HC expedites Shiney Ahuja's appeal against conviction in rape case

HC expedites Shiney Ahuja appeal against conviction in rape case

The Bombay High Court has expedited an appeal filed by Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja against a lower court verdict sentencing him to jail in a rape case after he pleaded that pendency of "frivolous conviction" was tormenting him and he wanted to start life afresh.

Shiney moved the high court after he was sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment by a fast-track sessions court in March 2011 here for raping his domestic maid in 2009 despite the victim turning hostile during the trial.

His counsel Ashok Mundargi argued that DNA test results, domestic help's evidence and circumstantial evidence did not support the case against the actor. "Let him start his life afresh... There has been a lot of prejudice against him."

Justice A M Thipsay observed yesterday that if there was no evidence then the conviction cannot stand. However, the court would decide only after hearing arguments of both the sides, he said and fixed the matter for early hearing on December 17.

38-year-old Shiney contended that the investigation by police was "one-sided and biased" and the investigating officer did not feel the need to examine the call data records (CDR) and CCTV evidence that supported his case since it would have been a drawback for the prosecution.

"The trial court too failed to direct Investigating Officer to produce the CDR and CCTV evidence which would have brought out the truth to the world that no rape had been committed," Shiney stated.

The actor said he has made a conscious decision to clear himself from the baseless charges before going back to his profession and that he "continues to be unemployed".

Shiney said he has to look after his old and ailing parents, wife and five-year-old daughter and "the pendency of a frivolous conviction is tormenting" him and his family.

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