, its official trailer was released on August 8, 2022.