Its a fifth time now that 36-year old Shiney Ahuja has been granted an increased custody, extending his stay in Arth
ur Road jail where he is being currently held and will remain so until the 27th of August. Ahuja of Woh Lamhe, Gangster and the critically acclaimed 'Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi' fame was charged with rape against his 18 year old maid and arrested earlier in June this year.
The alleged claims of the victim were verified thereafter, when both Shiney and the maid was made to undergo DNA and other tests which confirmed positive. While the maid said she had been forced into physical submission for about a year now, and had been threatened by the actor against lodging any formal complaints, Ahuja's wife Anupam has throughout the process of investigation continued to stand by his side stating with conviction that her husband has been framed.
The news which made headlines for several days when it first hit the media, has been significantly underplayed for a while now especially on account of the time lapse. During which Ahuja has managed to obtain yet another extension to his custody period, before facing the actual trial.
It is a primary observation to make that with the repeated extensions in custody, after a bail plea had to be rejected to him in the presence of a prima facie evidence, Ahuja could well be bidding for time until he can ascertain a nominal sentence if any at all. Legally such charges, if and when proved can amount to up to 7 years of imprisonment in addition to heavy fines and compensation to the victim. In lieu of which the Andheri metropolitan magistrate has transferred the case to Session courts pronouncing it outside the jurisdiction power of his court.
Procedural obligations and formalities have been named as the cause for procrastinating time and again what should have called for prompt action, and the inevitable delay in dealing with the matter once and for all does make one wonder, how much of what meets the eye is not just a conveniently put up cover to possible underhand activities in this case.
Author: Naseem J.