After spending 27 days in jail for raping his domestic help two years ago, actor Shiney Ahuja got bail on Wednesday.
Justice AR Joshi of the Bombay high court granted him bail against a bond of Rs 50,000 and directed Ahuja to not leave India without court permission. Justice Joshi observed that considering the evidence given by the victim, officers from the forensic science laboratory and the medical officers who attended to the victim immediately after the alleged rape and also the fact that the conviction was apparently based on DNA tests, “it is not a case in which Ahuja is required to be detained in jail pending his appeal”.
Ahuja’s counsel Shirish Gupte and advocates Shrikant Shivade and Manoj
Mohite sought bail for the actor saying the alleged victim had not completely supported the prosecution. Apart from the victim denying the occurrence of the “incident”, even the medical evidence has not supported the prosecution, Gupte said. Also, the report of the chemical analyser was from a laboratory that is not accredited (by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories).
Opposing the bail, additional public prosecutor JP Kharge argued that there was sufficient medical evidence against Ahuja. Despite the victim not “fully” supporting the prosecution, the sessions judge convicted Ahuja based on DNA findings and scientific examinations, Kharge argued. “The evidence shows that Ahuja committed the offence,” Kharge said.
Gupte then went on to assure the court that Ahuja would be present for the hearing in the appeal against his conviction. “He has a wife and a child. He had meekly faced the trial and not misused the bail conditions earlier,” Gupte said. Gupte argued that Ahuja had been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment whereas the appeal would come up for hearing after three-four years. The court observed that as the trial had concluded, there was no question of tampering with evidence.
The high court, on April 19, had admitted the appeal filed by Ahuja challenging his conviction by the Sessions court. Ahuja was sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment on March 30 by the Sessions judge for raping his maid in June 2009.