Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui was already drunk when the American researcher reached his house after which he allegedly forced upon her, a US national told a court today. Jaclyn, a US national and the victim’s friend, while deposing as a prosecution witness before Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain, said the researcher, who was very close to her, had left for her country a few days after the incident as she was “upset and distraught”.
The victim’s friend, who is also a PhD student from USA, said the complainant had returned to India after nearly two months and expressed her willingness to lodge a complaint about the alleged assault by Farooqui.
During cross-examination, Jaclyn supported the case of the prosecution and said she had met the researcher on April 5, after the alleged incident, when she had narrated her ordeal. “She told me that Mahmood called her to his house as they had to attend a wedding on March 28 and when they were alone in a room, he forced sex on her,” Jaclyn, who knew Farooqui since 2012 in connection with her research work, said.
She said she remembered the complainant telling her that Farooqui was “already drunk” at the time of the alleged incident.
She said she had accompanied the complainant on June 19 to New Friends Colony Police Station to lodge the FIR and accompanied her for her medical examination. At the end of her examination, the judge asked Jaclyn if she can identify Farooqui present in the court room, to which she pointed towards him and nodded in affirmation.
The court also recorded the statement of Farooqui’s childhood friend Ashish, who claimed he had reached the accused’s house on the night of alleged incident around 8.30 pm and the complainant arrived sometime later.
Ashish further said that after some time when the researcher said she wanted to leave, Farooqui had booked a cab in which she left. The recording of statements of both the prosecution witnesses concluded and the court fixed October 14 for further hearing and arguments on Farooqui’s bail plea.
On September 9, the court had started the trial in the case after framing charges of rape under section 376 (rape) of IPC against Farooqui, who has denied all charges against him.
The police had on June 19 lodged the FIR against Farooqui on the complaint of the woman after which the film maker was arrested.
On June 29, a charge sheet was filed against Farooqui alleging he had raped the 30-year-old research scholar from Colombia University at his Sukhdev Vihar house in south Delhi on March 28 this year.