Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘victim

By Taran Adarsh, January 1, 2010 – 12:30 IST

What do you do when you, accidentally, bang into someone on the road? Flee from the spot? Call for help? Dial the cops? Rush the victim to the hospital?

Pick up a newspaper and chances are you might glance upon a hit-and-run case only too often. ACCIDENT ON HILL ROAD, a remake of STUCK [Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea], raises a few questions in its own way. Perhaps, the intentions were right, but what eventually unfolds on screen isn’t.

The problem with ACCIDENT ON HILL ROAD is that it loses focus after a point and that takes away the seriousness from the issue.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Sonam [Celina Jaitly] is a nurse who accidentally steers her car into the harmless Prakash [Farooque Shaikh], sending him flying through the windshield. Not wanting to jeopardize her future, Sonam, along with her drug-peddling boyfriend Sid [Abhimanyu Singh], chooses not to get him medical help, leaving him clinging to life in her garage.

But soon her psyche begins to unravel as the captor and captive are pitted against each other in a battle for survival.

ACCIDENT ON HILL ROAD had the potential to be a thought-provoking film that pricks your conscience, but what comes across is a half-baked attempt that runs out of steam soon after the intermission. In fact, the film begins quite well and a few moments as well as the twists and turns in the first half do keep you on the edge.

But the writing [screenplay adapted by Mahesh Nair and Siddharth Parmar] is shoddy in the second part and does not yield the desired outcome. The sequences prior to the climax are a complete downer, while the climax is the worst part of the film. The drama fails to become the nail-biting one that it ought to be.

Also, the assorted people that flit in and out of the story [the kid and his mom, the cabbie and the nosey neighbour with a dog] are half-baked characters as well. Pray, why were they included in the first place?

Mahesh Nair’s direction is a shade better than the poor and sketchy script. Also, he is unable to involve the audience in the drama. Ravi Walia’s cinematography is ordinary. The film has just one song [music: Raju Singh] – ‘Nasha Nasha’ – which is quite erotic.

Farooque Shaikh doesn’t get any scope, frankly. One definitely expected more, since the veteran returns to the big screen after a hiatus. Abhimanyu Singh enacts his part well. But it is Celina Jaitly who pitches in a commendable act and catches you by complete surprise.

On the whole, ACCIDENT ON HILL ROAD will fail to make any headway.

Sunil Shetty and Vishwajeet Pradhan are victims of severe burns

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 26, 2009)


On Thursday evening, a major fire broke out on the sets of Anees Bazmee’s No Problem. The unit was shooting in the middle of the sea for a vital action sequence. Suniel Shetty and Vishwajeet Pradhan almost became a victim of severe burns. However, prompt action saved them.

The fire extinguishers on the sets proved to be very handy. Suniel burnt his hands while Pradhan’s left leg suffered from major burns.

Vishvajeet Pradhan Sunil Shetty

Rajat Rawail, the producer of the film, said, “It was an important sequence that was being shot with all the main actors of the film, including Suniel Shetty and Vishwajeet Pradhan. We were shooting in the middle of the sea at the Yellow gate, when a sudden gush of wind led the fire to spiral out of our control. Sunil anna and Vishwajeet were trapped, but the production guys showed great presence of mind. They put out the fire with the extinguishers on the sets. We also had a doctor and a first-aid box on the sets, which made things better. Everything was under control in minutes. It is our job to take care of these things as a production unit. Anna’s hand is burnt, while Vishwajeet’s leg is burnt from his knee to the calf muscle. Thankfully, nothing serious happened.”

Vishwajeet tells us, “These things happen and despite all the precautions, the fire was just uncontrollable because of the sea breeze. My trousers were very thin. I guess it’s part of the game, but I am in pain right now. After the incident, I went to a doctor and even a skin specialist for treatment.”

