New Delhi, Aug 5: A court 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 also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Farooqui, who was convicted on July 30 of raping a 35-year-old woman from Columbia University who was in India for research on her doctoral thesis.
The court observed that the victim was a student and had come to India to do her research work.
After the incident, she could not complete her research and she incurred expenditure on her travel to India for lodging a first information report, the court noted and directed the Delhi Legal Service Authority to consider to compensate her.
"In the light of the above observation, it can be safely held that the testimony of prosecutrix (victim) being truthful and credible can be relied upon as being of sterling worth for the purpose of the conviction of accused," the court said.
"It was when the prosecutrix was alone with the accused, Ashish (accused's friend) was away from his house, it was confirmed that Darain (accused's friend) was not coming to his house, the accused taking advantage of the situation raped the prosecutrix (victim)."
The court noted the subsequent conduct of the prosecutrix of wanting to disassociate herself from the accused and to leave his house immediately and of telling about her ordeal to Danish, her friend and a prosecution witness in the case.
The court also took account of the e-mail shared between the accused and victim.
The court said: "There is no reason to observe for the prosecutrix to falsely implicate the accused. Also, the delay in lodging of the FIR has been satisfactorily explained."
"Thus, I find no hesitation to conclude that the prosecution has proved the guilt of accused beyond reasonable doubt quo the charge of rape," the court said.
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 incident occurred on March 28, 2015 when Farooqui invited her for dinner at his house.
According to the police chargesheet, 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.
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 with 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.