Tanahun district court acquits rape-accused actor Paul ShahShah, however, will remain in Tanahun prison adhering to the September 6, 2022 verdict of the district court in Nawalparasi (East) which had sentenced the actor to two years and six months in jail and slapped a fine of Rs25,000 on the charge of molesting a minor.
The Tanahun District Court on Tuesday acquitted actor Purna Bikram Shah, popularly known as Paul Shah, who was on trial on the charge of raping a minor. Shah had been under judicial custody at the Tanahun prison in Damauli awaiting a final verdict from the court.
Min Bahadur Kunwar, registrar at the District Court, said that a single bench of judge Komal Prasad Acharya cleared Shah of the charge following a hearing on Tuesday.
Kunwar added the court issued a verdict citing lack of evidence in connection with the charges against Shah.
“The plaintiff can move the appellate court if not satisfied with the verdict,” said Kunwar.
Senior advocates Kamal Mohan Wagle, Parshuram Giri, Krishna Bahadur Thapa and advocate Bhanubhakta Subedi had presented the case in the final hearing against Shah.
Kunwar said that Shah will remain in Tanahun prison adhering to the September 6, 2022 verdict of the district court in Nawalparasi (East) which had sentenced the actor to two years and six months in jail and slapped a fine of Rs25,000 on the charge of molesting a minor.
A 17-year-old singer had filed a complaint in February, 2022 accusing Shah of raping her in Tanahun and Nawalparasi (East) districts.
The 32-year-old actor was taken into custody at the District Police Office in Tanahun on February 27, 2022 after the girl filed the complaint. The victim also filed another case against Shah at the Area Police Office in Gaindakot, Nawalparasi.
The Tanahun District Court had issued an order to send the accused to judicial custody for investigation in March, 2022. Shah is now in judicial custody in Tanahun.
The singer, a minor as per Nepal’s law, has accused Shah of raping her with a false promise of marriage. She filed the case in Tanahun days after the controversy arose, with reports surfacing on various online news outlets.
However, the singer later changed her statement. While recording her statement at the court in April last year, she said she had not been raped as she claimed earlier, saying that the information stated in the earlier complaints was false.