ON A POSITIVE NOTE: Aashish Chowdhary
Aashish Chowdhary, who lost his sister and brother-in-law in the terror attack in Mumbai last year writes

I feel humbled by all the strength my friends and this fraternity gives me. Also, I do realise how I must let go of all that, that is buried inside me. I also am aware that there are plenty of others who have gone through a lot too. But, I am in the hope that all of you will understand me when I tell u that it is not the right moment for me to come out and say absolutely anything regarding the issue.


My sister’s kids are living with and being taken care of by their paternal grandparents. I haven’t spoken about it much because I feel that my family needs to be left alone. I have been misquoted on this sensitive issue recently, and I wish people would stop doing that.

I just want to request one and all to help each other for a start. Whether it’s the government, the doctors, teachers, the common public, whoever. We all need to help each other. Have love, respect for each other. There are so many incidents like these with really poor people too. We can start with some charity if nothing else. The revenue of all the events and programmes that are held on the pretext of the anniversary of 26/11, for example, should be given to charity. Lots more can, and should be done.

And finding the problem and curing it is not the end all. We’ve got to cure it from the root. It is not only people like Kasab. He is a victim himself. A victim of wrong preaching, false teaching. Kids are being brainwashed from a really young age to commit felony in the name of religion. It’s sad. But it’s true. My dearest friends are Muslims and they have a totally different meaning of Jihad. I do not think it’s the religion. The Islamic religion is beautiful in my eyes. It’s the select few, who are on an entirely different zone. All of Pakistan is not as its being perceived. It’s just that the cockroaches in that home have to be removed. All homes have some pests or the other. Crimes are committed in India, too, my friends.

I know I’m saying so much despite of starting by saying I don’t want to. But, what I’ve said is what I think all should know. We are all humans. We should love each other. Hate is a big, bad emotion. It’s got to be eradicated. Religion is not the be all and end all. I say all the internal religious problems in our enchanting, multi-faceted India too should be thrown in the back seat. We have to unite. It’s the need of the hour. For me — as a fellow human to all — I’m a human being first, then an Indian, and then… full stop!
BOMBAY TIMES (November 26, 2009)

Madhur Bhandarkar
Is Madhur Bhandarkar a victim of the country’s rape laws?

TEAM BT Times News Network (November 19, 2009)


Poor Madhur Bhandarkar. The Bollywood filmmaker, who’s just had a critically acclaimed release in Jail, finds himself in the dock once again for rape charges by aspiring actress Preeti Jain dating back to July 2004. Fortunately, the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate who rejected the Versova Police’s adverse report of the charges from back then and decided to conduct an inquiry into the case, has not ordered Bhandarkar’s arrest. The flamboyant filmmaker is not unduly worried by this development. “But my family is going through trauma,” he admitted to BT. It is a bittersweet moment for him. The news comes at a time when he is in Egypt attending the Cairo International Film Festival where five of his films — Chandni Bar, Traffic Signal, Page 3, Corporate and Fashion — are being screened as a tribute to Indian cinema. “My films reflect society and are liked by the classes and masses,” said Madhur, “I’ve got name and fame after a struggle, and I request society not to make a judgement until the case is over, so please don’t give me a trial in the media, I have faith in the judiciary.” But, the question uppermost in people’s minds is this: is Madhur a victim of the country’s rape laws? The filmmaker, naturally, thinks so. “It also amounts to blackmail,” he alleged of this sordid bit of dirty linen that was washed in public by the starlet.


Facts of the case
In July 2004, Preeti had lodged a complaint with the Versova Police against Madhur alleging he had raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004 under the pretext of casting her as actress in his films. Madhur insists the complaint was of “cheating” and did not mention rape.

Our View: Irrespective of what relationship they shared, how can what happened between Madhur and Preeti amount to rape? She claims she was raped 16 times in four years, which is not like saying several times in one night. If this was rape, what prevented her from going to the police after the first incident? Why wait four years? And what prompted the complaint? Was it outrage, jealousy, indignation, a burning desire to teach the man a lesson? If Madhur had promised to cast her in his films, and if he had honoured this alleged commitment, would their alleged sex still be rape? The humiliation, the hurt, the abuse of body and soul that is caused by rape, is as much the 16th time as it would be the first… and any woman suffering this exploitation for four years and then crying rape, sounds like she’s complaining against rejection. Not the sexual act itself.

