A court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has acquitted a 22-year-old man accused of raping and cheating a woman friend, giving him the benefit of doubt.
In the order passed on Friday, Additional Sessions Judge Dr Rachana Tehra said the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt and hence the accused needed to be set free.
The prosecution told the court that the accused and the victim, then aged 21, resided in the same village in Vikramgad taluka of neighbouring Palghar district and used to travel together to a college in 2014.
The duo had a love affair and the accused allegedly raped the woman on different occasions and promised to marry her. They also had a live-in relationship for some time, as per the prosecution.
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Later, the woman went to Nashik for a nursing course. When she returned home, she learnt the accused had married another woman without informing her. She then filed a complaint against him, the prosecution said.
Advocate Sukhdev Pandhare, representing the accused, told the court that his client was falsely implicated in the case.
He also said the prosecution had not proved any of the allegations against the accused.
The judge in her order observed the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against the accused under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape) and 420 (cheating), and hence he needs to be set free, Pandhare said.