Mumbai: The Delhi High Court on Monday acquitted Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of Bollywood film ‘Peepli Live’, in a rape case.
The HC set aside the trial court order awarding him seven years jail term for allegedly raping a US researcher. The court directed that Farooqi, who is presently in jail, be released forthwith.
The HC raised doubts over the veracity of the incident and the complaint and took note of the fact that there was delay by the victim in filing the First Information Report (FIR).
The court also questioned if there was consent or not. It also raised the question on whether the accused understood that there was no consent.
On July 30, 2016, a fast track court had held Farooqui guilty of rape and had stated that the statement of the victim was of “sterling quality” with no embellishments or improvements. The fast track court also concluded that the testimony of the victim was truthful and supports the conviction of the accused.
The woman, a student at the Columbia University in New York, had told the police that she was raped by Farooqui at his Sukhdev Vihar residence in Delhi on March 28, 2015.
The two were at a party and Farooqui had reportedly gotten drunk and taken her to a different room in the house and forced himself on her.
The woman met Farooqui in Varanasi where she had gone to collect information. Farooqui was helping her with her research work.
Farooqui directed ‘Peepli Live’ with his wife, Anusha Rizvi. The film was released in 2010.