Shiney Ahuja’s maid claims rape never took place

In an anti-climax, Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja’s domestic help, who accused him of raping her, has told a court here that the rape never took place, official sources said on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old victim made the statement last week before a special judge in a fast track court in Sewri where Shiney’s “in-camera” trial is currently under way. She also claimed that she made the serious charge against Shiney allegedly because of some pressure from a woman who introduced her to the actor.

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.

Shiney was accused of raping his domestic help at his Andheri West home June 14, 2009. He was arrested and spent 110 days in the police and judicial custody in various jails before the Bombay high court granted him bail on surety of Rs 50,000.

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 had imposed stringent conditions on ordering Shiney 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. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 15.

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