Thane, Nov 15 (PTI) A local court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of a 60-year-old self-styled ‘godman’, accused of raping a woman and swindling her by promising to cure her ailing father.

District and Additional Sessions Judge A S Bhaisare rejected the application of the godman, who was booked by the Thane Police under IPC sections pertaining to rape, cheating, criminal intimidation and provisions of the Black Magic Act and the IT Act.

According to the prosecution, the investigating officer in the case told the court that the accused got in touch with the 39-year-old woman, a resident of Thane city and working as a senior executive with a private company, on a social networking site in June 2015 when she was looking for treatment of cancer of her ailing father.

The accused, who ran an ashram at Guwahati in Assam, came to Thane and allegedly convinced her of his supernatural powers.

He charged the woman’s family Rs 3 lakh for various rituals to “cure” cancer, said the officer.

He claimed that she was his wife in previous birth and took her to various places, including in Assam and Delhi, where he allegedly raped her repeatedly, the investigating officer informed the court.

The accused also allegedly filmed the woman and blackmailed her into submission, he told the court.

The woman filed the complaint against the accused in June this year with the Thane Police.

The man filed the anticipatory bail application on November 6.

The accused’s counsel submitted that his client was known to the woman and that their sexual relations were consensual and hence, he has not committed any offence.

The prosecution, however, told the court that the accused had taken over Rs 3 lakh from the complainant. He had three wives and children and cheated the complainant, the prosecution further said.

The court perused the case diary and after hearing both sides, rejected the anticipatory bail application of the accused on November 8.

Meanwhile, the police have launched a search for the accused.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.