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Filed under: Latest News — admin     4:31 pm March 4, 2011

Kathmandu, March 3 (IANS) The giant halls in Nepal’s former royal palace, glittering with immense chandeliers, stately oil paintings of former kings and stuffed, life-sized tigers, once epitomised power and pomp, being the court of the Shah kings who were regarded as divine and above the law.

Today, with the kingdom having changed into a republic and the palace into a national museum, the new court in which Nepal’s deposed royalty now find themselves are those ruled by stern magistrates and police officials, with no one considered to be above law, at least in principal.

The office of the chief district officer in Chitwan in southern Nepal, where disputes are heard and arbitrated, is the new court for Nepal’s former crown prince Paras, dubbed the ‘Playboy Prince’ by the tabloids for his penchant for fast cars, discos and shooting first and asking questions later.

The 39-year-old turned up at the new court Thursday with his lawyers and followers, as a sequel to a nocturnal drama last year that sent shockwaves through Nepal’s aristocracy and was lauded gleefully by commoners.

In December 2010, Paras became entangled in a drunken dispute with the son-in-law of the then deputy prime minister Sujata Koirala, leading to the trigger-happy former prince firing in the air.

The fracas led to Koirala and her Nepali Congress party pressuring the government to take Paras to task. For the first time in Nepal’s history, Paras was arrested and taken back to Chitwan, where the brawl originated, to face the music.

After cooling his heels in custody for 48 hours, the smouldering former royal was let off on bail with the authorities asking him to appear before them March 3 for the hearing.

However, the case against Paras fizzled out after his alleged victim, Bangladeshi national Rubel Chowdhury, developed cold feet and refused to press charges.

Paras’ lawyers Thursday told the media from Chitwan that the case would go in their favour since all the people who gave their accounts before the authorities – mostly the staff of the Chitwan forest resort where the incident had occurred – had no implicating evidence against Paras.

Though the case continues to to hang fire with the authorities asking Paras to reappear before them March 16, it is now apparent that he would be let off, at the most with a nominal fine.

Hundreds of royalists turned up with flowers, garlands and banners to give Paras a hero’s welcome in Chitwan and his lawyers said the former prince would address a public gathering to ‘offer his thanks’.

With Koirala and her party now out of power, the former prince is likely to have the last laugh, converting his arrest and detention into a patriotic issue with Chowdhury presented as the villain who allegedly insulted Nepal.

Source : Sify News

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