Mumbai: In a reprieve to Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja, the Bombay High Court on Monday permitted him to travel abroad to attend the premier of his upcoming movie 'Ghost'.

Shiney, convicted by a sessions court here on March 30 for raping his domestic maid at his suburban residence, was released on bail by the High Court after he filed an appeal challenging the seven-year sentence awarded to him.

The actor, who plays the lead in the movie 'Ghost', directed by debutant Puja Bedi, approached the High Court seeking direction to the police to release his passport and permission to travel to Dubai.

Justice R C Chavan directed the suburban Oshiwara police to release Shiney's passport and directed the actor to furnish a surety of Rs 25,000 before the sessions court and then travel abroad.

The movie, which is to be released on December 16, will be premiered on December 14 in Dubai.

"Since the applicant (Shiney) is the lead actor of the movie he has to attend the premier as well as other promotional events to be held in Dubai," the actor's plea stated.

Shiney was granted bail in April by the High Court on a bail bond of Rs 50,000. The trial court sentenced Shiney to seven years' rigorous imprisonment, relying on circumstantial evidence, though the complainant had turned hostile during the trial.

The trial court said it had considered evidence such as positive DNA report, medical evidence of intercourse, and scratch marks on Shiney's hand. In June 2009, the girl had lodged the complaint alleging that she was raped by the actor at his house. Shiney was arrested on June 14, 2009.

'Ghost' will mark Shiney's comeback to the silver screen after three years. The actor's last movie was 'Hijack' opposite Esha Deol.

(Agencies)