Actor Shiney Ahuja files appeal against conviction in rape case

United News of India

Mumbai, April 19, 2011

Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja, who was sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment after being convicted of raping his domestic maid, today filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court, challenging his conviction and seeking bail.

Justice A R Joshi, who admitted the actor's appeal, deferred the hearing on his bail plea till April 27.

Ahuja, in his appeal, stated that the lower court had erred in law while convicting him and that he had been falsely implicated in the case.

On March 30, relying on circumstantial evidence, a fast track court had convicted Ahuja, although the victim had turned hostile during the trial. However, Ahuja was acquitted of the charges of criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.

The court said it had considered circumstantial evidence -- the DNA report was positive, the hymen was torn, there were blood marks on victim's clothes, semen was found on the quilt and curtains and Ahuja's hand bore scratch marks of the victim -- while convicting the accused.

The court also noted that the incident had occurred at Ahuja's house here in 2009. It also accepted the victim's statement before a magistrate, alleging she was raped.

In September last year, the maid had backtracked from her allegations that Ahuja had raped her at his residence in Mumbai and said the incident had never occurred.

The 20-year-old girl told the court that she had filed the complaint against the actor at the behest of the woman, who had secured her the job at his residence.

In June 2009, the girl had lodged a police complaint alleging she was raped by the actor. Ahuja was arrested on June 14 and released on bail three months later.

On September 3 last year, the victim had identified Ahuja in the court and said she used to work at his residence as a domestic help. But when asked about the incident, she said she was never raped.