After being held in prison for more than three months accused of raping his 20-year-old maid, Shiney Ahuja has been granted bail on the grounds of some inconsistencies in the prosecution case. Once surety has been posted, he is likely to be released this Saturday. “Ahuja was granted bail on condition that he would deposit 50,000 rupees and that he would not stay in Mumbai for the duration of the bail,” said his lawyer Shirish Gupta.
The 36-year-old actor, who faces a sentence of up to seven years if found guilty, was asked to surrender his passport and has been confined to New Delhi for the duration of his bail. The defense has argued that only consensual sex took place, although his wife Anupam has said, “He never admitted it was consensual sex.”
There was evident relief in the Ahuja camp when news of his bail was released. “As soon as we got the news about the court granting bail, we rushed to Sewri court but could not complete the formalities before the close of working hours of the court,” said friend and film-maker Ashoke Pandit.
In explaining his decision to release Shiney and to impose the New Delhi restriction, Justice AP Deshpande said, “There are two aspects in such cases – an accused may try to flee or tamper with the evidence. In this case, since he is a permanent resident of Mumbai, he may not try to flee and to ensure that there is no tampering of evidence, certain conditions must be put.”