Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of ‘Peepli Live’, was convicted of raping a 30-year-old American research scholar from Columbia University, by a special fast track court on Saturday. Farooqui, who had been out on bail, was found guilty under IPC Section 376 and ordered to be taken into judicial custody.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, counsel for the complainant, said:
“This is perhaps one of the first cases of forced oral sex, which shows two things: that there was a crime for which we did not earlier have an offence named — now it has been recognised as rape. We’re also very happy to see that the court relied on very credible evidence that the woman gave.”
After the rape, the woman had texted and spoken to the friend who introduced her to Mahmood Farooqui; this friend corroborated the woman’s story, saying he had been immediately informed and had received text messages saying the accused had forced himself upon the woman.
“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.”
The court will hear arguments on sentencing on 2 August, 2016. The punishment for rape entails a minimum punishment of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life.