Filmmaker duo Indra Kumar and Ashok Thackeria have decided to open a huge studio in Baroda, Gujarat. A source said, “The studio will have many floors for shooting, hotels for the stars to stay in, restaurants, an amusement park (and we thought filmmaking was serious business) and a helipad. The intention is to bring the film industry to Gujarat. Chief Minister Narendra Modi has already sanctioned the project. The studio will be named Maruti International, which is also Indra Kumar’s and Ashok Thackeria’s banner.” Indra Kumar remained unavailable for comment.
Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 2, 2009)
For the family the bail order has come as an emotional high. “I can now go back and sleep without worrying,’’ Anupam told TOI in a long post-bail chat. “Its our daughter Arshiya who got her papa home. It was her birthday on September 28. She was in Delhi with her grandparents since June. But a day before her birthday, I felt she should be in Mumbai and since she has come, she has brought good luck,’’ smiled Anupam.
“Shiney is an introvert and a family man. He would come home every evening and play with Arshiya or we would all go for walks, movies. He even cancelled parties if Arshiya, who has turned two, would just say ‘papa’,’’ she added.
What about alleged differences between the two? Anupam laughed, “I was in the US for two years, but Shiney encouraged my work. We would together read stories about our failing marriage and laugh. But yes this incident has brought us together like never before.’’
Anupam’s grouse is that the laws are gender-skewed. “The law cannot be a weapon in the hands of a woman,’’ she said, adding “I say this with responsibility because I am a woman who has a daughter.’’
There are more questions left unaswered for the Ahujas. “We are still asking ourselves, how and why this (the charge) is happening? The lawyers said there are lots of inconsistencies. And we have a lot of blessings from our neighbours and other maids in the building where we have lived for six years,’’ she smiled.
Family ecstatic, film industry cautious
Mumbai: Shiney Ahuja’s family can’t wait to see him and plans to visit a temple first. Wife Anupam said: “The first thing I want to do when Shiney comes back is hold my daughter in my arms and open the door for him. I’m not even thinking of what to cook, though his favourite is paneer and paranthas. His mother plans to make kheer.” The forced shift to Delhi also did not seem to matter much: “We began our lives there, we will simply go back home.’’
But the film industry is cautious. Director Anurag Basu said, “The charges are serious and the industry will wait for the decision first.’’ Pritish Nandy, who is waiting for Shiney to complete his film Accident feels it will be time before the actor re-establishes himself. He added, “I will start shooting when he is up to it.’’ Nandy has two days of shooting left with Shiney, which he will do in Delhi. Producer Vinod Pande, for whose film Chalo Movie Shiney has to complete the dubbing, said, “I was not aware Shiney has been externed from the city, nevertheless I can get the dubbing done online.’’
Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 2, 2009)
Mumbai: Three-and-a-half months after he was arrested for allegedly raping his maid in his own bedroom, actor Shiney Ahuja won bail from the Bombay high court on Thursday after his lawyer argued that there were inconsistencies in the rape complaint. He was, however, asked to leave Mumbai and stay in Delhi until he is required for the trial.
The 36-year-old actor’s jail stay will not end for at least another day. As the court order and the subsequent paperwork was not complete by the end of office hours and thanks to the holiday for Gandhi Jayanti on Friday, Shiney will finally step of Arthur Road jail only on Saturday, said his lawyers.
Apart from setting a bail amount of Rs 50,000 and a surety of the same amount, Justice A P Deshpande said the actor should surrender his passport and warned him against offering inducement to witnesses, directly or indirectly, and tampering with evidence.
Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 1, 2009)
The Bombay high court on Wednesday was hearing the bail plea of actor Shiney Ahuja who is accused of raping his domestic help. The court will pass its order on Friday.
Though the domestic help claimed to be raped between 3 pm and 5 pm, the records from the phone company showed that she was speaking on her cellphone between 3.15 pm and 3.45 pm, said Shiney’s lawyers Shirish Gupte and Srikant Shivade on Wednesday.
