The Delhi High Court on Monday acquitted Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of acclaimed 2010 Hindi film “Peepli Live”, who was accused of raping an American woman.
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Charges of sexual assault:
- Justice Ashutosh Kumar set aside the trial court order convicting Farooqui and sentencing him to seven years jail in August last year.
- Farooqui had challenged the trial court order in the High Court claiming his innocence.
- Farooqui was accused of raping a 35-year-old woman from Columbia University who was in India for research on her doctoral thesis.
- The woman, who moved to Delhi in June 2014, was looking for contacts
- for her work in Gorakhpur and came in contact with Farooqui through a common friend.
- The alleged incident occurred on March 28, 2015 when Farooqui invited her for dinner at his house.
- According to the police charge sheet, 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.
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- 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 to her for a while, he suddenly kissed her and forced himself on her,
- the prosecution 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.