NCW –Foot In Mouth syndrome- Action be taken against Shiney Ahuja's maid – Initiate Perjury !!
Shiney Ahuja innocent !!!
Women are LIARS when it comes to extorting money be it be misuse of special laws
After domestic help who accused the actor of rape did a U-turn in a court, the NCW says hostile victims should not be spared
In trouble? The maid, who had accused actor Shiney Ahuja (inset) of rape, retracted her statement in the Sewri fast track court
After a series of cases of rape victims backpedalling on their statements, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has said that some action must be taken against the ones that turning hostile in rape trials. The resolve comes after the victim in the Shiney Ahuja rape case retracted from her statement in the Sewri fast track court.
When MiD DAY contacted Girija Vyas, the NCW president, she said, "Action should be taken against victims turning hostile in rape cases. Such incidents act against women who are actually seeking justice. We cannot allow anyone to lose faith in the judiciary. We will be in a position to comment more once the judgment in the Shiney Ahuja case is out."
Earlier, two accused in a rape case were acquitted as the victims turned hostile. Former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Dhuri Gaganjit Barnala, was acquitted in February last year, after the victim, who had accused Barnala of raping and injuring her at his residence three years back, revoked her statement in court stating that she fell from a cycle and got injured.
Similarly, in December 2008, Satish Kapoor, who works with the water works department of IT Park, Chandigarh, was acquitted after his domestic help retracted stating that she never complained about her employer to the police.
The story so far
Actor Shiney Ahuja was accused of rape by his domestic help last year, and was arrested on June 14, 2009. As it turns out, the 20-year old maid confessed in a fast track court that the rape charges were a set up. Ahuja had to spend three months in jail last year. Five witnesses, including the victim, have been examined so far.
The next hearing of the case is September 15.
The maid, Smita Jadhav (named changed), came to Mumbai from Roha, a village 120 km from the city, to overcome her family's financial problems. With the help of a cousin who resided at Virar, Smita got a job as a maidservant in Oshiwara. The family was happy to receive financial help from their daughter. But, the happiness did not last long, as Smita alleged her employer Shiney Ahuja of raping her last June.
The incident allegedly took place at the actor's Oshiwara flat, when his wife was away in Delhi. Soon after the incident, a traumatised Smita went to her uncle's house in Alibaug. Eventually, she returned to her parents' house in Roha. Sources say that currently Smita's father works with a local NCP leader to support his four daughters and a son.
Shiney Ahuja rape case: Maid can be prosecuted for perjury
Following media reports about the complainant who accused actor Shiney Ahuja of raping her turning hostile, lawyers say she is liable to be prosecuted for perjury.
The victim has made a statement before the magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which is admissible in court unless proven involuntary.
The trial is being conducted in-camera before the Sewri fast track court.
In-camera trial refers to a case where the court bars the media from reporting about the case as per section 327 of the CrPC, applicable in sensitive cases like rape.
Advocate Majeed Memon said: “The victim’s statement under oath has been recorded under section 164 of the CrPC at the investigation stage. That would mean two versions on oath from the same witness diagonally opposite. Both can never be true. One is bound to be false. Hence, she is liable for prosecution under perjury.”
In the Best Bakery case related to the 2002 Gujarat communal riots, a fast track court convicted and sentenced eyewitness Zaheera Sheikh and her sister in 2006 for perjury. In this case, she had told the Supreme Court that she was threatened by local politicians and wanted the case to be transferred outside Gujarat. However, before a Mumbai court, she changed her statement and was declared hostile.
While leading defence advocate Sudeep Pasbola agreed that the hostile complainant can be prosecuted, he said it completely depends on her deposition. “She can be prosecuted if there are two divergent statements on oath. But it depends on what she said before the court and how far she has strayed from her section 164 statement. If she can give an explanation for her turnaround, the court could consider her point.”
Police officers, however, claim that their case against Ahuja is watertight, despite the complainant’s alleged retraction from her earlier statement. Deputy commissioner of police (zone IX) KMM Prasanna said the victim’s statement was recorded under section 164 of the CrPC, along with at least four other witnesses.
The officials said that the 20-year-old victim told the witnesses that Ahuja had raped her inside his Oshiwara flat.
The witnesses then reportedly encouraged her to lodge a complaint with the police.
“Apart from this, we also have strong medical evidence against the accused,” Prasanna said. On being asked whether the complainant can be tried under perjury for giving a false complaint, Prassana replied: “The court will decide on it.”
Lawyers, however, are more cynical. Memon said the victim’s deposition before the court will hold more weight than the one before the magistrate. “If there is other satisfactory corroborative evidence before the court, the court could still proceed to hold the accused guilty.”
Pasbola said: “The case might result in an acquittal. The section 164 statement can only be used as substantive evidence and can only be used to contradict her earlier statement.”