US woman's testimony nails Farooqui in rape case: Cops to court

A US researcher was sexually assaulted by 'Peepli Live' co-director Mahmood Farooqui, the Delhi Police told a court on Thursday.

New Delhi: A US researcher was sexually assaulted by 'Peepli Live' co-director Mahmood Farooqui, whom she had trusted and considered a friend, the Delhi Police told a court here on Thursday.

Commencing final arguments in the case before Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain, the prosecution said that the woman has been consistent in her statements at every stage of trial in which she has reiterated that she was allegedly raped by Farooqui at his residence on March 28 last year.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for the researcher, argued, "The court needs to understand that she is an American woman who is honest and consistent in sharing the sterling quality of her evidence. She has not concealed any fact and her conduct needs to be understood in the cultural context." Grover added that the testimony of the victim was the most importance evidence in the case and the "court should see that the woman came for research work in India which is not her society, her family."

The counsel also argued that no clear motive has been attributed as to why the woman would falsely implicate Farooqui, whose interim bail expires tomorrow. The prosecution arguments remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow. The trial in the case had commenced on September 9 last year and the alleged victim, based in the US, had appeared in the court on September 14 to record her statement.

The 30-year-old American woman had, during the in-camera proceedings, alleged that Farooqui had raped her at his Sukhdev Vihar residence here on March 28 and later apologised to her in the several e-mails exchanged between them.

Farooqui has denied the allegations levelled against him saying he was falsely implicated by the woman.

The court had started the trial in the case after framing charges of rape under section 376 (rape) of IPC against him. The police had on June 19 lodged an FIR against Farooqui on the complaint of the woman after which the filmmaker was arrested.

On July 29, a charge sheet was filed against Farooqui alleging he had raped the research scholar from Columbia University at his house in south Delhi.