What is Rape?

The dictionary defines it as “the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; and the act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person”. The Supreme Court’s expansive interpretation of rape in recent years has been to stretch the ambit to include consensual sex based on ‘‘false promise to marry’’. What was clearly never in its contemplation was to bring the casting couch — promise to give work in exchange of sex — under the definition of rape. Even if Preeti’s allegations are taken at face value, it is debatable whether they constitute prima facie evidence to try Madhur on the charge of rape. The allegation, if a promise was made and broken, is a case of fraud. But when sex is involved, courts tend to treat it as a case of rape. Sex by deceit. The opening made by the Supreme Court to provide relief to those who had been deceived into having sex on false promise to marry cannot be pushed further for the sake of those who claim to have been deceived similarly by false promise to give work.


Our view
The idea that sexual intercourse between a man and a woman can occur only if they intend to marry clearly has no place in a liberal society. Also, if the woman gets into a physical relationship because she has been fooled into believing that marriage is on the cards, we may question the morality of the man, but is it not extreme to equate his deception with rape? We would suggest that it is time the law adopted a more nuanced approach to what is universally acknowledged to be a complex issue. Having a breach of promise law to deal with such cases would be more suitable than clubbing it with rape, which is an extremely violent offence.


Is having sex for work any different from prostitution?
This does not come under deception and so on or being conned on the basis of a false promise of marriage, etc. In the case of the casting couch, the lady gives consent as she has been promised something and if she is able to prove that she was deceived into giving her consent then it does attract the provisions of the law… but this, of course, is quite difficult to prove.
— M N Singh,
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner


The starlet cannot say it’s rape. She can call it cheating. She cannot say that “I had sex with him because he promised me work.” This kind of deal is anyway not legal. She had no business to sell herself for a role. If she had alleged (and could prove) that the filmmaker agreed to marry her, then this would have been worth considering. But as it is, she has no case here. If she was a commercial call girl, then this would perhaps fall into the category of prostitution.
— Majeed Memon,
Criminal Lawyer

Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 1, 2009)

Mumbai: Shiney Ahuja’s legal team tried to create more holes in his alleged victim’s claim that she was raped between 3 pm and 5 pm in his Andheri house on June 14.

The Bombay high court on Wednesday was hearing the bail plea of actor Shiney Ahuja who
is accused of raping his domestic help. The court will pass its order on Friday.

Though the domestic help claimed to be raped between 3 pm and 5 pm, the records from the phone company showed that she was speaking on her cellphone between 3.15 pm and 3.45 pm, said Shiney’s
lawyers Shirish Gupte and Srikant Shivade on Wednesday.

The fact that the girl only mentioned the word “atyachar (torture)’’ in her statement on oath before the magistrate and not “rape’’ was also discussed. Justice A P Deshpande asked for the dictionary meaning of atyachar and Gupte said it, in
no way, meant rape. But public prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde said the 20-year-old domestic help’s FIR and medical evidence pointed at rape and that atyachar had to be construed in the context of the incident.

The judge found it strange that neither the girl’s nor Shiney’s clothes had semen or blood stains on them given that she
had worn her clothes “immediately after the alleged forcible sexual intercourse’’. The defence also wanted to know how the police officer had access to lab reports of the maid’s vaginal swabs when the same documents were denied to Ahuja by the sessions judge.

When the judge asked why the police had not recorded any statement of the neighbours, the state’s lawyer said, “In these sophisticated housing societies, neighbours do not bother to interfere even if someone dies.’’ The judge said it was not true as it was a neighbour who took the maid to the police station to lodge a complaint.

Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 30, 2009)


Mumbai: He’s a “small-time actor’’, and while he may be no “saint’’, he’s “no rapist’’ either. This is what actor Shiney Ahuja’s lawyers said, seeking bail pending trial on charges of raping his 20-year old maid at his Andheri home one morning.


