New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) A court here on Tuesday fixed August 4 for pronouncing the quantum of punishment for movie director Mahmood Farooqui, convicted for the rape of an American woman, after her counsel said his act had damaged the country’s image.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain reserved his order on Farooqui — the co-director of the 2010 Hindi film ‘Peepli Live’ — after the defence and prosecution concluded their arguments on the quantum of punishment.
Farooqui, 44, was convicted of rape on July 30.
The prosecution demanded maximum punishment, saying he had committed a grave offence.
The complainant’s counsel also told the court that Farooqui must be awarded the maximum punishment as he had raped a foreign woman he had invited to dinner and thus had “betrayed the friendship and trust of the woman”.
Farooqui has raped an American scholar, who had come to India for research, at his house and his act had damaged the country’s image, the complainant’s counsel Vrinda Grover told the court.
The counsel said Farooqui is a prominent figure in academic and cultural fields and of high social standing and therefore must not be shown leniency while handing of the sentence.
On the other hand, Farooqui’s counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan sought leniency, saying the convict had maintained good conduct during the trial and also not tried to intimidate the victim.
Farooqui’s counsel also apprised the court that he is not facing any other criminal charge and cited his clean antecedents.
She said the complainant’s version of the rape deserved no sympathy and added that the judiciary must consider his character.
Farooqui was charged with the rape of the 35-year-old woman from Columbia University who was in India for research on her doctoral thesis.
The woman moved to Delhi in June 2014 and was looking for contacts for her work in Gorakhpur. She came in contact with Farooqui through a common friend.
The crime dates back to March 28, 2015, when Farooqui invited her for dinner at his house.
Police said in its chargesheet that she reached the director’s house at 9 p.m. on that date and found him very intoxicated. He asked her to go to his office in the other room.
He later forced himself on her, the prosecution said, adding the woman was scared after the incident.
During the trial, the American researcher stood by her complaint and reiterated that Farooqui raped her. He denied the charge and claimed he was falsely implicated.