New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday acquitted Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of acclaimed 2010 Hindi film "Peepli Live", who was accused of raping an American woman.
Justice Ashutosh Kumar set aside the trial court order convicting Farooqui and sentencing him to seven years jail in August last year.
Farooqui had challenged the trial court order in the High Court claiming his innocence.
Farooqui was accused of raping a 35-year-old woman from Columbia University who was in India for research on her doctoral thesis.
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 alleged 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 Faro oqui had raped her, while he denied the allegations, and claimed he was falsely implicated.