Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui was convicted by a special fast-track court on Saturday for raping a 35-year-old American woman in 2015. The court will decide on the quantum of sentence on August 2 after hearing arguments from both sides.
The filmmaker was tried by a fast-court after an American scholar accused Farooqui of forcing himself on her at his residence in South Delhi. The victim, who was doing research work in eastern Uttar Pradesh, was introduced to Farooqui by her friend. She told this friend, who is also a witness in the case, over phone about the rape soon after it happened. Previously, the prosecution told the court that the victim feared a repeat of “December 16” incident if she resisted rape.
“She has stated before this court, during the recording of the evidence, that she was reminded of the documentary of the Nirbhaya case, where the rapist had said that if the victim had not struggled, she would have survived. The accused (Farooqui) applied force and pushed her down. She then froze. She knew if she resisted the rape upon her, the consequence would be worse,” argued advocate Vrinda Grover, counsel for the victim.
Farooqui denied the allegations and accused the victim of having a “disturbed mind”. However, the court ruled in favour of the victim and Farooqui was convicted under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC. The offence of rape entails a minimum of seven years rigorous jail and a maximum of imprisonment for life.