Panaji, Apr 4 (PTI) The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court has acquitted a 27-year-old man of rape charges on the grounds that there was a “deep love affair” between him and the complainant.

The high court was hearing a petition filed by Yogesh Palkar who had challenged his conviction by a lower court.

The lower court had sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000, after pronouncing him guilty under Indian Penal Code section 376 (rape).

The high court judge, Justice C V Bhadang, in his order on February 17, 2018, acquitted Palkar in the case.

A 25-year-old woman had alleged that Palkar, who worked as a chef in an offshore casino, had sexual intercourse with her for the first time in November 2013 at his residence at Bambolim near here, after promising to marry her.

They had intercourse several times after that till December 2013, she had said in her police complaint.

But, in February 2014 he started ignoring her and went back on his promise of marriage as she belonged to a lower caste, the woman charged.

A special court in Panaji then convicted the man on March 31, 2015.

However, during the trial, the woman also filed an affidavit before the special court saying that she could not see Palkar behind bars who was then suffering from depression and undergoing treatment for it.

The woman said, in her affidavit, that she wished to withdraw the complaint due to personal reasons and emotions.

Justice Bhadang, while acquitting the man, said, “It is evident that the woman not only continued the relationship with the appellant (convict) after the first incident (of sexual intercourse), but also went to the extent of withdrawing the complaint by filing an affidavit, due to her personal reasons and emotions.

“This would clearly show that there was a deep love affair between the complainant and the convict. It cannot be said that the consent given by the complainant was on account of any promise of marriage made by the appellant (convict).”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.