District and sessions judge SK Aggarwal on Tuesday acquitted Ashok Kumar (32) of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh of the charge of minor's rape.
The decision comes as a relief for Ashok, who was employed with a private company in the city and had been in custody ever since his arrest in October 2012 on the allegations of raping a 16-year-old city resident.
The court acquitted Ashok after the prosecution failed to prove the allegations and the victim admitted that she had developed physical relations with the accused at her own will. The court, considering her statement during cross-examination, acquitted Ashok.
Defence counsel Vishal Garg Narwana said, "The girl in her cross-examination admitted that physical relations were developed with her consent, corroborating our defence that once there is consent it cannot be termed as rape."
UT Police had registered a case in October 2012, against Ashok on the complaint of the victim's brother. In his complaint, the brother had alleged that Ashok had kidnapped his sister.
The victim was recovered from the custody of the accused and in her statement before the police, she had alleged that the accused had raped her on the pretext of marriage. But the victim during testimony before the court admitted that she had developed relations with the accused at her own will.