A woman from the US reported to officials in New Delhi that she had been raped by Indian famed writer, artist and director Mahmood Farooqui.
Farooqui, 44, was subsequently arrested and a court trial that began in September and lasted eleven months has finally come to a close, with Farooqui being found guilty and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. In addition, he is to pay a Rs 50,000 fine to the victim or have an additional three months added to his time.
Farooqui met the victim, a researcher from Columbia University, last year in Delhi in relation to a research project on Baba Goraknath. According to Mohammed Ikrar, the prosecutor, Farooqui had been drunk when he raped her at his home.
Farooqui maintained he was innocent, accusing the victim of falsely implicating him. Farooqui’s wife, Anusha Rizvi, also adamantly insisted the allegations were false.
However, the victim was able to produce multiple texts and emails from the famed director of Peepli Live apologising for the rape, hence serving as hard evidence.
Nitya Ramakrishnan, Farooqui’s counsel, argued that as the defendant suffered from bipolar disorder and had been compliant with the courts, he should be given a chance for reformation.
On the other hand, due to the prominent number of rapes in India circulating through international media, the police had wanted a much more severe punishment for Farooqui, seeking life imprisonment. They argued that the film maker had bought yet further disrepute to India’s image.