Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui acquitted in rape case involving US researcher
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday acquitted Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of Bollywood film Peepli Live, in a rape case involving a US researcher.
Justice Ashutosh Kumar set aside the trial court order which had awarded a seven-year jail term to Farooqui after convicting him for the alleged rape of a 30-year-old American researcher at his south Delhi residence in March 2015.
The high court directed that Farooqui, who is presently in jail, be released forthwith. Justice Kumar had reserved the verdict on 1 September after hearing arguments of the counsel for the state and Farooqui. acquits
Farooqui has challenged his conviction and the sentence given by the trial court.
During the arguments, Farooqui's lawyer had denied the allegation of rape levelled by the woman and said "no such incident took place on that day".
His counsel had referred to messages exchanged between his client and the woman before the lodging of the case and contended that the two were in a "relationship" since January 2015.
"In a relationship when people are attracted to each other, things do happen. But it does not mean it's rape," he had said, adding that the "woman's version is also contradictory to the documentary evidence".
This argument was opposed by Delhi Police's counsel who had said the rape had taken place and the trial court had given reasons while convicting and sentencing 45-year-old Farooqui.
A trial court had on 4 August last year sent him to jail for seven years, observing that he had taken advantage of the situation when the victim was alone in his house.
The court, which on 30 July, 2016 had held Farooqui guilty of raping the American woman in 2015 in a drunken state, had also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.
The police had on 19 June, 2015, lodged the FIR against Farooqui on the woman's complaint after which he was arrested.
On 29 July, 2015 the police had filed its charge sheet against Farooqui alleging he had raped the research scholar from Columbia University at his Sukhdev Vihar house in South Delhi on 28 March, 2015.
Updated Date: Sep 25, 2017 15:13:58 IST