Mumbai, In a relief of sorts for Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja who is facing a rape charge, a Mumbai court Thursday did not extend his police custody and sent him to judicial custody till July 2.
Shiney was arrested Sunday after his teenaged housemaid complained to police that he had raped her. His police custody ended Thursday.
Making a plea for extending his police custody, the police lawyer said it was necessary to carry out further investigations and to prevent the accused from tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses.
However, Shiney’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade argued that since the investigations were almost completed, there was no need for his further police custody.
Accepting the defendant’s contention, the magistrate of the Andheri court sent him to judicial custody.
Shivade later told mediapersons that he would appeal against the court order and seek bail for the accused actor.
The lawyer clarified that Shiney has not made any confession of rape as speculated in a section of the media.
The actor’s wife Anupam, who was present in the court, expressed her satisfaction with the court ruling and said: “Shiney’s one step closer home.”
Anupam had put up a spirited defence of her husband Wednesday, telling the media that Shiney was being framed in the rape case as he is a celebrity and a soft target. She, however, declined to name who was behind the frame-up.
Under judicial custody, the actor will be lodged in the high-security Arthur Road Jail in south Mumbai.
The jail also houses Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab and the Special Court where the Mumbai terror attacks trial is being held by Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani.
The Oshiwara police late Sunday picked up Shiney from his Versova home after his maid lodged the rape complaint.
Later, the investigators searched Shiney’s house and sent him and the victim for medical and DNA tests.
The complainant-victim hails from Kokbaan village in the coastal Konkan region of western Maharashtra, and lived in Vasai suburb of neighbouring Thane district. She commuted daily by train from Vasai to Andheri to work at Shiney’s residence for the past one year.