New Delhi: In a relief to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, the Supreme Court today transferred a case against her arising out of the kissing controversy involving Hollywood star Richard Gere from Rajasthan to a court in Mumbai.
A bench of justices A K Ganguly and J S Khehar allowed Shetty’s plea to shift the criminal proceedings from different courts of Rajasthan to a court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai.
The apex court had on May 15, 2007, stayed the proceedings against the actress on her petition seeking the transfer of all cases related to the controversy to Mumbai. While staying the proceedings, it had also stayed the order of a Rajasthan court restraining Shetty from going abroad.
While seeking the quashing of criminal cases registered against her in the judicial magistrate’s courts in Jodhpur, Jaipur and Mundawar (Alwar), Shetty had also sought a stay on proceedings until the transfer plea was decided.
The April 15, 2007, kissing incident during an AIDS awareness programme in the national capital had sparked a controversy.
The apex court had in May 2008 also stayed an arrest warrant issued by a Jaipur court against Gere, while terming the complaint against him as just a “publicity hunting”. Pointing out that “the filing of such complaint and order brings bad name to the country,” the court had said Gere was free to visit and leave the country.
The kiss sparked protests across India with many protestors alleging that Gere insulted Indian culture by kissing the hand and face of the Bollywood actress.