New Delhi, Jan 19: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the acquittal of “Peepli Live” co-producer Mahmood Farooqui in an alleged rape case, rejecting a plea by the complainant challenging the Delhi High Court order.
Farooqui was accused of rape by an American woman.
Observing “it was an extremely well decided case, no need for intervention”, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao rejected the plea by the victim challenging the High Court order.
Farooqui was convicted by the trial court and sentenced to undergo seven years in prison on charges of sexually abusing a 35-year-old research scholar from Columbia University who was in India for research on her doctoral thesis.
He was convicted by the trial court in August 2016.
The Delhi High Court had on September 25, 2017 acquitted the “Peepli Live” co-director, giving him benefit of doubt in the case.
Acquitting him of rape charges, the High court had said: “…it remains in doubt as to whether such an incident, as has been narrated by the prosecutrix (victim), took place and if at all it had taken place, it was without the consent/will of the prosecutrix and if it was without the consent of the prosecutrix, whether the appellant could discern/ understand the same.”
The American woman came in contact with Farooqui after she moved to Delhi in 2014 and was looking for contacts for her research work in Gorakhpur.
The alleged incident took place on March 28, 2015 when Farooqui invited her for dinner at his house.
The police had on June 19, 2015, lodged the FIR against Farooqui on the woman’s complaint after which he was arrested.
According to the police chargesheet, the woman, who reached his house at 9 p.m, found Farooqui was very intoxicated, and he asked her to go to the other room which was his office.
After 20 minutes, she left the office room to smoke in the porch when he told her to come in and sit down, it said. After talking with her for a while, he suddenly kissed her and forced himself on her, the prosecution had said, adding that the woman was scared after the incident.
During the trial, the American researcher stood by her complaint and alleged that Farooqui had raped her, while he denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated.