Unable to bear the brutality and repeated rapes by her alcoholic husband, a battered Punjabi housewife and mother of two, Kiranjit Ahluwalia (Aishwarya Rai) sets fire to her abusive husband, Deepak Ahluwalia (Naveen Andrews) and kills him unintentionally.
Charged with murder, she is sentenced to life imprisonment where she befriends her cellmate, a wealthy white woman named Veronica Scott (Miranda Richardson), from whom she learns English. Her cell mate is so moved by her story that she asks her step-brother, Edward Foster (Robbie Coltrane), a highly respected Queen’s Counsel, to file her appeal.
Her case comes to the notice of a group of South Asian social worker running an under funded organization called the “Southall Black Sisters”. They bring her plight to the attention of the media by organizing rallies to gather public support for her freedom.
She is ultimately freed by the judicial system in a landmark case called “Regina vs. Ahluwalia”, that redefined the word PROVOCATION in the case of a battered woman. She is reunited with her children and subsequently given an award by the Prime Minister’s wife for her crusade against domestic violence.