Shiney appeals against rape sentence

Mumbai: Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja, who was sentenced to seven years` rigorous imprisonment for raping his domestic maid, has approached the Bombay High Court challenging his conviction.

The actor`s appeal was admitted today and his plea for bail has been posted for hearing on April 27 by Justice A R Joshi.

Shiney, in his appeal, has stated that the lower court has erred in law while convicting him and that he has been falsely implicated in the case. On March 30, relying on circumstantial evidence, a fast track court had convicted Shiney, although the victim had turned hostile during the trial. However, Ahuja was acquitted of the charges of criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.

The court had 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 quilt and curtains and Shiney`s hand bore scratch marks of the victim — while convicting the accused.

The court also noted that the 2009 incident had occurred at Shiney`s house here. 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 Shiney 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. Shiney was arrested on June 14 and released on bail three months later.

On September 3 last year, the victim had identified Shiney 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.

Following this, the court had declared her hostile.The police, in a 109-page chargesheet, had charged Shiney with rape and wrongfully confining the victim.