In a fresh bid for freedom after spending more than 100 days in jail, the 35-yearold actor–through his counsel Shirish Gupte along with Shrikant Shivade–said the “victim has not even used the word ‘rape’ in her statement to the magistrate regarding the June 14 incident’’. She “had no external injuries, creating doubts over her claim that she resisted him’’, they said. The complainant had called Ahuja many times from her cellphone the pre
vious night, said Gupte.


Forensic experts have said earlier that the absence of external injuries did not mean there was no rape. A woman could be forced into the act by the threat of violence, experts reasoned.


The panchnama noted that when he was arrested on June 15, Ahuja’s left wrist and right little finger had a “nail mark’’ which the actor claimed were sustained while he was working out, and not from the victim’s nails.


The DNA analysis showed no profile was obtained from the victim’s vulval swab, but did find some evidence to match Ahuja’s “control blood component’’ in one of her smear slides. “The reports fail to conclusively establish rape,’’ Ahuja’s plea said, suggesting it was “a consensual act’’.


Saying bail was a rule and not an exception as held in numerous Supreme Court judgements, Gupte said even medical evidence had “little against the actor’’. There was “no semen and blood’’
found on the victim in the panchanama on his or her clothes and at the scene of offence, he added.


Ahuja’s bail was rejected by the sessions court in July on the grounds that he may tamper with the witness because he was “rich and influential’’. But Gupte said: “How is he influential? He has just made his name in a few films. Besides she stays in Raigad district and will only come for the trial. He doesn’t know where she is.’’


The written bail plea, however, describes Ahuja as a “well-known film personality, having won several professional awards… with roots in society’’.


The hearing will continue in the court of Justice A P Deshpande on Wednesday, when the prosecutor will oppose the bail plea.


The maid had narrated the entire incident of “forcible sexual intercourse’’ to neighbours Adarsh Gupta and Sanjeet Kaur. The neighbours then took her to the police station at Oshiwara to file the complaint.

Maushmi Udeshi slaps a miscreant who misbehaved with her on a recent flight

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 29, 2009)

We reported yesterday that Bipasha Basu was groped at a public event held on Saturday, but she chose not to talk about it. Here is a similar incident, except, the victim is vocal about it. A miscreant pawed at model-turned-actress Maushmi Udeshi on Wednesday night when she was on a flight from Delhi to Mumbai. He was later identified as Khan Mehfooz.

Maushmi Udeshi

Maushmi tells us, “This man who was sitting behind me caressed my shoulder and started making lusty noises. It became very embarrassing.” When Maushmi fidgeted and tried to change the manner in which she was sitting, Khan grabbed her by the shoulder. Unable to take it any longer, Maushmi got up and slapped him hard.

Maushmi then realised and was shocked that he was the same man who had tried to push her twice when they were in a queue to board the flight. She adds, “The whole thing became uglier when I saw that he had two friends sitting beside him, and they started laughing when I got up to face him. I thought such incidents were common in buses and trains, but flight mein bhi aisa hota hai? How can a guy get so lusty and be disgusting in public? He was a desperate, slimy b*****d.”

Khan was made to change his seat after Maushmi made a noise. She elaborates, “The in-flight crew was very supportive. He initially denied that he touched me, but they fired him and called the security as we landed in Mumbai. Nobody was allowed to leave the plane till he was handed over to security. At this point, he suddenly fell at my feet and begged for forgiveness. He was detained at the airport and they asked me if I wanted to file a police complaint. But I chose not to get into more jhamela.”

The airline confirmed the incident.

Vijay V Singh | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; August 13, 2009)

Mumbai: The police have filed a 109-page charge sheet against Shiney Ahuja on Tuesday, charging him with rape, wrongful confinement and threatening his maidservant at his residence in Lokhandawla on June 14.


