Shiney Ahuja, who kick started his Bollywood stint, by appearing in a highly-acclaimed movie, ‘Hazaron khwahishen aisi’, has been entangled in a legal battle since 2009.
He has been convicted and jailed for raping his maid in one blazing afternoon of 2009. A Mumbai fast track court in 2011 sentenced him to seven-and-a-half years sentence based on circumstantial evidence.
His lawyers have opposed the judgment of the trial court, stating that they had wrongly pronounced the actor guilty. The Bombay High Court has taken up for final hearing, after the appeal was filed by Shiney Ahuja’s lawyers against his conviction in 2012, on January 8, 2016.
After the maid retracted her statement from ‘alleged rape’ to ‘consensual sex’, Shiney has claimed that the trial judge had wrongly convicted him in the case.
The defence lawyers argued that the prosecution had relied on DNA and forensics tests which were full of infirmities. The actor had alleged that the police had failed to seek the phone call data record of the mail, which he said would prove the allegations to be wrong.
As per the initial statement of the maid, Ahuja raped her in the wee hours of afternoon between 3pm-5pm. As per the defence, if the phone call records will be used as a witness, it would be clear that the maid was framing Shiney Ahuja, as she was busy on the phone for half an hour at the time mentioned.
Also, the maid has made multiple calls to the residence number of Ahuja.
There has been overall lack of police attention to the case, because, as highlighted by the defence lawyers, the police didn’t check the CCTV footage, even after the star’s insistence, which would indeed support his claim.
To further complicate the matters, the actor’s appeal that the chain of custody of swabs, which is vital to a DNA test report in a criminal trial, was also not followed.
The Shiney Ahuja case, is another dossier, which would showcase the incompetency and carelessness of the police.
The trial poses various questions for the general audience, who gripped by the case as if it were a reality series.
If the maid has retracted her statement, what made her frame Shiney Ahuja in the first place? Can one smell a case of intimidation, that might have been pursued by Ahuja and his team to clear his name from the trial?
If at all, she has been intimidated, why didn’t the police employ a reliable witness protection programme?
Did the media sensationalize the case to an impact, that blinded the police’s investigation? Were we too reluctant to accept consensual sex between a married man and a maid?
Either the maid will be prosecuted on account of falsifying, or a star will be behind the bars for seven-and-a-half years. Will we witness another incident when a subordinate will take a fall for the star?