Lucky them: 100,000 Nano buyers selected Tuesday, Jun 23 2009 

Mumbai: Tata Motors, makers of the Nano small car, on Tuesday said it has completed random selection of the first 100,000 applicants who would buy the vehicle in the first phase and that delivery will begin next month. “Tata Motors once again places on record its gratitude to the people of India for according such a warm welcome to the Tata Nano, as also to all its preferred financiers, dealers and partner companies for their stupendous effort in helping the company launch the Tata Nano,” the company said in a statement.

The selection was made through a random computerised process after bookings closed on April 25. About two lakh bookings, which began April 9, were made across Tata Motors dealerships and State Bank of India (SBI) branches. This was, however, much lower than what was expected. The selected applicants will be contacted individually, the statement said, adding that delivery will begin next month and continue till the last quarter of 2010.

India’s third largest passenger car maker said 55,021 applicants out of the 106,703 not selected in the first phase had exercised the option to retain their booking. They will be given preferential allotment in the second phase.

Additionally, they will be entitled to an interest of 8.5 percent on the booking amount if the car is delivered within two years (June 23, 2011), and 8.75 percent after that date. The booking amounts of the unsuccessful applicants shall be returned, the statement added. The company will also be offering the unsuccessful applicants “an exciting offer on the Tata Indica range”, the statement read.

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Shiney Ahuja sent to police custody till June 18 Monday, Jun 15 2009 

Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja, who was arrested on Sunday for raping his maid, has been sent to police custody till June 18. The actor has been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 376 with rape, along with wrongful restraint and intimidation. Ahuja was taken to be produced in the Andheri court in Mumbai by the police.

The actor’s domestic help had lodged a complaint on Sunday after which a medical test was conducted on her. She’s been working in his house for the last month and a half. In her police complaint, the maid has alleged, “In the afternoon when I was alone in the house, Shiney came and forced himself on me. I tried to push him away but he gagged and raped me. He also threatened me of dire consequences and told me not to inform anybody. I confided to my family only later in the evening when my private parts began hurting. My uncle took me to the police station to lodge a complaint.”

The actor who made his debut in the critically acclaimed Hazaaron khwayishe Aisi was arrested on Sunday night. Ahuja, who hails from Delhi, has worked in several successful Bollywood films such as Bhool Bhulaiya, Gangster and Life in a Metro. The case has left the Bollywood fraternity shell-shocked. Many like filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt have said that while the incident is shameful, the actor’s version should be heard. Bollywood director Mohit Suri also expressed shock over the incident. “I was clearly in shock and I wanted to know whether it was one of those cases against celebrities that come up every now and then, or was it really true. This looked a little more serious more so because he confessed to consensual sex with the maid,” said Suri.

Reacting to the incident, Shiney’s family has said that the actor has been framed. Shiney Ahuja is married to Anu Ahuja, who works in the United States and the couple has a two-year-old daughter. Reacting on the incident, Anu said Shiney is a man of character.