Ahuja has been remanded to judicial custody till August 13. The sessions court earlier rejected his bail plea, saying
there was prima facie evidence to show that a serious offence had been committed.


The charge sheet contained medical and forensic reports and statements of the witnesses, including those who helped the
maid to file a complaint at the Oshiwara police station.


The police also recorded the statement of the victim and a witness before the magistrate to strengthen the case and their statements were part of the charge sheet. Additional commissioner of police (west region) Amitabh Gupta confirmed the development.


The maid had told the police that Ahuja called her into his room on June 14, saying he needed water. He then
locked the room and raped her.


The actor also locked her inside the room for a few hours before allowing her to leave the flat, she had ‘alleged’. She came to the ground floor in one of the lifts where some witnesses saw her crying and she narrated the entire episode to them.
Medical reports indicated that the actor had intercourse with the victim, officials said, adding that her statement was
supported by circumstantial evidence. Forensic experts retrieved semen stains from the maid’s private parts and they matched the actor’s DNA profile, officials had said, adding that it was crucial evidence in the case. A medical examination conducted on the victim had indicated injury marks on her private parts and abrasion on the actor’s right hand, suggesting forced intercourse. The reports are part of the charge sheet.


The victim was a resident of Raigad and came to Mumbai, a few months before the incident. She was staying with relatives in the extended suburbs and was working with the Ahuja family.

The actor had to spend half the day in the court lock-up where the other accused teased and slapped him about
By Deeptiman Tiwary and Raju Shinde (MUMBAI MIRROR; June 19, 2009)
Shiney Ahuja had an eventful Thursday. For the first time since his arrest, he looked less troubled and was seen chatting and exchanging smiles with his family. Before the court proceedings started, he shouted, “I love you,” to his wife Anupam, who responded with equal glee.

Ahuja was produced by the Oshiwara police in Andheri court, which sent him to judicial custody till July 2.

While the order came in the first half of the day, the procedures to transfer him to Arthur Road jail took the whole day. And till then, Ahuja had to share space with 15 inmates, arrested for different offences, in the court lock-up.

They instantly recognised Ahuja saying: “Arey yeh to wohi filmstar hai, jisne apni bai ka game bajaya. (This is the movie star who raped his maid)” Sources say they began teasing him and even slapped him. “They were groping Ahuja every now and then; some even behaved inappropriately,” said a constable.

Ahuja soon started crying and called a policeman for help. He was then separated from the others and put in a corner of the cell. A guard was placed in the lock-up to avoid further escalation.

But the ordeal was yet not over.

At around 7.30 pm, when the police was taking Ahuja to the Arthur Road jail with the other accused, they started abusing him again and created a ruckus. However, police brought the situation under control.

The proceedings

Inside the court, police argued for Ahuja’s police custody on the grounds that the victim’s medical examination had confirmed rape; and that it was awaiting forensic results on whether Ahuja had consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of crime. Surprisingly, there was no mention of them waiting for his DNA test nor was any fresh reason cited for Ahuja’s custody.

Ahuja’s lawyer, Shrikant Shivade, argued that the actor’s custody was no longer needed for investigations and that the police’s remand application was similar to the previous one. “Not a comma or full stop has been changed,” he told court.

Shivade also said that if his client had given any confessional statement, the police should produce it in the court and that the media should be held accountable for printing such stories.

Shivade also moved an application asking why his client had been handcuffed. After the court passed its order, Shivade told the media that he would move the Sessions court on Friday for Ahuja’s bail.

Meanwhile, police recorded two more statements in the case - of Adarsh Gupta and Sanjeet Kaur. These were the first people the victim and her aunt approached on Sunday. They had helped the maid register a complaint.

Police is also planning to record statements of witnesses under Section 164 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) - the statement is recorded in front of a magistrate and cannot be retracted. As the witnesses are poor migrants, there is a possibility that they might not be available during the trial. DCP (zone IX) Niket Kaushik said, “Though we have full faith in our witnesses, we are examining the possibility of recording statement in front of a magistrate.”


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