10/09/2015 9:33 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

'Peepli Live' Director Mahmood Farooqui's Rape Trial Begins, Court Drops Names Of Two Witnesses

Anna Webber via Getty Images
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Producer Mahmood Farooqui attends the 'Peepli Live' premiere during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 24, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Trial in a case in which Bollywood movie Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui has been accused of raping an American research scholar today commenced before a city court with the recording of the statement of a police officer.

Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Ram Singh appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain as the first prosecution witness in the case and testified that he had written the FIR on the complaint filed by the American scholar.

During the hearing, the court dropped the names of two students of Farooqui who were arrayed as prosecution witnesses by the police. According to the police, these two witnesses had seen the victim when she was entering Farooqui's house on the date of the alleged incident.

The court, however, said that these two witnesses might be called to testify, if needed, during the proceedings later.

The judge also asked the director of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to expedite the examination of case property and submit the report at the earliest.

The recording of statement of prosecution witnesses in the case would continue tomorrow while the complainant is scheduled to depose before the court on September 14.

On September 2, the court had framed charge under section 376 (rape) of the IPC against Farooqui but dropped the charge under section 201 (destruction of evidence) of IPC.

The police had on June 29, filed the charge sheet against Farooqui alleging that 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.

Police had also annexed medical reports of the woman and statements of over a dozen witnesses including a common friend. Farooqui has been in judicial custody since his arrest on June 20 and his bail plea is pending before the court.

Farooqui’s wife Anusha Rizwi, who also directed Peepli Live, said the complaint was "manipulated and false".

The woman, in her complaint filed at New Friends colony police station, had alleged that Farooqui had raped her when she had gone to meet him to get help for her research work. She had claimed to have met Farooqui at Varanasi where she had gone to collect information about her research theme based on Baba Gorakhnath.

"She came to India and gave a written complaint to the police along with the records of the email in which Farooqui confessed to have assaulted her and apologised for the same. Following this a case was registered against him and the arrest was made,” the police had said on Sep 2.

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