The fact that the girl only mentioned the word “atyachar (torture)’’ in her statement on oath before the magistrate and not “rape’’ was also discussed. Justice A P Deshpande asked for the dictionary meaning of atyachar and Gupte said it, in no way, meant rape. But public prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde said the 20-year-old domestic help’s FIR and medical evidence pointed at rape and that atyachar had to be construed in the context of the incident.
The judge found it strange that neither the girl’s nor Shiney’s clothes had semen or blood stains on them given that she had worn her clothes “immediately after the alleged forcible sexual intercourse’’. The defence also wanted to know how the police officer had access to lab reports of the maid’s vaginal swabs when the same documents were denied to Ahuja by the sessions judge.
When the judge asked why the police had not recorded any statement of the neighbours, the state’s lawyer said, “In these sophisticated housing societies, neighbours do not bother to interfere even if someone dies.’’ The judge said it was not true as it was a neighbour who took the maid to the police station to lodge a complaint.
Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 30, 2009)
Mumbai: He’s a “small-time actor’’, and while he may be no “saint’’, he’s “no rapist’’ either. This is what actor Shiney Ahuja’s lawyers said, seeking bail pending trial on charges of raping his 20-year old maid at his Andheri home one morning.
In a fresh bid for freedom after spending more than 100 days in jail, the 35-yearold actor–through his counsel Shirish Gupte along with Shrikant Shivade–said the “victim has not even used the word ‘rape’ in her statement to the magistrate regarding the June 14 incident’’. She “had no external injuries, creating doubts over her claim that she resisted him’’, they said. The complainant had called Ahuja many times from her cellphone the previous night, said Gupte.
Forensic experts have said earlier that the absence of external injuries did not mean there was no rape. A woman could be forced into the act by the threat of violence, experts reasoned.
The panchnama noted that when he was arrested on June 15, Ahuja’s left wrist and right little finger had a “nail mark’’ which the actor claimed were sustained while he was working out, and not from the victim’s nails.
The DNA analysis showed no profile was obtained from the victim’s vulval swab, but did find some evidence to match Ahuja’s “control blood component’’ in one of her smear slides. “The reports fail to conclusively establish rape,’’ Ahuja’s plea said, suggesting it was “a consensual act’’.
Saying bail was a rule and not an exception as held in numerous Supreme Court judgements, Gupte said even medical evidence had “little against the actor’’. There was “no semen and blood’’ found on the victim in the panchanama on his or her clothes and at the scene of offence, he added.
Ahuja’s bail was rejected by the sessions court in July on the grounds that he may tamper with the witness because he was “rich and influential’’. But Gupte said: “How is he influential? He has just made his name in a few films. Besides she stays in Raigad district and will only come for the trial. He doesn’t know where she is.’’
The written bail plea, however, describes Ahuja as a “well-known film personality, having won several professional awards… with roots in society’’.
The hearing will continue in the court of Justice A P Deshpande on Wednesday, when the prosecutor will oppose the bail plea.
The maid had narrated the entire incident of “forcible sexual intercourse’’ to neighbours Adarsh Gupta and Sanjeet Kaur. The neighbours then took her to the police station at Oshiwara to file the complaint.
By Mumbai Mirror Bureau (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 26, 2009)
The Sewri fast-track court on Friday directed jail authorities to provide immediate medical relief to actor Shiney Ahuja, who is behind bars for allegedly raping his maid, after his application seeking treatment.
Following a slip disc, Ahuja was seen crying and wincing in pain when produced in court. Thirty-six-year-old Ahuja, who was unable to walk, was assisted into the courtroom by two constables. He was later brought outside and made to sit on a bench where he lay down, quivering, following which his lawyer Sameer Nangre moved a plea seeking medical treatment at the earliest.
The court directed jail authorities to provide the actor immediate medical relief and shift him to J J Hospital, if necessary, for further treatment. The court was expected to pass an order on Friday on an application filed by Ahuja’s lawyer seeking copies of the forensic report, but the matter was adjourned to October 7.
