New Delhi: A court here on Thursday sentenced Mahmood Farooqui, the co-director of acclaimed 2010 Hindi film ‘Peepli Live’, to seven years jail after finding him guilty of raping an American woman. Additional sessions judge Sanjiv Jain awarded the minimum jail term prescribed for the offence to Farooqui, who was produced in the court in custody.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the 44-year-old filmmaker and said the amount be given to the victim, failing which he would have to undergo an additional imprisonment of three months. It also tasked the Delhi Legal Service Authority to decide an appropriate compensation for the woman.
The court had on July 30 held him guilty of raping the American woman last year at his house in a drunken state. During the arguments on sentence earlier, Delhi Police had sought life imprisonment for the filmmaker, saying the crime perpetrated on the foreigner has brought “disrepute” to India.
Farooqui’s counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan had said as the filmmaker suffered from bipolar disorder and has fully cooperated in the case he should be given a chance to reform.
Seeking stringent punishment for Farooqui, complainant’s counsel Vrinda Grover had said, “The foreigner (victim) was here for research work but was raped by a person she knew, who was her friend and whom she had trusted”. Farooqui, who was out on bail, was taken into custody immediately after his conviction in the case.
Prosecutor Mohammed Ikrar had earlier said that the woman, in her complaint, had alleged that Farooqui was drunk when he raped her at his house where she had gone to seek his help for her research work in March last year.
The police had on June 19, 2015, lodged the FIR against Farooqui on the woman’s complaint after which he was arrested. The police had on July 29 last year filed a charge sheet against Farooqui, alleging he had raped the research scholar from Columbia University at his Sukhdev Vihar house in south Delhi on March 28 last year.
The court had on September 9, 2015, started the trial in the case after framing rape charge against Farooqui and the victim, based in the US, had appeared in the court on September 14, 2015 to record her statement. The woman had, during the in-camera proceedings, alleged that Farooqui had raped her and later apologised to her in several e-mails exchanged between them. Later, however, Farooqui had denied the allegations against him, saying he was falsely implicated by the woman.