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Supreme Court upholds acquittal of Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui by Delhi HC in rape case

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the acquittal of Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui in a rape case by the Delhi High Court, after hearing a plea by an American woman challenging the high court verdict.

During the hearing before the apex court, the woman’s counsel told the bench that a new argument of alleged consensual relation was advanced by Farooqui’s lawyer before the high court and claimed that this issue was not raised before the lower court during the trial.

The bench, however, observed that it was not a case where strangers came, met and did something as both Farooqui and the woman were known to each other.

File image of Mahmood Farooqui. GettyImages

File image of Mahmood Farooqui. GettyImages

“This is a very hard case. We would like to say that it has been decided extremely well (by the high court),” the top court said.

When the woman’s counsel said the issue was whether there was any consent, the bench observed that there appeared to be a “positive response” which, according to her, was faked by her. “People give false smiles. How would the other person know that it’s a false response? This is very difficult to understand,” the bench said, adding, “she appeared to have responded in a positive manner”.

When the petitioner’s counsel referred to the email conversation between the woman and Farooqui, the apex court said the record reflects that they were good friends. The bench also referred to one of the communications between them and asked whether she had said “I love you” to Farooqui in one of the emails after the alleged incident.

“How many rape cases you have gone through where the prosecutrix (woman) has said I love you to the alleged accused much after the alleged incident,” the bench asked the counsel and also posed several other queries including how many times the woman had visited Farooqui and had drinks together.

The bench was not satisfied with the answers given by the counsel and dismissed the plea, saying no question of law was involved in the matter.

“We will not interfere with the high court verdict. It is a well-written judgment,” PTI quoted the Supreme Court as saying.

In September 2017, the Delhi High Court had acquitted Farooqui, saying he was entitled to benefit of the doubt as the testimony of the victim was not reliable.

Justice Ashutosh Kumar had set aside the trial court order which had awarded a seven-year jail term to Farooqui after convicting him for the alleged rape of a 30-year-old American researcher at his south Delhi residence in March 2015.

The high court, in its 85-page judgment, had directed that Farooqui be released forthwith.

It had held that the woman’s testimony was not reliable and the accused can be given the benefit of doubt. “Whether such an incident happened, if it has happened, it did happen with the consent of the prosecutrix. This remains in doubt,” the court had said.

Farooqui had challenged his conviction and the sentence given by the trial court.

During arguments, Farooqui’s lawyer had denied the allegation of rape levelled by the woman and had said, “no such incident took place on that day”.

His counsel had referred to messages exchanged between his client and the woman before the case was lodged and contended that the two were in a “relationship” since January 2015.

The argument was opposed by Delhi Police’s counsel, who had said that rape had taken place and the trial court had given reasons while convicting and sentencing 45-year-old Farooqui.

A trial court on 4 August last year had sent him to jail for seven years, observing that he had taken advantage of the situation when the victim was alone in his house.

The court, which on 30 July, 2016, had held Farooqui guilty of raping the American woman in 2015 in a drunken state, had also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.

The police had on 19 June, 2015, lodged an FIR against Farooqui on the woman’s complaint after which he was arrested.

On 29 July, 2015, the police had filed its chargesheet against Farooqui, alleging he had raped the research scholar from Columbia University at his Sukhdev Vihar house in South Delhi on 28 March, 2015.

With inputs from PTI

Published Date: Jan 19, 2018 12:46 PM | Updated Date: Jan 19, 2018 13:48 PM


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Berlin Independent Film Festival 2018: Aditya Kripalani’s directorial debut Tikli and Laxmi Bomb wins Best Film Award

Author-filmmaker Aditya Kripalani’s Tikli and Laxmi Bomb have bagged the Best Film Award at the Berlin Independent Film Festival 2018, reports Mumbai Mirror. Tikli and Laxmi Bomb is a film featuring Chitrangada Chakraborty and Vibhawari Deshpande as sex workers and marks the directorial debut of Kripalani. The story of the film has been borrowed from the director’s third novel of the same name.

Poster for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb. Image from Twitter/@brand_banter_m

Poster for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb. Image from Twitter/@brand_banter_m

The feminist drama has an all-women technical crew, according to the same report and was lauded by the critics following the screening on 16 February. The film bagged the top prize on 18 February at the 10th edition of the prestigious film festival, which aims to bring small-budget, indie films to the fore.

Not just Berlin, Tikli and Laxmi Bomb has been garnering praise at other international festivals too. It happens to be the only Indian film to be screened at New Zealand Asia Pacific Film festival. “But what is greater than the win at the Berlin Independent Film Festival is that we’re also screening at London’s oldest cinema house on 21 March as part of the UK Asian Film Festival, where two powerful films — Lipstick Under My Burkha and A Death In The Gunj — were also screened,” an excited Kripalani tells Mumbai Mirror.

The film is set in Mumbai and follows the life of Laxmi and Putul, who take over the reigns of the sex trade.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 10:53 AM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 11:37 AM


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Alicia Vikander, who plays Lara Croft in upcoming Tomb Raider, says she loves ‘being drawn into big adventure films’


Feb,20 2018 12:10 41 IST

Los Angeles: Oscar winning actress Alicia Vikander says she loves “independent and arthouse” cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Twiiter/@TombRaiderMovie

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Twiiter/@TombRaiderMovie

The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film Tomb Raider, also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering.

“My mother, who’s an actress (Maria Fahl Vikander), introduced me to the world of theatre and film. I loved independent, arthouse films, but like most people, I also loved being drawn into big adventure films, like the Indiana Jones movies,” Alicia said in a statement.

“So, with Tomb Raider, I had the chance to work on something that’s very different from my previous work, but which has long been close to my heart: a big action and adventure film,” she added.

Tomb Raider is based on a popular reboot of a video game with the same name. The Warner Bros Pictures project will release in India on 9 March.

Talking about her role, the actress said, “Along with that came the opportunity to explore my physical side on a film. I come from a dancing background, so when I learned that playing Lara would involve three or four months to get in shape — well, that kind of preparation and the chance to create a new physique are gifts. I found the training and muscle-building to be empowering.”

Tomb Raider is directed by Roar Uthaug with Oscar-winner Graham King producing under his GK Films banner. It also features Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Nick Frost.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:10 PM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:10 PM


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Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2 to reportedly be remade in Hindi; Will Ajay Devgn play lead role of top cop?

While Kamal Haasan will be soon seen in S Shankar’s Indian 2, the filmmaker is also planning a Hindi remake of the same and will reportedly approach Ajay Devgn to play the lead role of a cop.

Kamal Haasan. Facebook

Kamal Haasan. Facebook

DNA reports that the details of the plot of the sequel, titled Hindustani 2, are not known yet but Shankar, who is currently awaiting the completion of one of the biggest sequels and movies to be ever be made in India, the Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0, a sequel to the 2010 smash hit Enthiran or Robot, looks all set to reboot one of his earliest hits after twenty two years. 2.0 is currently delayed due to massive VFX work and the Rs 400 crore magnum opus has been deferred even further than the previously announced 27 April release, with no new date announced yet.

Meanwhile, Devgn is currently busy with another sequel, Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal, along with Raj Kumar Gupta’s Raid, where he plays an honest income tax officer from UP.

The original Indian was a story of an ex-freedom fighter who is disillusioned by systemic corruption turns vigilante while his son indulges in illegal activities. Haasan had essayed both the roles, of father and son, and the film was known for its iconic use of prosthetic makeup, a landmark in the 90s for an Indian movie. The film also starred Manisha Koirla and Urmila Matondkar and featured music by AR Rahman.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:33 PM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:33 PM


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