Vijay V Singh | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; August 13, 2009)
Mumbai: The police have filed a 109-page charge sheet against Shiney Ahuja on Tuesday, charging him with rape, wrongful confinement and threatening his maidservant at his residence in Lokhandawla on June 14.
Ahuja has been remanded to judicial custody till August 13. The sessions court earlier rejected his bail plea, saying there was prima facie evidence to show that a serious offence had been committed.
The charge sheet contained medical and forensic reports and statements of the witnesses, including those who helped the maid to file a complaint at the Oshiwara police station.
The police also recorded the statement of the victim and a witness before the magistrate to strengthen the case and their statements were part of the charge sheet. Additional commissioner of police (west region) Amitabh Gupta confirmed the development.
The maid had told the police that Ahuja called her into his room on June 14, saying he needed water. He then locked the room and raped her.
The actor also locked her inside the room for a few hours before allowing her to leave the flat, she had ‘alleged’. She came to the ground floor in one of the lifts where some witnesses saw her crying and she narrated the entire episode to them.
Medical reports indicated that the actor had intercourse with the victim, officials said, adding that her statement was supported by circumstantial evidence. Forensic experts retrieved semen stains from the maid’s private parts and they matched the actor’s DNA profile, officials had said, adding that it was crucial evidence in the case. A medical examination conducted on the victim had indicated injury marks on her private parts and abrasion on the actor’s right hand, suggesting forced intercourse. The reports are part of the charge sheet.
The victim was a resident of Raigad and came to Mumbai, a few months before the incident. She was staying with relatives in the extended suburbs and was working with the Ahuja family.
Shiney applies for bail even as forensic report on Monday confirmed that the semen sample taken from maid’s body matches the star’s DNA
|The Forensic Science Laboratory at Kalina on Monday confirmed that the semen sample in the vaginal swab of the maid who alleged rape, matched with the DNA of the accused, actor Shiney Ahuja.
Regardless, Shiney moved the Sessions Court last week for bail on the ground that “he is from a good family” and that some of his films are only half done and “need to be completed”.
Ahuja invoked his army background and the absence of any criminal antecedents against him as the ground of his bail. But most importantly, Ahuja argued that his films are hanging because of his incarceration and that he must be released so that he can complete them.
Ahuja’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade said, “Ahuja’s bail application mentions four main grounds: He has no criminal antecedents, he is from a good family, the trial could take a long time which may affect his unfinished films.”
Chief Public Prosecutor RV Kini said that the application would be heard on July 3.
Among Shiney’s unfinished films are Accident with Soha Ali Khan, Chaloo Movie directed by Vinod Pande, and Har Pal with Preity Zinta, for which Shiney Ahuja still has to dub.DNA may clinch conviction
However Monday’s forensic report puts the actor on the back foot. “Any other analysis has space for doubt but not the DNA. Two people can never have the same DNA fingerprint. We got favourable results as the police were prompt in obtaining and sending us samples before they were washed away by the victim,” said a senior FSL official.
Confirming the news DCP (Zone IX) Niket Kaushik said, “The DNA report in the case supports the FIR. Ahuja’s DNA has matched with that of the semen found in the victim’s vaginal swab.”
The DNA analyses of other samples picked up from Ahuja’s house, however, have remained inconclusive. Police had sent the clothes of the victim and the accused, the bedsheet and the pillow covers of Ahuja’s bed, on which the crime was allegedly committed. An FSL investigation, did not find any semen on these samples.
Police, however, said that other reports now become immaterial as the evidence related to the intercourse has confirmed rape. Medical report of the maid also confirm physical violation. “There were injury marks on the private parts of the victim and the accused had scratches on his wrist and finger. It clearly shows that the intercourse was forced,” said a police officer.
“The report on nail clippings of the victim - to find if there is any skin or blood that matches with that of the accused - is still awaited,” said a senior officer.
Ahuja Case Will Be Handed Over To Fast-Track Court
Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; July 20, 2009)
Speaking at the conference called by Vyas, Chavan justified his statement, saying, “The preliminary report in the case clearly indicates that the case is one of rape, but the police are still awaiting the DNA report to confirm the identity of the person who committed the crime.’’
