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Starlet made sex video to 'blackmail' senior citizens

Court acquits two accused of rape, finds aspiring actress consented to intercourse

A SEWRi fast track court has acquitted two senior citizens accused of repeatedly gang-raping a 28-year-old aspiring actress, who had presented as evidence a CD of one of the men in a compromising position with her.

The acquitted, Sayyed Aminuddin and Umesh Reshamwala


The judgment, delivered on January 20 and made available on Friday, reveals that the woman "probably made the CD to blackmail" the accused. The woman, Shalini Gupta, had accused businessmen Umesh Reshamwala (60) and Sayyed Saeed Aminuddin (63) of seeking sexual favours to give her film roles.

The judgment was delivered by Additional Sessions Judge N P Dalvi, who gave a clean chit to Reshamwala and Aminuddin, both of whom had denied the charges from the beginning. While Reshamwala was able to avoid jail on medical grounds, Aminuddin spent three months in Arthur Road jail as an undertrial.

'Jail was miserable'
Aminuddin said, "Jail is a miserable place; my family has suffered tremendously because of these lies. I had nothing to do with this at all. I will not rest till those who implicated me are dealt with by the law."

In the original police complaint, Gupta, an aspiring actress who had come from Kanpur to the city to make a name for herself, said the accused men agreed to arrange film and TV roles for her.

Both men then allegedly asked for sexual favours on several occasions in exchange for helping her land the roles she wanted.

Yet, the woman continued to keep in touch with them. According to the complaint, one day Aminuddin came to the woman's flat and gave her a CD claiming it was a design for her flat. Instead, the CD showed her involved in a sexual act with Reshamwala.

The defence claimed that the entire case was based on trumped up charges levelled at the behest of API Balasaheb Khade of the Oshiwara police. Khade was recently found guilty of sexual harassment after a departmental inquiry. The officer is also currently under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The court, however, did not give importance to this aspect of the defence's case as it was "outside the trial's scope".

'Active participant'
The CD that showed Reshamwala in a compromising position with Gupta was one of the main pieces of evidence that the prosecution relied on to try to prove the two men had attempted to blackmail her. The defence argued that Gupta actively participated in the making of the CD.

Judge Dalvi in his judgment said, "I can see that the victim was an active participant in the sexual acts in the videography."

He observed, "As admitted by the victim herself, the video shooting appearing in the CD is done in her own flat. The prosecution alleged that the accused made this CD discreetly and tried to blackmail her.

If the flat is belonging to her and occupied by her and also under her complete domain, it is difficult to accept that both the accused would come into her flat, make arrangements in a discreet manner for recording sexual acts... without her knowledge to blackmail her."

Though the recording shows Reshamwala with Gupta, the second accused, Aminuddin, is nowhere to be seen or heard.

The judge further observed, "If the girl doesn't wish to compromise at the cost of her chastity, she would definitely have refused the advances of the accused... the period of time (of physical relations) is more than six months.

Just deposing that she never consented is not acceptable. (The evidence) spells not only her consent but I feel that she is an active participant and volunteered in the sexual relation (with Reshamwala is) established."

Another charge of distributing obscene material did not stand up to scrutiny; the court found the charge "unwarranted" since there was no intent to sell the CD.

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