A Delhi court on Wednesday framed charge against Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui for allegedly sexually assaulting an American researcher and fixed September 9, 2015 to launch a day-to-day trial in the case.
The court, however, kept pending Mr. Farooqui’s bail plea and is likely to decide on it after recording the evidence of the complainant who has been summoned on September 14.
“On March 28 at the accused’s residence in Sukhdev Vihar, you (Mr. Farooqui) committed rape of the prosecutrix in the manner as defined under Section 375, punishable under Section 376 of the IPC. Let the charge be framed. The application of bail be kept pending,” additional sessions judge Sanjiv Jain said.
The judge also asked the director of the Forensic Science Laboratory to expedite the examination of property in the case and submit the report at the earliest, as the complainant’s visa is valid up to October 5 only.
This direction came after the investigating officer filed a report on behalf of the FSL director that the case has been taken up on priority and the forensic results would be ready by September 30. The court directed the FSL to submit its report 10 days earlier on the grounds that the complainant would have to return to the U.S. by October 5.
An application was moved by Mr. Farooqui seeking inspection of her phone which allegedly had text messages relating to case after which the mobile phone was sent to forensic department.
The court fixed September 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 and 16 for daily trial proceedings and directed the Delhi Police’s DCP (southeast) to depute a senior officer to ensure the presence of witnesses summoned as per the order for the dates fixed.
Mr. Farooqui had moved the bail application through his lawyer Nitya Ramakrishnan, who had submitted that the accused was a “law abiding citizen” and his family has been cooperative in the probe. However, the prosecution had opposed his bail plea, saying it was a heinous crime.
Mr. Farooqui is in judicial custody since June 20 for allegedly raping the 35-year-old woman in an inebriated state after inviting her for dinner at his house.