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Monday, August 1, 2016

Bollywood Director Mahmood Farooqui Convicted of Rape, Faces Life in Prison #HNNCrime

Mahmood Farooqui
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Indian film-maker Mahmood Farooqui has been found guilty of raping an American research student last March at his Delhi home.

Farooqui, who co-directed with his wife Anusha Rizvi the 2010 release Peepli Live, faces between a minimum seven year prison sentence and a maximum life term, according to the Indian Express. The court is slated to hear arguments Tuesday before pronouncing its sentence.

The case first came to light when the victim, a student from Columbia University, filed a police complaint which led to Farooqui's arrest last June. He was later released on bail as the case went to trial in September.

The case is seen as a landmark as its verdict has been delivered under a 2013 amendment to the criminal law which included forced oral sex as a crime, the complainant's counsel Vrinda Grover told the Express. "This is perhaps one of the first cases of forced oral sex, which shows two things: that there was a crime for which we did not earlier have an offense named, now it has been recognized as rape. We're also very happy to see that the court relied on very credible evidence that the woman gave."

The brutal gang-rape of a young Delhi woman on a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012 sparked nationwide protests. The outcry led to a call for action against crimes against women which included legal amendments and fast-tracking rape cases.

According to the Express, the 2012 incident was also referred to in the testimony of the American woman who told the court that she "did not resist" the rape because she feared she would also be killed like the Delhi gang-rape victim.

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