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Ex-Nepal princesses asked to appear in court

world Updated: Jan 26, 2010 12:20 IST
Utpal Parashar

A dispute over the property of Nepal’s late prince Dhirendra between his three daughters and a woman claiming to be his second wife has led the Kathmandu district court to summon the former princesses.

This is the first time in Nepal’s history that a court has asked members of the former royal family to appear in court. The Himalayan nation had abolished monarchy in May 2008.

Prince Dhirendra, the youngest brother of late King Birendra was killed in the controversial Narayanhiti Palace massacre when crown prince Dipendra allegedly shot dead many members of his family including his parents in June 1, 2001.

The court summons issued on Monday is in connection with a case filed by Jaya Shah Pandey claiming a share of the late prince’s property on the plea that she and Dhirendra were married and even had a daughter.

Following an initial hearing of the case filed in October last year, the court issued summons to Dhirendra’s daughters from his first marriage to Princess Prekshya---Puja, Sitashma and Dilasha to appear in court and record statements.

While lawyers of the princesses are seeking quashing of the case stating that they are not related to the plaintiff, Pandey’s lawyer Surya KC claims that they have sufficient documentary evidence to prove their claim.

The documents include the birth certificate of Pandey’s daughter Shreya where Dhirendra is stated to have signed as the newborn’s father. “Since the documents prove their relation, Pandey and her daughter should get a share of the property,” Surya KC was quoted by Himalayan Times.

Pandey claims that she and Dhirendra had got married at the Dakshinkali temple in Kathmandu in April 1987 in the presence of other members of the royal family.

Till May 2008, Nepal’s constitution had given legal immunity to members of the royal family, but since abolishment of royalty they have become commoners and can be tried by laws meant for everyone.