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The Bombay High Court acquitted a Raighad farmer in a case lodged 26 years ago for allegedly harassing his wife and subjecting her to cruelty for dowry.

Justice T V Nalawade let off Sopan of Karjat in Raighad district, setting aside a sessions court order which had convicted him for inflicting cruelty upon his wife.

The high court absolved Sopan of cruelty and harassment charges, giving him the benefit of doubt.

Justice Nalawade, quashing Karjat judicial magistrate’s order, which had been upheld by Ahmednagar sessions court said “The accused stands acquitted of offence punishable under section 498-A IPC. The fine amount, if any, deposited by him be returned to him. Bail bonds executed by him stands cancelled”

Sopan was married to Nandabai in 1981. He had been held guilty by lower courts of harassing his wife for dowry on a complaint lodged by his wife with police in November 1986.

The complaint has been alleged by his wife that he wanted her to divorce him to marry another woman. She also alleged that Sopan had been demanding Rs 5,000 and one tola gold from her parents. As these demands were not met, he used to beat her and ultimately in March 1986 she was driven out of matrimonial house as Sopan married the woman with whom he had an affair

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