Vyas, who was in the city to meet the victim, claimed that the NCW had been provided with a copy of the victim’s medical report—which confirms rape—and said the organisation would fight to get justice for the victim.
Following a demand from the NCW, Chavan said he would hand over the case to a fasttrack court so that justice “was not delayed”. He said, “The case will be tried in the fast-track court and we have decided to provide financial help to the girl and enable her rehabilitation with immediate effect.’’
Asked why both the CM and Vyas have taken keen interest in this case, the latter said, “This is not the only case we have taken up. Our teams have travelled to places like Rajasthan and Gujarat. There are cases that have been solved within 21 days. There are so many cases wherein we take suo motu notice as in this case. We did get a call from a domestic help association member who requested us to listen to poor people’s problems and help the girl in this case.’’
Chavan said he was there at the guest house to attend a conference on global warming when Vyas invited him to join the press meet on the Ahuja case. “I am not here to influence the case,’’ he added.
Just before addressing the media, Vyas met the victim and the wife of the accused. “The victim has told me that she wants justice and financial help to start her life all over again. She has maintained that she was raped by the actor. I also met Anupam Ahuja, wife of the actor who said her husband was innocent and that the background of the maid ought to be probed.’’
Director Mahesh Bhatt, who was another speaker at the conference, said, “We must not reduce this serious issue of rape into an entertainment product. Let us behave with maturity. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’’
The CM added, “Let’s not blame the film industry because one individual has done something wrong.’’
|Shiney Ahuja had an eventful Thursday. For the first time since his arrest, he looked less troubled and was seen chatting and exchanging smiles with his family. Before the court proceedings started, he shouted, “I love you,” to his wife Anupam, who responded with equal glee.
Ahuja was produced by the Oshiwara police in Andheri court, which sent him to judicial custody till July 2.
While the order came in the first half of the day, the procedures to transfer him to Arthur Road jail took the whole day. And till then, Ahuja had to share space with 15 inmates, arrested for different offences, in the court lock-up.
They instantly recognised Ahuja saying: “Arey yeh to wohi filmstar hai, jisne apni bai ka game bajaya. (This is the movie star who raped his maid)” Sources say they began teasing him and even slapped him. “They were groping Ahuja every now and then; some even behaved inappropriately,” said a constable.
Ahuja soon started crying and called a policeman for help. He was then separated from the others and put in a corner of the cell. A guard was placed in the lock-up to avoid further escalation.
But the ordeal was yet not over.
At around 7.30 pm, when the police was taking Ahuja to the Arthur Road jail with the other accused, they started abusing him again and created a ruckus. However, police brought the situation under control.The proceedings
Inside the court, police argued for Ahuja’s police custody on the grounds that the victim’s medical examination had confirmed rape; and that it was awaiting forensic results on whether Ahuja had consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of crime. Surprisingly, there was no mention of them waiting for his DNA test nor was any fresh reason cited for Ahuja’s custody.
Ahuja’s lawyer, Shrikant Shivade, argued that the actor’s custody was no longer needed for investigations and that the police’s remand application was similar to the previous one. “Not a comma or full stop has been changed,” he told court.
Shivade also said that if his client had given any confessional statement, the police should produce it in the court and that the media should be held accountable for printing such stories.
Shivade also moved an application asking why his client had been handcuffed. After the court passed its order, Shivade told the media that he would move the Sessions court on Friday for Ahuja’s bail.
Meanwhile, police recorded two more statements in the case - of Adarsh Gupta and Sanjeet Kaur. These were the first people the victim and her aunt approached on Sunday. They had helped the maid register a complaint.
Police is also planning to record statements of witnesses under Section 164 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) - the statement is recorded in front of a magistrate and cannot be retracted. As the witnesses are poor migrants, there is a possibility that they might not be available during the trial. DCP (zone IX) Niket Kaushik said, “Though we have full faith in our witnesses, we are examining the possibility of recording statement in front of a magistrate.”