On Friday, the Indian court cleared the ‘obscenity’ charges against Indian Actress Shilpa Shetty that dated back to a 15 year old incident at a charity event. In 2007, at an Aids awareness event in India, Hollywood star Richard Gere had publicly kissed Shetty on the arm and on both her cheeks.
As they were being shot on camera on stage, a section of the society had briefly outraged against the public display of affection and had particularly criticized Shetty for not resisting at that moment. They had said the act was an insult to India’s culture.
According to the reports, case was registered and arrest warrants were issued by the court to Gere and Shetty on charges of public indecency and obscenity. The case against Gere was swiftly dropped after he issued an apology and was allowed to return to India.
However, the Mumbai court only last week dismissed charges against actress Shilpa Shetty calling the entire case as ‘groundless’. Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Ketaki Chavan approved the written submission by Shetty’s lawyer, Madhukar Dalvi, who argued that the case was baseless as it rested on the fact that ‘she did not protest when she was kissed by the co-accused’.
Reports mention that the event in which the incident happened was organized by Truckers Corporation of India Foundation and HIV-AIDS advocacy organization Heroes Project, to help create awareness on unsafe sexual practices among the truckers community and prevention of the spread of HIV-AIDS.
Actor Richard Gere in an apology issued had claimed that the act was his way to show off that kissing was safe and that it could not lead to the transmission of HIV. He had labelled the Hindu community as ‘conservative’ and said that they often do such protests. Shetty had also defended Gere and said that he was enacting a scene from his film ‘Shall We Dance’ just to entertain the audience.