Tanahun District Court sends Paul Shah to judicial custodyThe 32-year-old actor has been accused of rape by a 17-year-old singer.
The Tanahun District Court on Thursday sent actor Paul Shah (Purna Bikram Shah) to judicial custody on a rape charge.
District Court judge Harish Chandra Dhungana issued the order to send Shah to judicial custody for investigation, informed the court’s registrar Min Bahadur Kunwar.
Based on police investigation, the District Attorney’s Office had filed a charge sheet against Shah at Tanahun District Court on Tuesday. The district attorney’s office had filed the case seeking a 12-14 years prison sentence and suitable compensation from Shah, stating that the plaintiff was a minor under the age of 16 when the said incident had occurred.
"While interpreting the available evidence it seems that accused Shah was found raping the minor with a false promise of marriage. So he has been ordered to be sent into judicial custody as per clause 67, sub-clause 1 of the Criminal Code 2017,” says the court’s order.
The order says Shah’s statement that he visited the victim’s room around midnight on April 27, 2021, and the complaint filed against him, findings of the following investigation, and the medical report of the victim point at Shah’s involvement in the rape incident.
Though the defendant refused his involvement in the crime he admitted to visiting the victim’s bedroom at around midnight and the defendant could not justify the need of visiting the girl's room that night, reads the court order.
The district court issued the order soon after the hearing that began on Wednesday concluded on Thursday. Twelve legal practitioners argued on behalf of Shah while seven advocates argued on behalf of the victim.
The 32-year-old actor was taken into custody at the District Police Office in Tanahun on February 27 after a 17-year-old singer filed a complaint accusing him of raping her. The victim also filed another case at the Area Police Office in Gaindakot, Nawalparasi, against Shah.
Shah had remained in police custody since his arrest.
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 a controversy arose, with reports surfacing on various online news outlets.
The court had begun taking Shah’s statement from Tuesday afternoon after the police completed their investigations and the Tanahun District Attorney’s Office filed the case at the district court.
Likewise, the attorney’s office has also sought a 6-7 years prison sentence against Shah’s manager Krishna Prasad Joshi, who was arrested on charges of abetment.
The court, according to Kunwar, has ordered the release of Joshi on a bail of Rs100,000. Joshi was released on Thursday after posting the bail.