Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘sexual intercourse

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

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Police believes there was a non-cognizable complaint of sexual harassment filed against the filmstar in 2006; have sought details
By Deeptiman Tiwary (MUMBAI MIRROR; June 17, 2009)
Mumbai police is now extending its probe against filmstar Shiney Ahuja to check for a similar such misdemeanour in the past.

Shiney was arrested on Sunday by Oshiwara police for allegedly raping his 18-year-old maid. “We have come to know that there is an earlier non-cognizable complaint of sexual harassment against the actor and I have asked for the record,” said joint commissioner (Law and Order) KL Prasad.

The actor’s behaviour when the police team went to his Tarapore Towers flat to question him on Sunday evening also roused suspicion, say cops. “We were shocked to see Ahuja sitting comfortably with his friends and enjoying a TV show. He was very calm and comfortable until he saw police and the maid’s relative at his door. He probably, never thought that the matter would go to the police,” said an officer privy to the investigations, on condition of anonymity.

“An ordinary man will be terrified right after the incident and will be ill at ease constantly thinking what if the victim goes and tells someone. He will try to do many things to make sure that the victim doesn’t squeal. But Ahuja seemed pretty comfortable watching TV with no fear whatsoever. However once he realised why the police had come to his house he started trembling,” the officer added.

Additional CP (Western Region) Amitabh Gupta said, “We are checking his record. Until now we have not found any complaint on record against him. But our investigation is on and we are interrogating various people.”

Ahuja’s wife called for questioning

Shiney’s wife Anupam

On Monday afternoon, Ahuja’s wife Anupam was called to the Oshiwara police station for questioning but had not turned up till the time of going to press, while his father Col (retd) SP Ahuja came to the police station to meet his son.

Police said that the allegation against Ahuja had been strengthened with the medical report of the girl which noted forceful sexual intercourse and also made a mention of injuries on her body apart from her private parts. Based on this, police said, they would seek Ahuja’s further custody on June 18 as he may influence witnesses whose statements are still being recorded.

Witness statements recorded

Police have till now recorded four statements, apart from the victim’s, in the case. DCP (Zone IX) Niket Kaushik said, “We have recorded the statement of the victim’s aunt (Rekha), who first met her after the incident. The other maid in the house (Sangeeta), Ahuja’s cook (Mohan), and the watchman of the building have also given their statements. All statements fit with the circumstances of the case.”

A police officer said the statement of Sangeeta, who stays in the house 24/7 but had gone to Church at the time of the incident, and of Mohan, who had left in the morning after cooking lunch, establish that both Ahuja and the maid were in the house all day. “The watchman has seen the maid coming and going, while Rekha has given us a statement on how she rang Ahuja’s door bell at 5 pm on Sunday and a visibly upset victim came out. She later narrated the entire incident to Rekha at their Virar residence,” said an officer.

Shiney’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade refused to comment on police investigation.


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