Three cases filed in 2007 in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh against Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty for publicly kissing Hollywood star and AIDS awareness campaigner Richard Gere were Monday transferred by the Supreme Court to a Mumbai court.
An apex court bench of Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice J.S. Khehar transferred the cases to the court of a Mumbai metropolitan magistrate after Shetty’s lawyer Anand Grover pleaded for the transfer of cases.
He cited the actress’ “busy work schedule” as a reason for seeking the transfer of cases from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai.
The Mumbai court will now decide if a prima facie case of obscenity was made out against Shetty or in the absence of a prima facie case against the actress whether the case against her should be quashed.
The cases are linked to the 2007 visit of Gere to Delhi in connection with his AIDS Awarness campaign. During one function for drivers at the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar here April 24, 2007, Gere hugged and kissed Shetty.
Three cases – two in Rajasthan and one in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh – were filed against Shetty and Gere on charges of obscenity.
The apex court March 14, 2008 stayed all proceedings against Gere pending in various courts observing that he was free to come to India as and when he liked.
The court while staying the arrest warrant against Gere said: “This is nothing but publicity-hunting…. By filing such cases and getting such orders, you are getting a bad name for the country.”
Jaipur magistrate who had issued the arrest warrants against Gere and Shetty was later transferred.