a Nagpur bench of The Bombay High Court has granted bail to a Maharashtra man who was arrested for raping a 13-year-old, saying that they had an affair and the sexual relationship was out of love, and not lust.
Justice Urmila Joshi-Phalke observed that the girl was a minor but had told the police that she voluntarily left her house and stayed with the accused Nitin Dhaberao. While granting relief, the court observed that Dhaberao was also "of the tender age of 26 years".
"The applicant is also of the tender age of 26 years, and out of the love affair, they come together," Justice Joshi-Phalke said in her order.
"It seems that the alleged incident of sexual relationship is out of the attraction between the two young persons and it is not the case that the applicant has subjected the victim to a sexual assault out of lust," the court added.
In August 2020, the girl's father had filed a missing complaint. After the cops tracked her down, the girl told them that she had left the house willingly as she was in a relationship with the accused.
She told the police that the accused had even promised to get married to her, which is why she stole ornaments and cash from her house and went to stay with Dhaberao.