There's been a surprising development in the Shiney Ahuja maid rape case. The actor's maid has just told a fast-track court in Mumbai that Shiney never raped her, and that she had filed false charges against him.
The maid had filed a case against Shiney in June last year alleging that he raped her while they were alone in his flat in Mumbai. Shiney was arrested following the complaint, and spent around three months in jail. Though he was later released on bail, he was virtually blacklisted in Bollywood following the incident. But his wife supported him through the trial.
The maid, who's 20-years-old, is now saying that the woman who got her the job at Shiney's house told her to press false charges against the actor. The next hearing of the case will happen on September 15.
Confirming the developments, public prosecutor K V Dighe said the court has now declared the victim as a "hostile witness", but the trial will continue.
However, in view of certain restrictions given the sensitive nature of the case, Dighe declined to go into details.
Incidentally, during the investigations and interrogation, Shiney had confessed to having consensual sex with the maid. He reportedly even confessed to having raped her.
The medical examinations, forensic reports on the incident and the DNA tests conducted on both Shiney and the victim suggested rape.
Following a nationwide furore over the incident and intervention by the National Commission of Women, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had ordered the transfer of the case from a regular court to a fast track court to ensure speedy justice for the victim.
While granting bail, Justice A.P. Deshpande imposed stringent conditions on Shiney, ordering him to live in New Delhi till the trial started in Mumbai, not to influence witnesses, deposit his passport with the police, and report regularly to a nearby police station while in the capital.
The case against Shiney will continue before the fast track court and the outcome would depend on the statements of other witnesses besides the evidence gathered against him.
About the victim, legal circles say that if she was found to have lied before the court, she could be liable for perjury and face appropriate action.
(With inputs from Indo-Asian News Service)